Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Stay At Home, Mom?

1 Comment

So, again, I have an older edition of the text, so there may be an essay pertaining to the following, however, there is nothing particularly relevant in my version. Nonetheless, I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss my own personal bias–a common one, in fact–toward and against women who opt out of the workplace. Feminism everywhere has spent decades on establishing the grounds for women to “escape” the confines of their kitchens and homes and pursue careers and lifestyles that were once unobtainable. The real issue isn’t the home itself, though; the issue has always fallen in the woman’s right to choose the sort of living that is befitting to her. I know that I myself cringe at the thought of stay-at-home mothers. It’s almost as though they are “getting off easy,” or simply not competent or eloquent enough to have a “respectful” position in the workplace. I scouted about on the internet a bit, scouring several blogs and fascinating articles, only to discover that I was not alone in my bias. Women everywhere feel the same disdain towards the domestically inclined members of our ranks. Earlier this year, Hilary Rosen, a Democratic lobbyist made the comment (regarding Ann Romney), “Ann has never worked a day in her life.” After personal reflection and a bit of research, I still can’t determine exactly what leads me to assume that women who opt to spend their time raising their children and up-keeping the home are somehow less intelligent or capable. Our society has glorified the ”SUPERMOM”–The woman who can leap spreadsheets and tall, nonfat lattes in a single bound, all while swathed in a tiny, pencil skirt, AND still have time for martinis with coworkers after hours. The woman who only makes time to juggle her family half as efficiently as her career. This image has convinced me and many others, somehow, that if a woman can be charismatic, powerful, successful, and charming, then she shouldn’t be wasting her time trying to raise a family. There are more important things she could be doing with her time. Just as there is a legitimate guilt present in a lot of women who either choose or have little choice about work taking time away from her family, there may be equal guilt in the woman who is assumed to be “throwing away her life” by devoting her talents to her family. So, essentially, my question is: What exactly is wrong with being a stay-at-home mother? Why does our culture see it as “weak” or “easy?” Is the common underlying bias simply a defense against all the work that prior feminists put into integrating women INTO the workplace, or a response to the envy that not every woman has the option to stay at home throughout the day with their roost?

Any ideas?



One thought on “Stay At Home, Mom?

  1. i agree with you. i don’t believe that being a stay at home mom is an easy choice or a weakness. it is, perhaps a sign of privilege, especially in Ann Romney’s case. Raising four children and being available for them, constantly, is difficult, tiring work that requires constant problem-solving and ever-evolving challenges. parenting well is a skill. i might prefer to stay at home if i had that economic choice. then again, it might bore me senseless. many SAHM are dreadfully bored, isolated, and crave adult interaction. being a SAHM is undervalued because motherhood and childrearing are devalued in our culture and society. you can see how this extends to funding for education vs. any other allocation. teachers are underpaid compared to any other industry.

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