This is a couple of days old, but I just had to comment on this New York Times Op-Ed piece by Linda Hirshman, titled ever so subtly, “Off to Work She Should Go.” Come on, tell us what you really think women should do with their own lives.
Basically, Hirshman was able to deny that more women wanted to stay at home to raise their children by convincing herself that it was only due to the recession. Now there is a study out showing that even though the recession is over, those women are still stay-at-homes.
In order to save herself from cognitive dissonance, she has invented a new explanation: women are not working because it would put their family into a higher tax bracket. Yeah. That’s it.
Her conclusion is a call to action:
Labor statistics are always couched in such dry language, but it reveals a powerful reality: working mothers, rich and poor, struggle with their competing commitments. Now that we have seen the reality, it is time to address it.
Interestingly, addressing it for her does not mean creating a world that supports a woman in the life that she chooses as best for herself and her family. In her mind, a woman only stays at home because the hurdles blocking her from what she really wants – to work – are too high.
I have to laugh at this. Just recently we were having a bit of a problem with our oldest son respecting my authority. He was challenging me when my husband was not home. Bob and I talked about what we were going to do if I could not regain control over him. He suggested that I to go to work so he can stay home. With the degree and skill set I have, and the drive, I could probably earn as much as he does, if I went back to work, he suggested. Although, we have no way to know if that is true.
The funny thing is, when I did start to get things back under control here at home, he let me know that the invitation is still open. He would not mind trying the homeschool dad role, while I go back to work. Here I have an open opportunity to get back into the working world, but I do not want any part of it.
One thing that struck me when I was reading this is that women who work actually need women who stay home. The quality of schools and child care programs is only as good as the parents who can volunteer to make them the best place possible.
That doesn’t really apply to me, obviously, since I homeschool.
I thought the Mommy Wars were supposed to be over. We women were supposed to respect each other’s choices.
I guess that only applies to those of us on the stay-at-home side.
There’s no respect in this line:
Should we care if women leave the work force? Yes, because participation in public life allows women to use their talents and to powerfully affect society.
Really? I can think of no job that will allow me to more powerfully affect society than I can by raising the next generation with the values that are lacking in our society today.
But that’s just me.