I do enjoy audio books occasionally. They are great to listen to before going to bed:) So recently I stumbled across a book out of my childhood, which my Mom used to read to me: the story of Mary Poppins; and listened to Chapter 1.
For those who don't know or remember, the book describes late Victorian or probably early Edwardian England and the adventures of the Banks family and their magical nanny, Mary Poppins. The Bankses are quite well off by our standards. They employ a nanny, a cook, a maid and a gardener. In fact, the book begins after their latest nanny left them which creates a bit of drama for Mrs Banks because the two other female servants resent taking care of the kids (and there are 4 of them) and Heavens forbid she would do it herself. In fact, she doesn't even eat dinner with the children or puts them to bed or anything. Really, any modern stay-at-home mother with several kids works much harder than Mrs Banks ever did in her whole life, unless you count knitting and tea visits as work.
And what about Mr Banks? He has an office job, 6 days a week. It's interesting that when I tried to find information online about Edwardian working hours I came across stories of suffragettes instead. We are always supposed to think about how tough the lives of women used to be, but never a peep about men. I have a general idea that their workweeks were about 60 hours, that they enjoyed little to none vacation and that there was no official retirement age. Mr Banks could look forward to dying at his job.
And he came from a well-off family. Lower class men worked in coal mines, built railways, did all sorts of hard labour and were cannon fodder in any war. Just think of all these guys executed by their own for being shell-shocked in WWI. Not that junior officers fared much better anyway. Lower class women typically had it harder than a Mrs Banks but only because they would bear more children without domestic help. Yet, from what I've heard, they mostly used their own kids as help and many hardly did anything much at all once children grew older.
It's an amazing propaganda achievement that women were persuaded to exchange their lives for that of a Mr Banks or any other man. And while modern men spend countless hours complaining about feminism and the loss of the patriarchal authority they forget that they have also lost a lot of responsibility. Millennial men will have a 25 hours working week and spend the rest of the day with their kids while the wifey shares the breadwinning responsibility at some dusty office or worse.
So yes, guys have benefited from feminism much more that they want us women to think, but strangely enough, they are still not content with the result. Just like women can't have it both ways, neither can men...