Journalist and author Annabel Crabb’s new Quarterly Essay titled “Men At Work: Australia’s Parenthood Trap”, she highlights the contrasting reactions to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison both juggling their roles as parents. She questions the way male leaders are treated compared to their female counterparts, asking: why do we accept that fathers will be absent? Why are female leaders being asked how they juggle their roles when key male figures with small children are never asked about it?
In her earlier book [The Wife Drought: Why Women Need Wives and Men Need Lives], Annabel observed that feminism had fundamentally changed the way women conduct their lives. But for men, nothing had changed. They still operated in precisely the same manner: marrying, having children and trotting off to work according to the 9-to-5 demands of business and for the most part enjoying better pay and conditions than their wives or female colleagues. She argued men would benefit enormously from spending more time with the children instead of missing out on this precious time.
In her latest work Annabel argues gender equity cannot be achieved “until men are as free to leave the workplace (when their lives demand it) as women are to enter it”. Women have benefited from the sentiment that ‘girls can do anything,’ then surely we should ensure that ‘boys can do anything’ means everything from home to work.