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The New York Times had an interesting story over the weekend about how millennials, popularly perceived as favoring "a new national consensus" toward gender equality, may in fact have different and divergent views of the subject.

One of the reasons is that millennials are a large group, made up of people from aged 17 to 34, "a group varied by race, ethnicity, religion, income, education and life experience." They don't all think alike.

And, "as a set of reports released Friday by the Council on Contemporary Families reveals, fewer of the youngest millennials, those aged 18 to 25, support egalitarian family arrangements than did the same age group 20 years earlier."

According to the story, "In 1994, only 42 percent of high school seniors agreed that the best family was one where the man was the main income earner and the woman took care of the home. But in 2014, 58 percent of seniors said they preferred that arrangement. In 1994, fewer than 30 percent of high school seniors thought 'the husband should make all the important decisions in the family.' By 2014, nearly 40 percent subscribed to that premise."

The story goes on: "It’s not just the youngest millennials who seem resistant to continuing the gender revolution. Overall, Americans aged 18 to 34 are less comfortable than their elders with the idea of women holding roles historically held by men. And millennial men are significantly more likely than Gen X or baby boomer men to say that society has already made all the changes needed to create equality in the workplace."

You can read the entire piece here.
KC's View:
The headline on the Times piece read, provocatively, "Do Millennial Men Want Stay-at-Home Wives?"

I must admit that when I saw the headline, even before I read the piece, I thought to myself, who the hell cares what millennial men want their wives to do? I'm a lot more interested in what women want.

Here's what I think. (It also is what my daughter thinks, and I believe, if I've done my job right, it is what my millennial sons think.) Equality means that no matter what your gender (or anything else for that matter), you ought to be able to decide how you want to live your life. You want to work full-time, do it. You want to have kids and stay home with them, fine. If you want to get married and find some sort of mutually agreeable hybrid, no problem. Everybody has the right to seek fulfillment however they want to, and everybody has the right to make sacrifices - or decide not to - as related to their personal and professional lives.

I do think that it is instructive that millennial women seem a lot less inclined to move toward what might be thought of traditional gender roles. And I find it laughable that anyone would think that "society has already made all the changes needed to create equality in the workplace."

I read pieces like this, and I get worried that somehow we're moving backward. This strikes me as unacceptable.