Right, because Valenti’s perspective is everything. Nothing more needs to be added, especially from males, ’cause all we’re doing is mansplaining anyway.
I can’t really speak to the “data” but at some point personal, anecdotal experience should carry some weight. E.g. when we decamped LA for Texas in order for my wife to expand her career, I had to give up my fledgling photo business, which largely relied on the city being a center of acting, music & breaking news. It wasn’t a big sacrifice, I still wasn’t earning that much compared to what Lisa might earn participating in a San Antonio start up.
Still, as we rolled into Alamo City in 1994 I was thinking, what do I tell people I do exactly? This is Texas, where men were men (& cows deeply concerned … I know:).
As we arrived at our new apartment, this fellow watched us from across the way. Tall & muscular & tanned, he looked like a younger version of the Marlboro Man. He walked over. “Here we go,” I thought.
“Hi, I’m Murry Rae,” he said, sticking one hand out. “I’m a house-husband!”
Yeah, Murray’s wife worked full-time. He cared for their five kids. & great kids they were, especially compared to the sociopaths-in-training some of our other neighbors were raising. After six months, Murray’s family moved away, to our lasting regret. I never did get the whole story, but evidently his wife wasn’t happy being the sole provider. I know Murray was concerned that his next stop would be a park bench somewhere. The only time I spoke to her was as they were leaving. “Howdy,” she said, passing by to get into the loaded car. They left behind their pregnant cat for us to raise.
I spent the next two years entirely as a house-husband. Oh, sure, I wrote a book that didn’t sell, tried to establish my photo work there (because Lisa needed the car for work, we had no additional transportation, & San Tony isn’t noted for its public transit). Because of what happened to Murry, I felt extremely vulnerable. Society might sympathize with a woman cast aside after years of marriage, but a man? What’s his excuse?
My point being, even under those circumstances I would have been very reluctant to describe myself as a homemaker. & I’m left to wonder whether or not studies take this in to account. This was the mid 90s, in the fledgling days of the Internet, & decidedly pre WWW. So there’s no SAHDs online to bond with or experiences to share. Things that are poorly defined in the first place are also difficult to quantify.