3 ways to reject the holiday goody bag.

I grew up in the 80’s, and still have clear February memories from my elementary school years. I remember picking out a box of brightly-colored pre-fab Valentine’s Day cards from the grocery store. I remember dutifully opening the box while in front of the TV on the evening of February 13th. The paper was flimsy, the edges were poorly perforated, and I had to work slowly to prevent the cards from tearing when I broke them apart. Sometimes there was a corny joke; the fancy ones came with a scratch-and-sniff sticker. …

How Doug Emhoff’s campaign slogan transitions to the every day home.


A recent Washington Post article posited that if Doug Emhoff, husband of Kamala Harris, had to give a slogan for the way he campaigns for his wife, it would be I Got You.

When your wife is running for Vice President of the United States, it seems that I Got You means defending the ticket on Twitter, rushing up on stage to handle a protestor, or offering a hug after a long day of campaigning. But this article got me thinking about what I Got You can mean to men married to women who are not running for Vice President.

Yes. But a few purposeful decisions could have long-term impact.

Photo from iStock

Many people are staying close to home this summer. Travel rules are looser in some places than others, but generally speaking, we will all have more time with our nuclear family than during a typical July or August. Summer camps are closed in our area, and except for the occasional play date, our kids will be home for at least two more months.

Partly because my husband and I are tired of 24/7 cleaning, and partly because my kids can’t use the, “I have a Google Meet call for school,”…

An opportunity to recalibrate the emotional burden

It is easy to see the glass as half empty in our current situation. Especially if you have lost a job or a loved one. And although I’d never go as far to say this overall experience is positive, I do see some glass half full potential for lasting change.

COVID-19 has given every couple an extraordinary opportunity to better understand their domestic space, and the balance of effort within it. And this could be a good thing.

Our Lives Have Changed

Our households have changed dramatically in the past few weeks. Those in the knowledge economy have moved their…

This article updates an earlier piece that I originally posted to Medium in June 2019. Incorporating helpful feedback, I have adjusted some of the vocabulary in that original article.*

I hope you enjoy the new version.

Words Define Expectations

New vocabulary can identify an innovation: smart phone, bingeable, jeggings. Or new vocabulary can articulate something that has always existed, but was not previously named: mansplaining, hangry, time suck. …

And why it matters in the battle for gender equality.

I recently made some travel arrangements for my immediate family — nothing out of the ordinary, just vacation planning. Over the course of three weeks I spoke to a travel agent several times on the phone, and we exchanged a number of emails and texts. When plans were finalized, I sent in my credit card details and she asked for the passport details for our travel party. At the end of the process I got a computer-generated email that read…

“Dear Mr. …

Are we ready for these uncomfortable conversations?

Imagine you invite me over for drinks. You clean your kitchen, pour two glasses of wine, and set out a tray of munchies. I walk in your front door. I skip your kitchen, ignore the munchies and find my way into the dustiest corner of your attic, where I sit down to chat.

This may sound odd, but it’s an appropriate metaphor to describe what happens when I tell people, “I am writing a book about traditional gender stereotypes and household chores.”

We need to redefine our ideal, and our compromise.

New vocabulary can identify an invention or a fresh thing: smart phone, bingeable, jeggings. Or new vocabulary can articulate something that has always existed, but was not previously named: mansplaining, hangry, time suck. These latter concepts have long existed in our culture, but referring to them in casual conversation inevitably entailed a messy explanation before we were armed with the necessary vocabulary.

Before you would say to a friend, “My co-worker is awful — he’s the kind of guy that talks over me all the time. You know what I mean? Even just during hallway talk, like casual conversations, he…

Kate Mangino

Writes about gender balance in the home, and its effects on women’s equality. Check out my newsletter at katemangino.substack.com

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