Wednesday, June 9, 2010

TI Liveblogging from the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Playground

The hundreds of centers for the study of women and gender on college campuses have their work cut out for them. One Tuesdays, in our role as grandparents, TBW (the beautiful wife) and I spend the day with Little Julia (almost four) and her older brother Hunter (almost six).

Palo Alto is a children’s paradise, with museums, a zoo, and wonderful playgrounds. On Tuesday morning we often spend the first hour in the museum followed with an hour in the park.

On May 8, 2010, I did a head count in both locations. Inside were four men (three grandfathers including me) and one father (or male partner), as against with twenty-five women, of whom some four or five were Spanish-speaking nannies. Outside the ratio was slightly different, two men and about thirty women, of whom seven-eight were nannies.

The data for May 8 is roughly in line with a typical Tuesday. From observation, most mommies appeared to be in their thirties. I took the liberty of asking a few about the overwhelming presence of women over men with all the little kiddies. The replies indicated that steeply graduated personal income taxes, paying federal and state income taxes at their spouse’s top marginal rate, Social Security and Medicare taxes, day care, and substitute house and yard maintenance costs vitiated any financial benefit of a second income. Some also wanted to spend time at home with their little ones, having postponed starting a family until their thirties.

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