This makes me so mad I don't know if I can even put my thoughts into coherent sentences. The gall some people have! Some people have apparently forgotten the whole reason women fought for equal rights: so women would have the right to choose whether or not they wanted to work outside the home!
Okay, the gist of the article is this: some professor named Linda Hirschman has written a book in which she asserts educated women are making a grave mistake by becoming stay-at-home moms. She says they can't possibly be satisfied by giving up their careers, and women who claim that they've never wanted to be anything but a homemaker are basically lying and fooling themselves.
You know, I just now remembered that in high school one of my classmates made this same claim--that women have an obligation to work. I was so stunned that someone would make a comment like that that I couldn't even respond, and I find myself in the same position now. It's just such an absurd, ridiculous, and offensive statement that all the arguments against it seem way too obvious to outline.
I feel doubly affronted, because Hirschman's claim is not just a direct criticism of my choices, but of my mother's as well--even more of a criticism of her than of me, in fact. I've always wanted to be a writer and a teacher, and I knew I wanted to be in the classroom, although I knew I wouldn't be there for the whole of my working years and would eventually be at home with my kids. But my mom is one of those women for whom Hirschman apparently has no respect: a woman who desired nthing else than to put her life into her family. Yeah, gosh, what a mistake--to want to dedicate yourself to raising your children, being there for them whenever they need you, supporting your husband and taking care of him and the home you share. I can say, as a child of a stay-at-home mom, that the security I felt knowing my mom was always there for me played a direct role in making my child as happy as it was. I always knew she was available in case I got hurt or sick at school; she was was always there when I came home in the afternoon to make me a snack and ask how my day was and listen to my lame school stories. When I was in a play at school or had a choir concert, she didn't have to juggle work or beg off with a "I promise I'll come to the next one, honey!" She was always there, and not many of my friends could say the same.
"Don't give it more time than it deserves," my husband just told me. He's right. This kind of crap naturally makes me want to go face-to-face with this chick and tell her off, but what's the point, really? She's not going to listen to me, because, in her eyes, I'm apparently missing a few screws--why else would an educated woman like myself choose to give up a successful teaching career for a shaky career that lets me stay home? But before I sign off, one last comment: make no mistake, I have nothing but respect for women who have to work. Sometimes putting your kids first means having to work outside the home, and I totally understand that. I'll admit I don't understand people who want to work rather than stay home and raise their kids, but hey, just because I don't understand it doesn't mean I'm going to knock it. Women's lib was about letting you make that choice, so you go ahead and make it however you want, just as I have. Just don't follow this woman's poor lead and look down on those of us who ahve chosen the home as our office.
And so we come to the end…
8 months ago