Guy Tai Shanghai
Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 9:00AM
Dads on the Air in 2018, International Perspectives, Male-Friendly Services, Men's Groups, Relationships

With special guest:

The number of American men who have completely left the workforce to raise children has more than doubled over the past decade according to a New York Times report on census data. And many others serve as primary caretakers for their families while maintaining freelance or part-time jobs.

This situation is reflected in cosmopolitan cities around the world where expat wives are taking up new jobs and bringing with them their families. In previous times it was usually the men who arrived in foreign cities to start work and their wives were labelled Tai Tais or trailing wives. These Tai Tais were unlikely to find work because of visa restrictions and language barriers so they dedicated themselves to running the home, perhaps with some domestic help.

More recently it is the husbands arriving with their working wives who find themselves in this situation and in Shanghai they decided to get together and call themselves Guy Tais. This led to the formation of an association, Guy Tai Shanghai.

Our guest today originally came from a farm in Iowa in the United States but up until recently he was in Shanghai and a Guy Tai. Eric is quite at home in this situation where he sees his role as looking after the children, managing the home help and when all is quiet on the home front catching up with other Guy Tais.

Essentially the Association is a way for the Guy Tais to connect in a foreign city and arrange boy type outings. Eric tells us that some of the most popular outings organised for the group were to factories. With Shanghai being one of the world’s major manufacturing hubs there was plenty to choose from.

Eric has spent a lot of time away from home and has some good suggestions on what people who find themselves in this situation should look for. It is a situation that is only going to become more common and done properly could be a lot of fun. In Shanghai Eric was surprised when a local Chinese National applied to join the group of expats! He was welcomed to join the party. This program has a definite international aspect and our guest is a lot of fun.

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson has worked and travelled in over 80 countries. He is now in Australia where his wife is a lawyer with an international law firm. Eric has a desire to make a positive difference in terms of development in less-rich countries. He is part of the “gig economy” with his particular specialties being providing assistance on making grant applications right through to the award, project implementation in developing countries. Eric also works in corporate technology and communications. Before living in Shanghai and coming to Sydney Eric lived in Paris for ten years.

Song selections by our guest: No Roots by Alice Merton & Modern Jesus by Portugal. The Man

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