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All the Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership

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Picking up where All Joy and No Fun left off, All the Rage sets out to understand why, in an age of so-called equality, full-time working mothers still carry.

The inequity of domestic life is one of the most profound and perplexing conundrums of our time. In an era of seemingly unprecedented feminist activism, enlightenment, and change, data show that one area of gender inequality stubbornly remains: the unequal amount of parental work that falls on women, no matter their class or professional status. All the Rage investigates the cause of this pervasive inequity to answer why, in households where both parents work full-time, mothers’ contributions—even those women who earn more than their partners—still outweigh fathers’ when it comes to raising children and maintaining a home.

How can this be? How, in a culture that has studied and lauded the benefits of fathers’ being active, present partners in child-rearing—benefits that extend far beyond the well-being of the kids themselves—can a commitment to fairness in marriage melt away upon the arrival of children?

Darcy Lockman drills deep to find answers, exploring how the feminist promise of true domestic partnership almost never, in fact, comes to pass. Starting with her own case-study as Ground Zero, she moves outward, chronicling the experiences of a diverse cross-section of women raising children with men; visiting new mothers’ groups and pioneering co-parenting specialists; and interviewing experts across academic fields, from gender studies professors and anthropologists to neuroscientists and primatologists. Lockman identifies three tenets that have upheld the cultural gender division of labor and peels back the reasons both men and women are culpable. Her findings are startling—and offer a catalyst for true change.

352 pages, ebook

First published May 7, 2019

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About the author

Darcy Lockman

3 books17 followers
Darcy Lockman is a former journalist turned psychologist whose writing has appeared in The New York Times and the Washington Post, among others. She lives with her husband and daughters in Queens.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 348 reviews
Profile Image for Kristy.
4 reviews7 followers
May 29, 2019
This book literally makes me want to get divorced, buy one of those body pillows and a dog, and live alone forever. I also want to punch every man i know in the face, even the good ones, even the ones I really like.
Profile Image for Josh.
65 reviews11 followers
December 11, 2019
Relatives of mine were planning a birthday party for their toddler. The boy's mom had reserved the space, invited the friends, bought the decorations, and prepared the food, all while caring for the child. The boy's dad had ordered the cake.

Evidently, the cake order caused some strain for the dad. Let's call him Grant. Grant complained about it to his mother-in-law.

His mother-in-law said to her daughter, "Poor Grant, he's so stressed!"

Her daughter said, "Poor Grant? Why poor Grant? Because he's a man and he did one fucking thing?"

I've laughed at this story for years, comfortable in the belief that I would have been a more equitably involved partner.

Then we had a baby.

So while I'm not the go-play-videogames-for-six-hours-alone dad, I recognize the other traits listed by Lockman. Assuming priority for the job because mine's the one that pays a salary. Asking to be reminded of things that my wife routinely has to remember on her own. Deferring to her greater experience rather than learning it like she had to. Implicitly delegating more housework to her since she's "the one at home."

If you're like me, a dad credited as "at least he's one of those who helps," this book is especially for you. You're probably not going to like it. You're not going to like it because there's no reading it without recognizing that your little islands of assistance leave whole continents of childcare to your partner. There's no reading it without realizing that changing a diaper here and there doesn't deserve praise. There'll be no more feeling like praising your partner's tremendous work is any kind of substitute for taking an equal part in that work.

But then you might start liking it a whole lot. It means us dads have more work to do, but it's work we can take real pride in. Funnily enough, I'm finding that when doing my fair share I don't need thanks. Praise for being "at least one of those who helps" just fills the gaps where I'm not helping enough.
Profile Image for Katie.
156 reviews27 followers
May 6, 2019
This book will, in fact, fill you with ALL THE RAGE. Darcy Lockman’s nonfiction is the feminist text I didn’t know I needed. She breaks down the ways in which working mothers are drowning in the unshared task of parenting.

It genuinely changed my perspective on planning for motherhood in the future.

So many of us assume that our version of parenting will look different than that of our parents’ generation. We expect that we will have an EQUAL partnership in child rearing. Well, it turns out that privilege is a bitch and sexism is deeply ingrained in our brains and that shit is hard to shake.

Men will happily change diapers and engage with children, but when it comes to the day to day planning, scheduling, and sacrificing, it is still falls on women to bear the brunt of the burden.

What struck me most about this book is how bitter these women were towards their partners. That is NOT something I want for myself.

If you are a woman who wants to have children with a man some day, All the Rage is mandatory reading.

I would love to read a review from a millennial mother. Does your experience match this book?

If my partner did half the shit the men in this book did, I think I would murder him. HIGHLY recommend!
Profile Image for Holly.
548 reviews
August 5, 2019
What a bracing read. The penultimate chapter, titled "Successful Male Resistance," discusses the ways men avoid stepping up to the plate in their marriages. Toward its conclusion, Lockman asks one Joshua Coleman, a clinical psychologist, father, contributing editor of a magazine about parenting, and author of a book called The Lazy Husband: How to Get Men to Do More Parenting and Housework, "what makes it easy for men to be so lazy." Lockman quotes Coleman at length for two substantial paragraphs, then offers this devastating analysis and paraphrase of Coleman's statement:
I called Coleman because I knew he’d given co-parenting a book’s worth of thought, and I hoped that he’d be willing to speak freely. He was. Men’s resistance would be an abject failure if there were more men who spoke like he did (to be clear, he was not condoning his own behavior). Imagine if your children’s father said these things to you, directly and out loud: Women are easy to take advantage of, your efforts are ultimately unnecessary, the needs of our family are not worth my attention, and I’ll choose the more selfish thing. Fathers are implying every last bit of this with their resistance [to shared labor] all the time. You are easy to manipulate. These things aren’t worth my attention. I’ll choose the more selfish thing. (240)

I read a lot about feminism and relationships, and when I picked this book up, I thought it would take me less than a week to finish it, because it's less than 300 pages with big print. Instead, it took me almost a month, because it was so painful, even more painful than a book about big-picture systemic misogyny. Reading anecdote after anecdote about men displaying such selfishness and such contempt and indifference for the well-being of their partners and children was just SUCH a downer, especially since I could call up so many examples from my own life of just what the book was talking about. That's not a reason to avoid the book--that's one more reason to read it. But you can expect to feel like crap along the way.

I finished this book the same day I read a really shitty article (see: https://www.utne.com/arts/new-america... ) by a poet named Bob Hicok that asks, "Am I willing to pay a price for the equality I say I believe in?" Hicok wants you to believe by the end of the essay that the answer is yes, but it's clearly NO, or he wouldn't need to publish two versions of that shitty essay. (See also: https://www.questia.com/library/journ... )

And that's ultimately the question and answer I get from this Lockman's book: "Are men willing to pay a price for the equality they say they believe in?" No, they are not.

It sucks that that's the reality. But I guess it's good to have it out in the open, instead of pretending otherwise.
Profile Image for Catherine.
493 reviews58 followers
August 26, 2019
This book is premised on the progressive father with egalitarian values who nevertheless oppresses his wife through strategic incompetence. As such, it’s actually a very practical, useful, empathetic book that every man who plans to become a husband and father should read, but instead will be read by his resentful wife. God bless her and free her.
Profile Image for Melanie.
761 reviews34 followers
May 29, 2019
Before I started this book, I was worried that it would fill me with fury and the desire to seek a divorce. It didn't, but it really came off as preaching to the choir (dual-employed couples with child/ren), and I skimmed much of the second half because I just could not take it anymore. There were a lot of citations, including books I've read before, but it was tedious and repetitive.

Author has a bunch of anonymized case studies/interview participants but they're spread out all over the book, so like, you'll read about "Miranda from Portland" or "Desiree from Kansas" three or four different times for a paragraph or two, then she'll disappear for a chapter or more, and because there are at least 20 of these disenchanted moms, they all run together while being entirely unmemorable. The whole of the book was like this, with the author popping in and out in first person, occasionally mentioning the ever enlightening George (her husband) and I just got frustrated with it.

If you're trying to get men or women or other people to take you seriously to effect social change, don't bore them to death with data or rant until you've beaten your point into a bloody pulp. My husband works full-time, I do not, and he takes on a considerable share of childrearing, not least because I have trained him, and don't emasculate or hen-peck if he doesn't match the top and bottom of the baby's outfit. He does zero housework, but we have very different standards with regards to housework, and we have children who need training in how to do chores properly. I hire a yard guy to cut the grass, and it's well worth the investment in that it frees up our time and keeps us from a chore that neither of us likes or is good at.

I recently read a book about global population dropping, and I wonder how much is directly tied into issues raised in this book (that working wives do *everything* when it comes to childrearing) so they're too burnt out to have more than 1 or 2 kids at most, and resent the ones they have.
Profile Image for Charlotte Pearson.
119 reviews1 follower
December 4, 2020
this is a horror novel and has made me question the value of pursuing male partnership entirely ,, I would like to unread this thanks
Profile Image for Ang.
1,713 reviews39 followers
August 7, 2019
Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

I mean, not really. But reading books like this (and let me stress, this book is EXCELLENT) brings slamming home the casual sexism of living with (and loving, because why else would you do it?) a man in 20-fucking-19. I'm not a mother, so the childcare stuff isn't even a factor in this for me, and yet I still saw myself in these women. The chapter on HOW men avoid giving up their privilege was absolutely mind-blowing, in its familiarity.

I can't recommend this highly enough, ESPECIALLY to men who live with women.
Profile Image for BookOfCinz.
1,390 reviews2,278 followers
March 25, 2019
….women who work outside of the home shoulder 65 percent of child care responsibilities and their male partners 35 per cent. Those percentages have held steady since the year 2000. In the last twenty years, that figure has not budged...

It is the year 2019 and women are still shouldering 65% child care responsibilities. On one hand I am not shocked because women tend to do a lot on the other hand it is sad that this is what is currently happening. I read this book in shock and awe. A lot of the women who were interviewed holds a lot of resentment towards their spouse because of their "inability" to help out around the house or with child care.

For some reason, reading this book enraged me. Most of the mothers said they got little help from the fathers even though they were doing a lot already. Something to note is that majority of these women held down full time jobs outside of the home. While some fathers held down the home and child care responsibilities, they were few and far between.

According to the research, there is actually no known human society in when men are responsible for the bulk of all childrearing. Cross-cultural anthropologists report that every part of the world... mothers are more involved than fathers with the care of their young.

It seems, it doesn't matter how well a partner you choose, women are left with the full time job of working outside the home and taking care of the home and the kids. In a 2018 report the United Nations estimated that women average 2.6 times the amount of housework and child care that men do... If you are going to have kids, take those figures into consideration.

Darcy Lockman brought to light some new information, but for the most part she confirmed what we see in society on a daily basis. I really wish those figures weren't so.

Thanks for the ARC Harperbooks.

Profile Image for Camryn.
Author 4 books782 followers
July 22, 2019
I feel like this is very important for everyone to read, honestly. This is how stuff worked with my parents and obviously so many other parents. I don’t want it to be me. I think I noticed that men do way wya less and women do so much more and that’s one of the reasons why I wasn’t interested in marriage starting at like, thirteen. It seems so exhausting to be married to a straight cis man unless he’s like 1 out of fifty men in this book who make an active decision to make their marriage and parenting a partnership.

Anyway. This made me so mad. The exhaustion and overwhelming feelings so many of the women expressed made me want to tell them to leave their husbands because they’re basically raising kids alone anyway. And I wanted to kill most of the men, including the author’s husband.

I took a star off because this did get boring at times and also because the author kept saying stuff like “pregnancy is women’s job” and “women are the only ones who give birth” that seemed really inconsiderate of trans and non-binary people.
Profile Image for Ashley Robinson.
123 reviews1 follower
June 21, 2021
FYI that I will never shut up about this as long as I live !!!!!! Listened to the audio and already ordered a hard copy to underline & cross reference while I prep for grad school.
Profile Image for Sarah.
270 reviews6 followers
October 7, 2021
It took me a few months after finishing the book to write a review; I had to stew over it for a while. It's eye-opening and infuriating, which is how I describe lots of non-fiction books, but this one more than any other has made me think deeply about an issue from a societal perspective as well as a personal one. I have reconsidered aspects of my own marriage and analyzed the big picture aspects of gender roles and work load in marriage/domestic partnerships. If you are a woman who had a 5 minute conversation with me in June or July, I probably referenced and/or recommended All The Rage. I'd wager that nearly every woman, even those of us who, like me, are partnered with a good man who is committed to equality, will find something that she would like to change in her relationship with the men in her life.

I collected many, many noteworthy quotations as I read. Here they are, with my interjections in brackets:

p. 54
While couples report that their decisions are mutual, outcomes tend to favor the needs and goals of husbands much more than wives.
[stated/believed ideals vs. actual reality]

p. 74
The idea of maternal instinct doesn't apply just to birth and its immediate afterward but also to everything mothers do care for their children over the course of a lifetime. It neutralizes thoughts of oppression, reflexively serving to undergird the notion that women make superior--and perhaps the only suitable--primary parents. It's meaningful that we fail to imagine a correspondent paternal endowment. Human culture has hardly allowed for the entertainment of such a notion.
[Ladies, don't feel badly if you don't immediately love motherhood with all your heart and soul. You aren't defective.]

p. 74-75
Darwin himself rejected the idea that social feelings grow out of experience and fell back on the concept of instinct. He wrote, "Maternal instincts lead women to show greater tenderness and less selfishness and to display these qualities toward her infants in an eminent degree."
It was an idea in search of a reality.

p. 89-90
Are women better at multitasking? Neuroscientist Lise Eliot talks about brain platsticity: "Our brains get good at whatever we're faced with doing. Secretaries are good multitaskers. We're letting men turn us into secretaries."
"It has served men very well to assume that male-female differences are hardwired. It's been harmful for women to live that."
Contemporary neuroscience is all about plasticity, "the capacity of the nervous system to change its organization and function over time." Brains are not so much hardwired as constantly rewiring themselves in response to real-time experience.
[Feel free to quote the above to any man who says some nonsense like, "I'm terrible at changing diapers." We are bad at almost everything that we start.]

p. 92-93
"[While] pregnancy, birth, and lactation...provide powerful primers for the expression of maternal care via amygdala sensitization, evolution created other pathways for adaptation to the parental role in human fathers, and these alternative pathways come with practice, attunement, and day-by-day caregiving."
Fathering, like mothering, is biologically and socially determined. It is the day-in-day-out experience of attending to children--and not biological sex--that encompasses what we now refer to as motherhood. The more we understand this as an experience available to either sex, the less sense it makes to characterize parenting as a particularly female talent. Such talk functions only to ensconce inequality, to reinforce for ourselves and then instill in our children the belief that mothers alone must bow under the weight of all tasks.

p. 105
Without intention or explicit direction, we do become two different sorts of people. From the age of three, half of us begin to ask politely and consider the preferences and feelings of others, while the other half assert demands and ignore friends' wishes, especially if those friends are members of the second sex.

p. 113
Why should the establishment of what should be a given require such primacy of purpose?...[P]lease take a moment to let it sink in that it requires intense, concerted effort and a very special breadwinning arrangement for a woman and a man to live together as if they have the same value.

p. 118 (from Elizabeth who used a spreadsheet to track chores)
"There are all these structured issues that could be better in the US, but it's a personal thing in the end, the decision to have those difficult and repeated conversations about expectations that a lot of people don't have because they think it will work itself out. I feel like I was saved by having those conversations."

p. 128
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: "We condition girls to aspire to marriage and we do not condition boys to aspire to marriage, and so there is already a terrible imbalance at the start. The girls will grow up to be women preoccupied with marriage. The boys will grow up to be men who are not preoccupied with marriage. The women marry those men. The relationship is automatically uneven because the institution matters more to one that the other. Is it any wonder that, in so many marriages, women sacrifice more, at a loss to themselves, because they have to constantly maintain an uneven exchange?"

p. 150 (from Brigid Schulte)
"[A]rguments over housework are not insignificant. The unfair division of labor is a big reason for the breakup of marriages." (The third-most-cited reason, actually, after adultery and growing apart.)

p. 160 (from bell hooks)
"When women in the home spend all their time attending to the needs of others, home is a workplace for her, not a site of relaxation, comfort, and pleasure."

p. 167
Joan Williams at the Center for WorkLife Law...explained that egalitarianism (the belief that one is not sexist) is not enough precisely because even men who don't realize it typically continue to feel at complete liberty to put their own personal autonomy ahead of their wives'. She said, "My strongest advice to young women: Don't just try to find a man who's supportive of women. That's a threshold. But consider, what is his attitude toward himself and ambition? That's what determines your future. If he's ambitious and feels entitled to that ambition, you're going to end up embattled, marginalized, or divorced."

around p. 184-85 they talk about the importance of strong relationships with other adults in "buffering women through the myriad challenges of motherhood"

p. 208
Neuroscientist Lise Eliot: "Nobody gives up privilege voluntarily. You really have to be very enlightened to do that."

p. 209
"[T]he research demonstrates that mothers of children under four report the greatest sense of injustice."

p. 215
Studies to measure empathy where they call it something else, or attach a monetary prize to good performance, and suddenly men perform as well as women. "So much for the story about hardwiring and women being born to consider others all the time."
[This blew my mind. Men fail to behave empathetically since there is less societal expectation and less reward for doing so. They *could* do it if it benefitted them.]

p. 220
Research in Sweden has found that for female candidates, winning a race for government office doubles the baseline risk of subsequent divorce; campaigning and then losing does not. Whether a male candidate wins or loses an election has no direct bearing on his marital future. The same Swedish study found that married women who become CEOs are twice as likely to divorce within three years of this achievement than men who accomplish the same.

p. 220-221
Study at Columbia University: speed dating where they rated factors including intelligence and ambition. When a woman's intelligence was higher, men were less likely to want to see her again. "[O]n average men do not value women's intelligence or ambition when it exceeds their own; moreover, a man is less likely to select a woman whom he perceives to be more ambitious than he is."

p. 221
Sharon Hayes writes, "[T]he ideology of intensive mothering serves men in that women's commitment to this socially devalued task helps to maintain their subordinate position in society as a whole."

p. 226
That prison experiment where the "guards" turned abusive didn't prove that people are evil; it proved that people infer what the expectations are and act accordingly.
We can address this by "putting a stop to the ways in which we marginalize fathers, or by shining a light on the fallacy of the stereotypes."
And, according to Lise Vesterlund (of women & menial tasks research), "Anyone can do these tasks. Rather than ask for volunteers, we should just take turns. It's an easy way. It's not even that I need to debias anyone. We just need to become aware that we have a systematic problem...and then take charge."

p. 233
Michael Kimmel, director of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook University In NY, asked West Point cadets to define "real men" and "good men".
Real men, they told him, were tough, strong, "never show weakness, win at all costs, suck it up, play though pain, be competitive, get rich, get laid." A good man, in contrast, was defined by sacrifice. "Honor, duty, integrity, do the right thing, stand up for the little guy, be a provider, be a protector." ..."I was not there to tell them that their behaviors were toxic. I was there to tell them that they are already experiencing a conflict, inside them, between their own values and this homosocial performance."
(homosocial=relating to social interaction between members of the same sex)

p. 237 Michael Kimmel again
"I want to sell feminism to men. Because greater gender equality--embracing a fuller palette of traits, attitudes and behaviors--cannot help but be good for men as well as for women. Women have shown us over the past fifty years, 'This is really good, this works really well, see, aren't we awesome? Aren't we more interesting now?' So now men need to be whole human beings...
He imagines saying to men "You've cut yourself off from half the human experience by embracing this traditional notion of masculinity, the thing that we call *toxic*. You'll have a better life if you could actually be a person."

p. 240
"Imagine if your children's father said these things to you, directly, and out loud: Women are easy to take advantage of, your efforts are ultimately unnecessary, the needs of our family are not worth my attention, and I'll choose the more selfish thing. Fathers are implying every last bit of this with their resistance all the time. You are easy to manipulate. These things aren't worth my attention. I'll choose the more selfish thing.

p. 241
Successful male resistance has necessarily required reasonable men to obfuscate unreasonable demands. Their entitlement hangs in the air, omnipresent and indiscernible.

p. 259
"Benevolent sexism, 'an affectionate or chivalrous expression of male dominance,' promotes the belief that women have a superior moral compass but also require the care and protection of men, whose needs they exist to fulfill.'

p. 271-72
"You can't tell women that they're too dumb to do anything but stay home and make sandwiches (that would be hostile), but you can point out how their loving nature makes them especially well suited for that task."
[Ugh. Subjugation by way of compliments and praise.]

p. 272 John Jost of NYU
"[I]t really is depressing if you think about how hard it is to change inequality or injustice. Precisely because people would rather feel good than bad, they respond defensively and engage in more system justification when you point out all the problems. It's not a simple matter. This is what activists do. They put things in your face that you'd rather not think about."
[This applies to a million things in addition to equal parenting. People who point out racism, sexism, climate change, political corruption, etc. are often accused of being "divisive" when they are just describing an ugly reality and looking for a better way. They are putting things into the open that comfortable people would rather not think about.]

p. 276 Patrick Coleman at Fatherly: "I would like to see men really take this on. Like really take it on. Because making little changes and then waiting for society to push us into changing our role will take generations and generations. I think we can change it more quickly if we own those steps. Waiting for or expecting women to hand down a list of demands that we then agree to, I don't think that's going to work. Men need to say, 'We have to do this now.' It's in our power to end it."

"When parenting is a conscious collaboration, men, like women, track their own responsibilities and think ahead about what their children need. They do not look to their wives for orders or direction. Strong gender egalitarianism means a family life free from assumption about who does what based on activities deemed more appropriate for fathers or for mothers."
Profile Image for Gwen.
1,035 reviews33 followers
September 18, 2020
if I could excerpt the whole book, I would

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with some friends about existential career questions when the topic of children came up. All of us are childfree 30-somethings, and we threw around many, many thoughts on why have (or not) children. I wish I had read Lockman's book before the conversation since she articulated all of my thoughts--and then some!--so much better than I did.

I couldn't highlight the whole book, but I wanted to remember these passages and their concepts:

"In the language of family studies, women and men do not develop the same 'parental consciousness' when they transition into mother- and fatherhood; they continue on separate and unequal paths of knowing or not knowing as their children change and grow. Parental consciousness is the awareness of the needs of children accompanied by the steady process of thinking about those needs. Women have come to call it the mental load, and in those relatively egalitarian households where men share day care pickup and put away clean laundry, it's the aspect of childrearing most likely...to 'stimulate marital tension between mothers and fathers'" (139-140).

"In my research, I found that equal co-parenting tended to happen under only three, often overlapping, conditions: when there was an explicitly steadfast commitment on the part of both partners to staying on top of parity; when men really enjoyed the type of regular and intimate contact that only mothers more typically have with their kids; and after fathers had taken substantial paternity leave" (218-219).

To (re)read:
Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time
Halving It All: How Equally Shared Parenting Works
Shattered: Modern Motherhood and the Illusion of Equality

h/t: Lockman's NYT op-ed and Jezebel interview
Profile Image for Allison.
618 reviews56 followers
March 1, 2021
Everyone should read this book. Women with children. Women without. Men with children. Men without. I am a 35-year-old woman who is in a childless heterosexual relationship, and this book, which is "about parents," could have just as easily been about me.

This is a book about female anger at the patriarchy, but without the bitter blame of men's character. Lockman acknowledges that men these days, at least some men, really do strive for equity. And they are doing more than their fathers and their fathers' fathers every did. But have we toppled the patriarchy, with equitable child-rearing and homemaking for all? No. And it's just as much women's "faults" as men's.

The reality is our society and culture have created a system that is very, very hard to break free from, especially since even trying to speak of it raises people's hackles. This is the gendered equivalent of telling a white person they are racist, not because they are overtly and intentionally hurting minorities, but because they simply don't know any better. Calling that person racist will make them defensive, because they don't see themselves that way and are possibly even trying not to be "that way." And yet if we don't point it out, we can't solve for it. This book Points It Out.

Quick note: I listened to this as an audiobook, so the reading of it on paper may be different. However, the messages are the same, and as such, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Profile Image for Patricia.
99 reviews3 followers
April 13, 2022
This book has helped me to understand myself. Sixty years old, with 30 years of marriage under my belt - I still get so peeved to see a morning cereal bowl in the sink waiting for me to wash it every day. I am now working full-time while my husband has been retired for two years. We've always divided duties and we survived the parenting years - yet that bowl. He has done more around the house since retiring but almost expects a gold star for doing so, or at least acknowledgement. This book has really helped me to understand that I'm not crazy for resenting a bowl in the sink.

Update - since COVID, with me working from home part of the time, my husband has started washing the cereal bowl (at least part of the time). I made sure to thank him and let him know I noticed (how could I not!) - hoping to encourage
repetition of his actions. My take - this silver lining to a horrible pandemic has shown that even men in their 60's can change their behavior so never give up the fight.
Profile Image for Christina.
57 reviews
August 29, 2019
This book makes you think HARD about gender inequality as it relates to parenting (and the rest of the world). So many different aspects of the problem are tackled, and I found myself wanting to talk about the book to so many people. She does a great job of illustrating the problem and really spelling out the roots of it. It was scary as a non-parent and at times made me second guess ever wanting to become one at all (as a woman)! But, I think nice to read before kids to really think about the challenges I’ll be up against. My one complaint is that it wasn’t prescriptive enough - knowing full well the problems, it’s not entirely clear to be how to combat them. Maybe that was part of the point—there’s no super clear solution or band aid at this point. I do know it’ll be required reading for whoever I consider having children with! Because if you can’t even engage fully in this conversation as a man, that’s a huge problem.
Profile Image for Jenna.
293 reviews
July 5, 2019
It will make you angry. She does an excellent job providing detailed research on the current situation of inequality of domestic unpaid labor. If you are a mom under the age of 40, your head will probably get sore from all of the nodding in agreement. You will probably shout "Amen!" more than once. Only four stars because there are no practical steps to improve equality; mostly just a reminder of where we are and keep the conversation going.
Profile Image for Briana.
651 reviews12 followers
September 8, 2020
All the Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Parenting is one of a couple recent releases about the division of labor within the home and how women married to men are still doing the bulk of housework and childcare—regardless of whether both parents work, whether just the father works, whether just the mother works, etc. So far every book and article I’ve read on this topic has felt worth my time investment, enlightening me as to how sexism can still play out even when couples want to or even believe their partnership is equal. Furthermore, though some of the research in All the Rage might be familiar to anyone who has read up on this topic, the book is not just a repeat of other books. It attempts to extend beyond the home to look at sex and gender in society and potentially explain why women are doing more work at home—whether it’s because of socialization to be nice, stereotypes that women are better carers that women buy into, an attempt to gain power within the home, or something else. So I do recommend All the Rage if you’re interested in this topic but have already read similar books, although it’s not my favorite book on the topic nor where I might recommend one start.

The author’s attempts to bring in wide-ranging research about related topics, not just how labor is divided in the home and what the consequences of that are for women’s health, their marriage, etc. are great for starting to get at the question of why labor division is so unequal, but they also make the book feel a bit disjointed. Even the subheadings are not particularly clear, and the organization of the book was not always obvious to me. I simply went along with the flow of the research and read the information as it was presented to me. Expect to make your own connections between that information and the question of unequal parenting partnerships, as the author does not always make them explicit herself.

I also did not always love the tone of the book, which can get snarky or dismissive towards men at times. I get it. The author—and a lot of women—are ticked off, and I think the tone will actually resonate with a lot of women who are reading the book because they are mad. However, many men are already defensive about this. Tweet a study about how men don’t do equal housework and watch all the replies come rolling in about how the studies are wrong or how “Well, I do tons of work! I do more than my wife!” or “I mow the lawn once a week!” So this tone probably isn’t going to be a hit with any guy who does pick up the book, and I think that’s a flaw if the goal is to make people self-reflect.

Mostly, however, I love that this book is thought-provoking, and not always in the ways readers might like. I’ve read varying reactions to the book on Goodreads (all from women) and they range from women identifying with the feeling of being burdened with nearly all the household work to women being disgusted that other women would “let” this happen to them. A lot of women feel they would “never put up with this,” but the book uncomfortably makes the reader think about why women do. It might be because, studies suggest, both women and men think men are doing half the work when they’re only doing about 35%. People think their relationships are equal when they’re not. Or it might be because women do feel some happiness at being told they’re a “good wife” or “good mother” when they run the household; they’ve been socialized to think that. Or it might be because, as the author puts a bit flippantly, are you really going to get a divorce because your husband—whom you love and who loves you and, you know, does some work sometimes—didn’t change a diaper? Of course it’s not about the diaper, but the point is that that there are kinds of social factors that help women, and men, rationalize women’s being burdened with all the work, and while it’s easy to look at this situation from the outside and say, “That will never happen to me,” the horrifying truth of the book is that it happens all the time, and uprooting life with a divorce is not an easy option for a lot of women.

Related to this point, the idea that women “let” themselves be left with all the work, I like that the book acknowledges that too many times solutions to problems like this put the onus on women to fix sexism and injustice. If women would just do something differently, the theory is, if they would just be assertive enough or ask men to do the chores enough or just…do some magic thing, then men would do more housework and childcare. It shouldn’t work that way. Having to repeatedly ask someone to do work in their own home is labor of its own, and it’s not the solution most women are looking for, particularly when they might be called “nagging” as a result. However, the book does suggest that the couples with the most equal partnerships did have to constantly, actively work at it together—which is at least slightly different from only the woman working at it.

You don’t have to be a parent or even married to find this book interesting and information that might be useful to you. If you want an equal partnership now or in the future or if you’re just interested in feminism or family relationships, I think you’ll get something out of All the Rage.
Profile Image for Mothwing.
842 reviews18 followers
August 4, 2019
Scary stuff. I am so happy that I am raising my child with a woman because I have no time for the bullshit dynamic typical for heterosexual parenting. Like, in what world do you live if you don't have the feeling that you are responsible for your children 24/7? That's what being a parent means.
Not to most heterosexual couples, apparently:

- Parity of childcare tasks is most likely when the mother works full time and the dad is unemployed and at home. PARITY.
- Couples believe that household chores are shared equally (that is to say, both couples are of this opinion) when women do 65% of household chores and men 35%.
- Even in couples where household chores were distributed equally before having a child, after having a child mothers gain 16h of household work per week on top of their usual chores and men 1h. ONE HOUR.
- the default is still that women give up their own needs due to a combination of expectations of themselves, the social construct of motherhood as an eternal giver, and the fact that they are usually brought up to place other people's needs above their own.
- "gender legacy couple"s were equals previous to having a child, but childcare defaults to the woman- every aspect. It's all the "He's happy to do it if I ask" couples. Like that shit would fly in any other area of life! These are the couples with Mums who do all the planning and scheduling and emotional and other invisible labour to facilitate their partner's participation in their own parenting.

This makes me so livid. How can you just give up fatherhood like that?
Why do so many men simply choose to do so?
Parenthood is a gift, and one that so many people would give up so much to have. Of course it is seductive to simply let the person who has the chore of nursing be default responsible, but it is so worth it to fight that default and be a parent.

In my lesbian relationship, my partner breastfeeds and while I did work full-time in the first nine months of my daughter's life, I still did everything I could to be a primary caregiver as well. Of course it would have been easy to leave all the work to her and make the baby her responsibility, but that does not change the fact that she is my responsibility, too, because I AM A PARENT.
We're not immune to the maelstrom, I do far less night time parenting than my wife does and this is not 100% down to the fact that my wife nurses, there's also a lot of "but you work" mixed in. Still, compared to heterosexual couples, we're doing practically the same kind of work.

And those I'd love to sit down and tell them that the things that they take for granted, like "inherent roles" or some nonsense, are conventions and not set in stone. There IS NO MOTHER'S INSTINCT. Or at least not the way people seem to think. There is no magical whatever that is exclusive to only The Mother(TM), not even in the first months. Of course the relationships can be different, just like, you know, relationships between people always differ. It's all learned behaviour, it's all interaction, it's all a human connection like other connections only more so because you're responsible for an entire new human being. As such, the person or people that your infant finds themselves most dependent on is/are going to be their primary caregiver. Period. That can be people of any gender or relationship to the child.

Of course THAT is miraculous, of course THAT is magical, and just because you can explain it doesn't mean it's not still a miracle.

But it does mean that it is worth fighting for.
Profile Image for Brianna .
683 reviews23 followers
September 30, 2020
Men don’t do more because the world has made it difficult for them to do so.

I don’t normally write a book and a half for my reviews, but oof this book lit a quiet rage inside of me. I like to think that I’m pretty luck with my husband – he does the dishes and laundry without complaint and he lets me sleep, in on a Saturday morning and takes the lead with our son. HOWEVER, this book highlights SO MANY things that I couldn’t put into words.

Parental consciousness is the awareness of the needs of children accompanied by the steady process of thinking about those needs. Woman have come to call it the mental load, and in those relatively egalitarian households where men share day care pick up and put away clean laundry, it’s the aspect of childrearing most likely, as Skidmore sociologist Susan Walzer has put it, to “stimulate marital tension between mothers and fathers”.

Scheduling doctor’s appointments, remembering that he needs more diapers at daycare, knowing that it’s time to switch out his clothing to be season and size appropriate, noting developmental milestones, organizing appointments/plans around naptime and meal times. Planning meals and grocery lists. Even getting time to breathe.

They didn’t see the invisible labor that went into moms structuring dads’ time with the kids.

Just ASK for the help. It should be that simple, right? Wrong.

He’s-happy-to-do-it-if-I-ask is yet another task; it’s not a partnership.
Parents may ultimately become less egalitarian in order to minimize cognitive dissonance in relationships where egalitarianism is expected but inequality has forever been the norm.

Basically – it’s easier to just DO it than fight than try to manage an enthusiastic underperforming employee (as the author put it).

This book is well researched and gives a lot of good information – however, I found it lacking in a couple of areas:

*Gender nonconforming parents/non-hetero parents and their roles are not addressed in enough detail
*This book feels focused primarily on middle class white families. We do get moments of information on families of other cultures and (brief) glances in to those of different household socioeconomic statuses – but I’d love further expansion!
*There’s no roadmap (or real plan) for balancing the scales moving forward. Brief suggestions are made regarding things that may be beneficial, but a conclusion of “where do we go from here?” would have been appreciated.

Had these things been better addressed, I would have easily give this five stars, but instead we’re ending at a 3 star rating. I still HIGHLY encourage reading this!
Profile Image for Jeanne.
5 reviews1 follower
July 2, 2019
As a Millennial mother of three currently going through a bitter divorce, this book hit all the notes for me. So many of the things I struggled with in my marriage are illustrated here as issues other women are facing in their own relationships. I found a validation for my feelings, a better understanding of why my ex did the things he did (or didn't do), and felt better in the knowledge that I wasn't alone. Also depressed and, yes, rage at the current state of gender inequality in households across the world. The book does tend to drag on towards the end with more of the same, but this didn't bother me as all I wanted was some solidarity and confirmation that I wasn't crazy for wanting more out of a domestic partner.

In my particular case, I did find the following to be true:
"Australian study shows that men's time doing housework declines as more children are born." This did happen in my particular relationship and it was especially difficult for me as I was working full time and he was the stay at home parent. The more children we had, the more I was doing at home to make up for him doing less.

"Across the life cycle, only the transition from married to widowed, divorced, or separated significantly increases a man's time in unpaid domestic labor."
I do less unpaid domestic labor now that I am separated and living on my own than I did living with my ex.
Profile Image for Liz.
743 reviews
July 9, 2019
Before I started reading this book, I was gnashing my teeth in frustration at my husband's utter detachment from scheduling social activities for us as a family or a couple, despite regularly hanging out with his guy friends. Yet I also realized that we have a much more equitable partnership than many parents, and after reading the book, I can identify some concrete reasons why: 1) I am the breadwinner; 2) I travel internationally and he has no additional help while I'm gone; 3) We never fell into the pattern of "only mom can feed the baby;" and 4) He took 1 month of independent paternity leave with the first kid and even longer joint leave for the second.

Thanks to this relatable, hugely on-point book, I realize just how much of a difference our choices have made. Yet here I am, somehow making excuses for why the not-quite-parity in our marriage is still better than average. True story from last week: I scheduled a kid's doctor's appointment and submitted his contact info, since he'd be taking her to the appointment. A week beforehand, he said "I got an email that they need us to do paperwork." A day beforehand, he said "I just got another email. The paperwork isn't done yet??" Funny how that happens...
Profile Image for Veronica Scully.
164 reviews9 followers
July 8, 2022
I'm glad I found this book, because I could have written it, some segments verbatim.

I think it's a really important read for new parents who may be feeling like the division of household labor is unequal. As well as prospective parents.
Profile Image for Emily.
1,052 reviews13 followers
October 6, 2019
There is a lot to think and get angry about in this book; seeing it all laid out in a few concise chapters is powerful stuff. I hope, but am not at all optimistic, that more dads will get their hands on this and really let it sink in. And I'm also glad it doesn't lay the blame for the problem solely at the feet of dads; the author investigates how U.S. work culture/public policy and women's acceptance of ever higher parenting standards contribute in big ways as well.

I was a little worried that I wouldn't find as much to relate to in here because I'm not a parent, but there's plenty that reminded me of my own childhood and plenty about gender socialization in general that is good food for thought no matter your gender or family/relationship status. Lots of references to Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species, another book I loved that deconstructed so many myths about what women are "hardwired" to do. It may have been centered around the labor of child rearing, but in explaining that it explores so many assumptions about how we live, what we deserve, who we put first, etc, where those come from and how we might push back against them.

One issue I had with the book was its focus on upper-middle class concerns; the author makes a point of noting that the issues she researched, in both academic studies and anecdata, cut across income lines. But the examples kept coming back to things like summer camps and bringing the "right" food to school, stories about mommy groups meeting up at the coffee shop, or portrayals work in terms of career fulfillment and choices that many parents don't have. The occasional examples from lower-income families didn't feel like much of a counterweight against that image of what parenting and jobs look like. I also realized in reading this how much more careful my social circle is about gender language, taking care to be inclusive of different genders/orientations...I felt a bit itchy when she'd write something equating gender with anatomy, or refer to people as "gay" or "straight" because they were in a same- or different-gender relationship. I can't really call that a flaw because it is by design a book about cisgender men and women in mostly hetero relationships, but it bugs me enough to want to give a heads up to other readers.
Profile Image for Scout.
274 reviews1 follower
May 23, 2019
I would recommend this book to anyone, not just current and prospective parents -- as evidenced by the fact that I, a twenty-four-year-old with no immediate plans of starting a family, got a lot out of it.

Be prepared to be distressed and depressed by the facts that Darcy Lockman lays out so methodically. She writes plainly and compellingly, using the results of sociological and psychological studies, countless interviews with parents, and her own personal experiences to make her points.

I'd be very interested to know how many fathers end up reading this book, and what they think of it.
Profile Image for Amanda.
18 reviews1 follower
June 15, 2019
My husband was one of the equal partners interviewed in this book. Even as part of a couple that pushed unusually successfully against many of the deeply rooted structural problems described in Darcy’s book, I was surprised and enlightened to see some experiences I had interpreted as more individual struggles around housework, career and childcare contextualized and framed as part of the bigger problem of gender inequality.
Profile Image for Talitha.
103 reviews2 followers
October 19, 2019
This should be required reading for all parents, or even all adults. Heck, we need a children’s version!! It’s simultaneously relieving to know that some of what you’ve been feeling isn’t “all in your head”, while also enraging that it is actually reality. Hoping that this new and more full awareness of the systems and culture that create unequal relationships in the home will help us find our way to more equal footing.
Profile Image for Elliot Horen.
51 reviews
July 20, 2021
Why gender relations inside the home have resisted the progress made outside of it. A capitvating dissection of the wide gulf between our egalitarian ideals and less-than-equitable practices in partnerships and parenting.
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