Sisterhood Blog

More Men See Marriage, Family as the 'Ultimate Male Status Symbol'

By Elissa Strauss

  • Print
  • Share Share

Well it looks like the emasculated husbands who appear in the bulk of beer and car ads aren’t too representative of the typical American male. Men, it turns out, actually like being married and having a family.

In a new survey from Askmen.com, 85% of men said they still believe in marriage, with 67% believing “it is a necessary institution and one in which [they] will participate to help preserve .” Also, having a family was the top-rated “ultimate male status symbol” among the 100,000 men who participated; it ranked above a high-profile career, a beautiful wife or girlfriend, a beautiful house, a luxury sports car, and a membership to an exclusive club.

This surprises me. Due to the relentless portrayal of happy un-wed men and miserable wedded men in popular culture, I would have thought that having a wife and kids had become something men trudge through because they feel like you have to — a far cry from the “ultimate status symbol.”

But perhaps men have wised up to the benefits that gender equality has produced for both sexes in the home. In Barbara Ehrenreich’s “The Hearts of Men,” she convincingly argues that the old-school, breadwinner marriage was just as imprisoning for men as it was for women. The flexible roles partners have in marriage today free men from the workplace just as much as they free women from the home. In fact, things have come so far that stress over a “work-life” balance — an issue once relegated the woman’s domain — is a growing concern for men. As recently reported by Tara Parker-Pope in The New York Times, 59% of men in dual-earner relationships feel some conflict about balancing their personal and professional lives.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Askmen.com, Family, Marriage

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.