By: Craig D. Nickerson
The year is 1989, and Alice Hector is a lawyer rapidly ascending the ladder of success.’ Robert Young is an architect who was previously involved in several successful business ventures.2 Two years earlier, however, Young’s investments crashed along with the stock market.3 Hector and Young have been married since 1982, they live in New Mexico, and they have two young daughters.” Hector has just landed a job at a prestigious law firm in Miami, so she moves there with the couple’s two daughters, while Young stays in New Mexico for four months to sell the family home and finish several projects.5 Hector hires a live-in nanny to watch the children until she gets home from work.’ When Young joins his family in Miami, he studies for and passes the Florida contractor’s examination.7 Young, however, is computer illiterate and unable to find a job that does not require computer skills!9 Young returns to New Mexico to handle remaining business matters and visits his dying brother in Arkansas.9 He is away from his family for a total of fourteen months between 1990 and 1993.1″
During one 1. Young v. Hector, 740 So. 2d 1153, 1154 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1999). Hector was working for a small law firm in 1987, moved to a prestigious mid-size firm in 1989, and became a partner at one of Florida’s largest firms in 1993. See id 2. See id. 3. See id. Prior to the stock market crash, Young had been quite successful; when the couple was married in 1982, Young’s business ventures included a publishing company and a custom-home building firm. See id. According to Joan Williams, “[i]n its original context, domesticity’s descriptions of men and women served to justify and reproduce its breadwinner/housewife roles by establishing norms that identified successful gender performance with character traits suitable for those roles.” JOAN WILLIAMS, UNBENDING GENDER: WHY FAMILY AND WORK CoNFLICT AND WHAT TO Do ABOUT IT 1 (2000). Young’s failure in the (stock) market, where a male is expected to be successful, was clearly at odds with this model.
To read the entire article, please view it here.