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by Paul Raeburn
The author, chief media critic for the Knight Science Journalism Tracker site at MIT, traces the historical roots of gender-based division of labor, noting the origins of food gathering, protection and cooking and how those duties remained entrenched through tens of thousands of years. He argues that the combination of this long precedent coupled with increased pressure to be an equal partner at home has led to the creation of a “male mystique” that leaves many men pressured to be all things to all people—a paradigm as damaging as the “feminine mystique.” Raeburn considers how the male presence can sculpt a newborn and how the father is, in turn, also sculpted by the infant.
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