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Quarterly Essay 75: Men at Work

Australia's Parenthood Trap
Narrated by: Annabel Crabb
Length: 2 hrs and 37 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Gender Issues
5 out of 5 stars (572 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced her pregnancy, the headlines raced around the world. But when Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg became the first prime minister and treasurer duo since the 1970s to take on the roles while bringing up young children, this detail passed largely without notice. Why do we still accept that fathers will be absent? Why do so few men take parental leave in this country? Why is flexible and part-time work still largely a female preserve?

In the past half-century, women have revolutionised the way they work and live. But men’s lives have changed remarkably little. Why? Is it because men don’t want to change? Or is it because, every day in various ways, they are told they shouldn’t?

In Men at Work, Annabel Crabb deploys political observation, workplace research and her characteristic humour and intelligence to argue that 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’s surge into the workplace has been profound over the last century. But it hasn’t been matched by movement in the other direction: while the entrances have been opened to women, the exits are still significantly blocked to men. And if women have benefited from the sentiment that ‘girls can do anything,’ then don’t we similarly owe it to the fathers, mothers and children of the future to ensure that ‘boys can do anything’ means everything from home to work?'

©2019 Annabel Crabb (P)2019 Audible Australia Pty Ltd.

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Culture change

I really enjoyed listening to this essay. I loved that it's in Annabel's own voice and I found her research, information and interviews interesting and thought provoking. I've recommended it to a few people, and have emphasised even if they don't have children, the concept of challenging and changing the status quo and how this is done, is one of the important messages that I took from this essay.

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a great looks at an intrinsic paradigm

loved this essay, with a 9 week old in our house and a wife that has a higher salary then me, it has sparked our thinking and opened discussion.

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The century for men’s liberation

Such an important conversation at the beginning of the century for men’s liberation. Thank you Annabel Crabb and to all the great researchers you draw on.

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super interesting and insightful

made me think about a lot of things I hadn't considered in terms of equality and family balance. definitely worth a listen!

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Well researched and humourous

It was easy listening, very informative and funny. Made me think how much our attitudes towards parental leave lag behind other countries.

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Disappointing Production quality

The essay is great and having it read by the author is always a treat. My only, if fickle, criticism was the production quality. The transition between chapters was especially clunky.

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Should be compulsory listening for all parents

I don't know if I'll ever be able to get my husband to listen to this, his attention span isn't so good... It has, however, struck a massive chord with me and I'm already rethinking our division of childcare, work and housework.
Annabel goes to a lot of effort to explain a hugely complex issue in detail and using varied examples, and not just the “Us vs Norway” one, though that comparison is pretty much unavoidable, as she explains!
Really can’t recommend this enough, to anyone who has, is about to have, or thinking of having children or just anyone who works in Australia - this issue affects all of us to some degree!

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Interesting read

Annabel provides an interesting - if not surprising perspective on men and women in the workforce who are doing their best to juggle the array of parental responsibilities. Annabel highlights situations where men are applauded for attempting tasks that women are expected to perform without recognition or praise, importantly this is done while managing to provide a degree of comedy in the day to day job raising small humans.

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Small quibble from me.

Thank you, appreciated the essay. In the production /presentation you need maybe 2 seconds of space at the end of a chapter and before the next.

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Insightful and visionary

Who knew there was so much more to say about why men don’t take parental leave. Annabelle leaves no Sturm unturned with her wry sense of humour provides insight and mirth. Get those men home and we’ll have happier families, better adjusted kids and get closer to equal pay for women!

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  • Lina
  • 18-09-2019

Annabel rocks

Excellent study of this important social issue from a different point of view which is very significant. Well worth listening to👍

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  • Mrsdztb
  • 10-09-2019

Outstanding

Such a great essay and brilliantly narrated by the author! Fascinating issues and thought provoking