You wouldn’t guess it from Ben Affleck’s Oscar speech shout-out to wife Jennifer Garner — which sounded like he was laying her off after ten years of hard marital labor — but he and Garner have the kind of gender-role-fluid marriage that makes progressives swoon.
Writing in The End of Men, Hanna Rosin calls such arrangements “seesaw” marriages, in which each partner takes turn playing homemaker and breadwinner, depending on who’s making more money, got better benefits, able to work from home, working on a second degree, etc. In seesaw marriages, no one "has it all at once," as Madeleine Albright recently put it, but everyone gets to do everything. The most famous example currently resides in the White House and, coincidentally, tele-presented Affleck that Oscar!
So after a busy couple years becoming a serious director and starring in Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder, Affleck is down-shifting his end of the marital seesaw into homemaker mode, a process we call “leaning out.”
“I'm going to take on some more of the burden,” Affleck told Us Weekly. “There's going to be a little Mr. Mom action and I'm going to get back in the ring.” "She's got a couple movies coming up," he added.
Previously, Garner’s acting career had taken a backseat to raising their three kids, Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel.
"I definitely work less because Ben is so busy but we have three kids, that's just part of the deal. I want to be a mom," she told the Telegraph. "I'm happy for him that he's as energized about work right now as he is. He should be out there doing it. That's just what makes sense for our family."
Now Ben’s at home, Jennifer’s end of the plank is going up, up, up! With Ben's blessing, of course.
“Ben's always saying, 'You need to work, it's a part of you and you're a different person when you're working, '” Garner said in the same interview. “I've reserved this summer [for work]. It's mine.”
As for what's in store for Affleck, leaning out can do wonders for the soul, if today's New York Times Magazine profile of "disgraced former congressman" Anthony Weiner is to be believed. Previously one half of a two-breadwinner power couple with Hilary Clinton senior staffer Huma Abedin, Weiner went into full-on Mr. Mom mode post-scandal: "going to the park with [son] Jordan; picking up his wife’s dry cleaning and doing the grocery shopping; eating at his brother Jason’s two restaurants in the neighborhood.”
According to friends and family, “the post-scandal Weiner, the diaper-changing Weiner,” — who also happens to be the in-therapy Weiner — is more introspective and less belligerent. “There was definitely a douchiness about him that I just don’t really see anymore,” his brother Jason said.
“I’m really trying hard to let things come to me a little bit more and be less about leaning in to every element of my life,” Weiner told the Times (emphasis ours). “And I think I’m a better person for that reason. It allows thoughts to breathe a little bit more.”
Most Viewed Stories
Mary-Kate Olsen Strains Every Muscle in Her Face in an Attempt to Smile
The Fashion Executive Who Doesn’t Wear Underwear on Dates
25 Famous Women on Being Alone
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Prince George Has No Time for Justin Trudeau’s High Fives
How Angelina Jolie Won the First Big Battle in Her Divorce
It’s Time to Get Over Your White Feelings and Start Taking Action for Black Lives
2009 Called — It Wants Its Vogue-Versus-Bloggers Fight Back.
Former Miss Universe Becomes U.S. Citizen So She Can Vote Against Trump
Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of September 26
From Our Partners
Who What Wear
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Love and War FeaturesAva DuVernay on Hollywood Racism, Modern-Day Slavery, and Why She’s Still an Optimist
The director, whose new documentary The 13th chronicles America’s history of racial subjugation, talks to Rebecca Traister about Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the modern criminal-justice system.What No One Tells Couples Trying to Conceive
It helps to be rich.The Hidden Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race
A segregated unit of mathematicians born of desperation during World War II became the secret to NASA’s success.Slut-Shaming Squids Are Everywhere
The “Bermuda Square” comic strip is back.Santigold’s New Video Is the Result of a Spontaneous Run-in With Kara Walker
The collaboration that dreams are made of.Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield Spotted Together Again, Love Might Be Real
They could be back together ahh!Teen, Forced to Go on Vacation With Her Family, Calls 911
The logical decision.Report: Hearst Fired Seventeen EIC Michelle Tan During Her Maternity Leave
Tan had been at the magazine for about two years.Good Morning America Host Amy Robach Apologizes for Saying ‘Colored People’ on Air
She quickly apologized.Unknown NFL Player Tries to Get Attention by Asking Aly Raisman Out in Video
That’s one way to do it.
Marissa Cooper is poised for a comeback ... maybe.California Votes to Remove Time Limit on Prosecuting Rape Cases
In light of the Bill Cosby case.Beyoncé’s Behind-the-Scenes Lemonade Photos Belong in a Museum
She had the "Boycott Beyoncé" sign already in formation on set.The Rise of the Male Celebrity Full-Frontal
An ex-publicist explains.Gabby Douglas Will Be a Miss America Judge
The gold-medal gymnast will help choose the 2017 pageant winner.Camille Becerra’s Photo Diary of Rockaway Beach
An ideal trip to add and cross off your summer bucket list.Sorry Nerds, Ian McKellen Won’t Officiate Your Expensive Lord of the Rings–Themed Wedding
Not even for $1.5 million.Miles Teller Is Still Upset About Being Called a Dick
He wants to set the record straight.Why Parents Shouldn’t Talk About Weight With Their Teens
New guidelines seek to banish weight talk.UVA Student Assaulted at Knifepoint During Orientation Weekend
But some students weren't notified until 24 hours later.