Maia and Travis

Let’s Skip The Traditional Gender Roles

Skipping Traditional Gender Roles: Maia and Travis

Today’s episode is our first interview about gender roles.

I recently read an article by the science fiction writer David J. Schwartz called Masculinity Is An Anxiety Disorder. It lays out a compelling argument that the elements of masculinity that we men are expected to live up to in Western society are unattainable, and in many cases self-contradictory. Yet we all hold ourselves to this unattainable standard, thereby setting ourselves up for failure.

Of course this goes for women as well. Gender is without question one of the most unexamined and yet prevalent boxes that we all stuff ourselves into. To whatever degree you believe our genitals influence our gender roles, the truth remains that the sheer plethora of behaviors we associate with gender are, to some extent, completely subjective.

Our guests this week, Maia and Travis, allow us to take a gentle look at the issue of gender. These two have a marriage that follows a fairly nontraditional structure, but it’s nothing that you haven’t heard of before. What’s instructive about these two is the ease with which they each take on their nontraditional roles in the family.  Moreover, the genuine happiness and satisfaction they get from knowing they’ve chosen their roles based on their own desires is something we can all learn from.

If you’d like to learn more about Maia and Travis, you can check out their website: Bitteshop. That’s their online children’s store focusing on sustainability and small-batch artisanal brands. Maia’s very well-known Pinterest profile is also worth checking out.

Also, please give our sponsors for today’s episode some love: Little Bird, the independent diamond and engagement ring experts. The best way to buy an engagement ring is with a bird’s-eye view. You can find them at

If you like what we’re up to here at together, please consider supporting our crowdfunding campaign at We’re on a mission to crush shame, and we’re just getting off the ground, so every penny helps. Thank you!

And don’t forget:

Little Bird

  • Zoe Nogues
    Posted at 13:50h, 28 December Reply

    I saved this podcast for a special time when my husband and i could listen to it together. I was very excited to start a conversation about the release of gender roles that our society has placed on everyone from the time we’re born until the day we die. I started this podcast and was interested to know about the wife and husband dynamic of those who break the mold of the traditional gender roles. Not even 10 minutes into this podcast was I very dissapointed. Then when they started talking about how she mocks him for the ballet date he planned for them as well as the way he dresses. What their marriage is representing is more on the line of emotional abuse and a wife who had taken the role of mother and a husband who has lost all desire of individuality because his wife has shot him down too many times. It’s rather offensive that because of her role of dominance over her husband that she is “switching gender roles”. I don’t mean to be so harsh but then for this man to have been shoved down so many times that he now no longer has his own voice, that is really heart breaking. I am sad to know that they were given the idea that their dynamic is healthy in some way.

    The conversation had so many positive ways to go but didn’t even address any key topics about this magnificent point.

    • Erik Newton
      Posted at 16:14h, 28 December Reply

      Thanks for your feedback, Zoe. I can see where you’re coming from, and for sure there were lots of directions I should have taken the conversation. That said, I can only tell you that when I left their home, I was struck by how genuinely happy Maia and Travis each are with the way they live.

      I’m not suggesting that what these two have is a “switching” of roles. You’re right, that would imply that something about men in society that I’m not trying to say.

      I simply mean to say that what Travis and Maia are doing is different than what couples normally do, and that it’s working for them. It may be true that I missed something though, and that Travis is secretly miserable. Until we know for sure, I think we have to take him at his word: this is the life he wants.

      Doesn’t that seem the right way to approach this?

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