22 January 2012

Thanks for nothing

From The Lost Art of Self-Preservation (for Women):

What feminists do not acknowledge (but do know) about the work/motherhood dilemma is that it's not really much of a dilemma.  If you screw up at work, you will be fired.  To be fired from motherhood, you have to fail spectacularly and repeatedly, and this failure will have to be noticed and documented by teachers, social workers, police officers, and judges.  Therefore, work will always come first because the pushback for failure will be harder and more immediate from a boss.  To a child, "normal" will be what Mommy creates for her, even if that's neglect, abuse, chronic selfishness or the less malign flakiness.   

What irritates me most about these sorts of articles is the idea that women must jump on the 7-7 treadmill for the betterment of the child, for the fulfillment of the mother.  The majority of women out there working aren't doing so because they love it or because it's making their lives richer.  They're doing it because they need the money to pay for food and rent.  Their jobs aren't glamorous and never will be.  They're trapped because of the economy, because of divorce or single motherhood, or because of outstanding student loans.  And there is no "work/life" balance.  There is only work and then whatever you can get done after work - the same grind people had before the period of the mid-twentieth century American prosperity. 

Emphasis mine. Full post here.

1 comment:

Untamed Shrew said...

I love the author's litany of criteria under which she would leave her children with a stranger.