In the 1980s, domestic sitcoms on television proliferated with examples of men who performed domestic labor. In response to the women's movement, these “Mr. Mom” sitcoms liberated women from the domestic sphere and enabled men to claim it as their own. This article examines the potential impact of these series’ foregrounding of men and masculinities. In particular, it examines how the domestication of Mr. Moms highlighted the tensions between “new man” ideology persisting from the 1970s and 1980s Reagan-era machismo. The increasingly progressive attitudes toward women's work exhibited by Mr. Mom characters, coupled with the ultimate excision of the wife-mother character, resulted in complex, potentially queer, depictions of masculinity that help reveal feminist and antifeminist anxieties about the changing structure of the American family in the 1980s. This article won the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Women's Caucus Graduate Student Writing Prize in 2016.

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