Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

“The Children Of Working Mothers Are Often More Resourceful and Self-Sufficient Because They’ve Been Encouraged To Be.”

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This is an interview view with Leslie Bennetts about women who give up their jobs to stay home and take care of their children. Bennetts asserts that this is a terrible idea with many financial and psychological drawbacks. She believes that women who give up their jobs have found a solution for the short-term that causes a major problem later in life. She also brings up how hard it is to get back into the workforce after staying home for years. Bennetts asserts that working women are happier and healthier. Girls are brought up to believe we need a man and he will take care of us, even though the statistics showing the amount of working women and unmarried women prove this fairy tale to be false. She explains that the (about) fifteen years a woman spends mothering a child and working a job may be stressful, but in the long run it’s less stressful and the benefits increase. Another topic brought up is that stay at home mothers who do nothing but dote on their children are raising them with a negative image of how women should be and making the children less self-sufficient.

I love that she brought up the myth that women can’t have a career and a family. The media tells us that men can juggle huge careers along with families, and often a mistress on the side (Note: I’m not saying I believe most men are cheaters, but if I were to believe everything the media tells me then I would believe this.). Yet, the media asserts that people who happen to have vaginas have the crippling inability to multi-task? That stereotype never made sense to me and movies that are supposed to be empowering (see: I Don’t Know How She Does It) continue to reinforce it. At one point Bennetts says, “Moreover, women are living longer these days, so that marriage is coming to represent just a segment of a woman’s life.” I love how she put that. I’ve never thought about it before, but it’s completely true. Along with our idea that a marriage is just a career-focused powerful husband and a docile domestic wife, our idea of marriage being forever is changing. I strongly support and agree with her belief that how much you love your kids and how devoted to them you are has nothing to do with whether or not you have a job. I loved this interview. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve read in this class and I honestly did not expect to be that into it. With almost every sentence Leslie said I was thinking, “Yes! Exactly! That’s exactly how it should be! That’s exactly how I feel.”


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