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Home v. Work: Child Rearing not Worthy of Time and Talents of Intelligent Humans

Annie

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Hey there's a book out:

http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/Books/story?id=2067008&page=1

The wingnuts are not all dead:

Excerpt: 'Get to Work'
Linda Hirshman Urges Women to 'Choose Their Choice' and Work

June 13, 1006— - Author Linda R. Hirshman doesn't believe that staying home leads to a good life for women.

For too long, she says, women have been forced to return to the home because of limited support from their husbands and the government, but mostly to maintain the 'illusion" that they have a choice.

In "Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World," she argues that a new revolution is needed to reform the sexual politics of family and to make women realize that full participation in the work force and the public sphere is their only path to becoming self-actualized human beings.

You can read an excerpt from the book below.

"Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World"

If Betty Friedan had just lived a little longer. We are about to restart the revolution. But now we have to do it without her.

For twenty-five years, she watched as the backlash generation slowly walked away from the promise of a better life. Women -- whether they stay home or, like most women, just carry the responsibility for home to work and back -- are homeward bound. Their husbands won't carry enough of the household to enable them to succeed fully in the public world. Glass ceiling? The thickest glass ceiling is at home.

Their bosses, who are mostly someone else's husband, won't do the job their own husbands turned down, so there is no employer day care and there are no government tax breaks. Look deeply and you will see that liberal and conservative commentators largely agree that ideally women belong at home.

And women say they choose this fate, and the feminist movement backs them up.

"Choice feminism," the shadowy remnant of the original movement, tells women that their choices, everyone's choices, the incredibly constrained "choices" they made, are good choices. Everyone says if feminism failed it was because it was too radical. But we know--and surely the real radical, Betty Friedan, knew--that it wasn't because feminism was too radical. It was because feminism was not radical enough. A movement that stands for everything ultimately stands for nothing...
Lots and lots more...

When I got married, I planned on it being forever. I chose not to persue a law degree, it seemed a good idea at the time. When I had children, I left a managerial position at the phone company, working on assigning future area codes to MSA's. We didn't require the salary, had set our priorities prior to marriage.

I stayed home for 14 years. I was active in politics, community work, PTA. I was lucky to have quite a circle of friends from childhood, that were also stay-at-home moms. I also had many friends that were in law, medicine, and education that chose day care for their kids. Now all of our children are raised, at least to being out of high school. Some are married with children of their own. Not one of the mom's that stayed home, all were college grads some with advanced professional degrees, regreted their choice. They acknowledge they would have gone further career-wise if they'd chosen differently.

My friends that opted day care, well 2 out of 5 have lingering problems with their adult children. They blame the schools/day care, not their choices. I empathize, but wonder about those weekend shopping trips the parents made, leaving the kids at home with a babysitter, cause it's 'hard' to get errands done with kids. I do remember at the time wondering how they could take 'couple vacations' leaving the kids with sitter or grandparents, when they had so little time with the kids to begin with?

I didn't feel 'neglectful' when I did volunteer activities or went out on a 'date' with my husband, as I spent hundreds of hours playing games, kissing boo boos, at the park, at their schools, and reading to them. Oh yeah, there were the hours of mind numbing 'nothingness' when they were squabbling, but even those hours were used to teach them problem solving.

Now the 3 out of 5 that maintain good relations with their adult children, they put a high priority on spending their after work hours, vacations, and weekends with their kids. One of them went part-time during the kids high school years, wanting to be able to keep and eye on them.

I think both working and stay at home moms can have good relations with their kids, but my guess is that a successful working mom has much less alone time, but does escape much of the 'angst' of hours of 'lack of adult' hours.
 

jillian

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Kathianne said:
I think both working and stay at home moms can have good relations with their kids, but my guess is that a successful working mom has much less alone time, but does escape much of the 'angst' of hours of 'lack of adult' hours.

Exactly!! The one thing that seems to go by the wayside, at least for me, is housekeeping. That has to be a joint effort. But I figure my son won't complain that things get out of hand from time to time and would rather have more of my company when we're all at home. :beer:
 

dmp

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$10 says Linda Hirshman is LOUSY in bed.
 

5stringJeff

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My wife chose to stay at home, even though it was a financial hit for the household, because, GASP, she wanted to experience motherhood to the fullest! Why don't feminazis get it? Many women - dare I say, most - desire to be mothers at some level.
 

5stringJeff

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dmp said:
$10 says Linda Hirshman is LOUSY in bed.

$20 says she's batting for the other team.
 

Bonnie

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Essentially Hirshman is saying the only choice is working, well so much for women actually having a choice then.

Most moms I know work because they have to.. to supplement hubby's income so their kids can live in better neighborhoods and attend better schools. I can also state that most of them would give their right arms to be able to stay home and devote more time to their husbands and kids. Hirshman also states that husbands are making their wives stay at home, LOL I can say again most husbands I know fully support their wives working to the point of kicking them out of bed in the morning to do so.
 

jillian

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5stringJeff said:
My wife chose to stay at home, even though it was a financial hit for the household, because, GASP, she wanted to experience motherhood to the fullest! Why don't feminazis get it? Many women - dare I say, most - desire to be mothers at some level.

Working doesn't make one a "feminazi".
*Edit* It's about choice. Your wife made one choice, I made another. I don't see where I don't experience "motherhood to the fullest". BTW, I very much wanted to be a mother. That doesn't mean my ability/desire to work dried up.
 

dmp

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I can't believe ANY woman on this forum would conclude that kids having a stay-at-home mom isn't the BEST solution. 2-working-families 'can' work, I suppose, but is not ideal.
 

5stringJeff

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jillian said:
Working doesn't make one a "feminazi".

That's not what I was saying. I was referring to the author of the piece, who seems to suggest that all women must work in order to advance the radical feminist agenda.
 

Bonnie

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dmp said:
$10 says Linda Hirshman is LOUSY in bed.


Lol, can't keep em happy in the sheets huh?
 

The ClayTaurus

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dmp said:
I can't believe ANY woman on this forum would conclude that kids having a stay-at-home mom isn't the BEST solution. 2-working-families 'can' work, I suppose, but is not ideal.
The BEST solution would be both parents staying at home. Hooray lottery winnings!
 

jillian

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dmp said:
I can't believe ANY woman on this forum would conclude that kids having a stay-at-home mom isn't the BEST solution. 2-working-families 'can' work, I suppose, but is not ideal.

You'd "believe" wrong. :)
 

Bonnie

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5stringJeff said:
That's not what I was saying. I was referring to the author of the piece, who seems to suggest that all women must work in order to advance the radical feminist agenda.

That is precisely what she and other feminists have always believed, that and that women are not worth anything unless they are walking around like baracudas wearing power suits.
 

dmp

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jillian said:
You'd "believe" wrong. :)


Then you need help, little sister.

All this female-machismo about "I can be JUST AS GOOD of a Mommy working Full-time" is pure BS.
 

5stringJeff

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The ClayTaurus said:
The BEST solution would be both parents staying at home. Hooray lottery winnings!

Share.
 
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dmp

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The ClayTaurus said:
The BEST solution would be both parents staying at home. Hooray lottery winnings!


Staying-at-home tends to wear-down Men. Men are Hunters by nature...and NEED to have a 'providing' purpose.
 

The ClayTaurus

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dmp said:
Staying-at-home tends to wear-down Men. Men are Hunters by nature...and NEED to have a 'providing' purpose.
Eh. I'll just go Ted Nugent with my lottery winnings. :thup:
 

Bonnie

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jillian said:
You'd "believe" wrong. :)

For feminism to really be true to it's core, then any choice a woman makes, be it to stay home or work should be celebrated by feminists, instead they see only one option that women need to do to be whole as a person.
 

jillian

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dmp said:
Staying-at-home tends to wear-down Men. Men are Hunters by nature...and NEED to have a 'providing' purpose.

You don't really believe that, do you?
 

The ClayTaurus

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Bonnie said:
For feminism to really be true to it's core, then any choice a woman makes, be it to stay home or work should be celebrated by feminists, instead they see only one option that women need to do to be whole as a person.
Exactly. I don't have any problem with women wanting to work. I have a problem with stay-at-home women scoffing at working moms or working moms scoffing at stay-at-homes.
 

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