In the story "Modern Marriages: The Rise Of The Sugar Mama," NPR reports that the number of women who man more than their husbands is increasing, and that for the first time ever among men and women under age 44, more women than men are earning college degrees. The same study from the Pew Research Center found a rise in the number of marriages where the wives’ income tops the husbands, from 4% in 1970 to 22% in 2007.

Now, I write about this as kind of a poster child of this phenomenon. I earn more than my husband right now. My sisters-in-law earn more than my brothers right now. I say right now because one sister-in-law is pregnant and set on becoming a stay-at-home mom, even though she has a masters degree in her field, and my brother doesn’t, and last I heard, she made more than him. But, money isn’t everything.

However, are traditional hetero marriages shifting? Right now, my husband is looking for a full-time job. I currently work full-time. I come home to dinner (almost) on the table. When my husband does his laundry, he does mine too. The past few grocery trips have been done by him.

However, that doesn't mean everything is peachy keen.

The difference between our balance, and what I’ve read in columns like the NPR one, is that when both of us are working, we share the household chores. Some studies show that when both the husband and wife work outside the home, the wife still shoulders more household chores. Now, I don’t know how that compares to the number of hours she spends outside the home.

Additionally, "marriage expert [Stephanie] Coontz says no one should exaggerate women's new economic prowess. They still make 77 cents to a man's dollar, and their earnings can lag over time since women are more likely to cut back to care for children. But this, too, is shifting."

So what is happening to straight marriage among Gen Y? Are the “traditional” roles shifting? And what will happen if they do?

When I was in college, I read Egalia’s Daughters: A Satire of the Sexes at the recommendation of my Philosophy 101 professor, and lovely man who admitted he liked to wear long skirts on occasion (but sadly never wore them to class).

In Egalia’s Daughters, men and women are biologically what we know, but are viewed completely differently. Because women have the power to make life … they have the power. Both in and outside of the home. Child birth is a ceremonial ritual, not a medicalized ordeal. The men raise the children. The men are sex objects. The women are the rulers. But as we’ve seen in our own contemporary Western cultures, absolute power corrupts. Women abuse their power at the expense of the men. And, believe it or not, men, the second sex, organize to revolt against the women, and demand equality.

Of course the book is written in such a way that the reader sympathizes with the lowly men, and is angered by the domineering women. It succeeds at pointing out the flaws in a culture that oppresses one group for the success of another.

Getting back to the real world. Is our Western society one that requires one gender to be dominant over the others? If women do reverse roles with the men, is it at the expense of men? It would be interesting to wonder if trends continue, what Western society will be like in 50 or 100 years. Not just changes in the roles of “men” and “women,” but also if we generally accept that there are more than just the two genders, and where that comes into play. Will we still try to define each group for the ease of stereotypes and expectations, or will the lines continue to be blurred, to the point where no one expect either mom or dad to be the one to stay at home, but always asks the question “will one of you be a stay-at-home parent?”

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