Pages:6 (1726 words)
Document Type:Research Paper
The Gender Leisure Gap
Porter (2014) points out that there is a leisure imbalance between men and women that indicates the continued inequality between the sexes. However, as Codina and Pestana (2019) note, there are time differences in the way men and women experience leisure and in the way they think about the past, present and future. As a result, men and women tend to require different amounts of leisure to maintain a healthy frame of mind. Thus, Codina and Pestana (2019) argue that women actually need less leisure time than men because women tend to get more out of a little leisure time than men get out of a lot of leisure time. In other words, women are generally more efficient in the way they use their leisure time than men are, which allows them to be comfortable with less leisure time. Even if they had more time to allocate towards “leisure” activities it would likely not be allocated in the same way men allocate time to leisure. What all this indicates is that the gender leisure gap is really just an expression of the much wider overall gender gap in particular—i.e., that men and women really are different psychologically, emotionally, physically and socially. Thus, with regards to the question, “Is leisure as easy for women as it is for men?” the answer is that it is actually easier for women to engage in leisure—not harder—and that the reality is that they do not need to engage in leisure in the same way that men do.
The point that Codina and Pestana (2019) make stems from their own research into this issue. Their argument comes from the findings of their own study of nearly 900 male and female participants, in which they used a questionnaire about leisure experience and the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory to measure the data. Codina and Pestana (2019) found that “men have more leisure time, but women have a more positive leisure experience and time perspectives than men” (p. 2513). Essentially, they noted that men require more leisure time because they do not have the capabilities that women have to use it efficiently for rejuvenation. Codina and Pestana (2019) concluded that “women enjoy themselves more with less available leisure time and are more positive with regard to time orientations” (p. 2513). Men, on the other hand, tend to require substantial time in their leisure activities to help them unwind, relax and be able to return to their work refreshed and recharged.
But should women be pursuing more leisure time as Porter (2014) suggests? Or should they be content with what they have, as Codina and Pestana (2019) suggest is the case? The issue comes down really to what is most natural for men and for women. If one is trying to politicize the issue and turn it into a matter of equality from a political point of view, one is likely to be missing the point that Codina and Pestana (2019) make: men and women have different make-ups all the way around. It would not make sense for women to try to be equal to men in every way, shape…
…and it goes against common sense to arbitrarily insist that they experience life in the same ways. If women are content with less so-called “leisure” time than men, what is the harm? How is leisure even to be defined in these cases? Men and women are likely to have completely different conceptions of what constitutes leisure in the first place. They may take advantage of leisure in different ways as well. Why do they need to engage in leisure in the same manner? For the sake of some egalitarian principle that comes from the Age of Enlightenment?—itself an outdated and outmoded philosophical era rooted in naturalism?
The gender leisure gap is essentially an artificial construct meant to stir up antagonism between the sexes in a way that is completely unnecessary. Men and women need to realize now more than ever that they serve complementary roles—not necessarily the same roles. The focus of researchers should be on how the two genders can complement one another rather than on how one gender is getting more advantages than the other.
In conclusion, research into the leisure gap has shown that men and women experience leisure differently. Moreover when there is gender equality, equal leisure time among the genders tends to lead to fewer children in the family. Fewer children in the family leads to an aging population, which has a whole host of negative outcomes for society. Rather than fretting about a gender leisure gap it would be better if society set aside its obsession with political correctness and focused more on how the genders can…
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