Francine Deutsch Book Halving It All Explores Couples Who Make Equally Shared Parenting a Reality

Francine Deutsch's new book, Halving It All: How Equally Shared Parenting Works, has prompted intense media interest by contending that equality based on shared parenting is not only possible but is emerging all around us.

The best way to have it all--both a full family life and a career--is to halve it all, according to Francine M. Deutsch, professor of psychology. Her new book, Halving It All: How Equally Shared Parenting Works, explores this growing trend through the experiences of various working couples. The book casts a skeptical eye on the grim story of inequality that has been told since women found themselves working a second shift at home after their paid jobs. Deutsch contends that equality based on shared parenting is not only possible but is emerging all around us.

Juliet Schor, author of The Overworked American, called Halving It All "a pioneering account of gender equality in America today--when it works, when it doesn't, and how to make the difference. An important contribution to the scholarly literature, but also 'must' reading for anyone who is trying to share parenting equally."

The book uses vivid quotations from Deutsch's interviews with working couples, some who share parenting equally and some who don't. These let Deutsch explore notions of gender equality and ideas of "good mothers" and "good fathers" versus the "good parent." She also presents concrete ways that parents can devise more equal arrangements at home, guided by explicit principles, or based simply on fairness and love.

"Equality exists without magic," Deutsch writes. "Husbands and wives become equal sharers together, fighting, negotiating, and building as they go. The big news is that despite its rarity, equal sharing is not the province of a special elite. Avoiding the pitfalls of a home life built around superwoman or former superwoman, equal sharers are ordinary people simply inventing and reinventing solutions to the dilemmas of modern family life."

Deutsch will read from and sign copies of the book at the Odyssey Bookshop on March 26, the first of several Odyssey events featuring MHC professors.

Media attention to Deutsch's findings has been intense. Redbook ran an excerpt in its March issue, and interviews have been published in nationally syndicated newspapers and in magazines including Working Mother and American Baby. Deutsch is also a keynote speaker at scholarly and professional conferences, has commented on Voice of America, and is slated to appear on a variety of national and regional radio and television programs.

Photograph by Ellen Augarten


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