Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Career vs. raising kids

From the New York Times, September 20, 2005:

Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path to Motherhood

"At Yale and other top colleges, women are being groomed to take their place in an ever more diverse professional elite. It is almost taken for granted that, just as they make up half the students at these institutions, they will move into leadership roles on an equal basis with their male classmates.

There is just one problem with this scenario: many of these women say that is not what they want.

Many women at the nation's most elite colleges say they have already decided that they will put aside their careers in favor of raising children."
The article goes on to discuss how the choices these women are making are greatly influenced by the choices their mothers made, along with the fact that they will likely marry men who will be able to support them to stay at home.

"For many feminists, it may come as a shock to hear how unbothered many young women at the nation's top schools are by the strictures of traditional roles. "They are still thinking of this as a private issue; they're accepting it," said Laura Wexler, a professor of American studies and women's and gender studies at Yale. "Women have been given full-time working career opportunities and encouragement with no social changes to support it.""

Right now I don't know what to think about topics in this article. I envy women who can be confident that they will be financially supported enough to stay home. I envy these young girls who can flippantly assume that they will be able to have two kids whenever they want. I am bothered by the comments of some of those interviewed in the article that there were obvious differences between those of us raised by working mothers versus those who were raised by stay-at-home moms. There's an implied superiority there that I don't think is true. I do support women being able to chose whether to work, stay at home, or do some combination for whatever timeframe is best for them and their families. I just wish that there were newspaper articles about how the men at those Ivy League schools were as casually committed to staying at home or working part-time once they had kids. Then maybe there would be some semblance of gender equality in our country. But right now I don't think there is.

What do you think?


Writer Chica said...

It'll be a long time coming for gender equity as far as kids and careers are concerned. And I think a huge part of the reason why is that women get pregnant and may choose to nurse and they physically need to put so much more into it than men. Plus, (and I may get slammed for this), but I do believe there is a different, perhaps stronger, bond between mothers and children simply because they grew inside their bodies. I think this tends to translate into a stronger sense in women to stay home with their children than it does in men. I also am not sure that this is a flippant or casual choice for most women. Having not read the entire article, I can't be sure about these specific women, but many of the women I know who have chosen to stay home have decided to do so after a lot of thought and not a little trepidation. As far as the differences between daughters of stay-at-home moms and ones of working mothers, I don't think one is any better than the other, but I know things for me would have been very different if my mom had had a career at any point in her life. She had jobs, but not a career. I would need to think more how I would be different though.
Okay, I actually have lots more thoughts about this, but they will need to wait til later. Could you email me the link to the full article? Thanks.

Have a good week, Science Woman

kaylee19alina said...

Just passing by your blog and though you'd like this site.

ScienceWoman said...

The link to the article is the big bold underlined article title...I always link the things I write about.

Anonymous said...

After being raised by a career woman, I can say with confidence that I would want to stay at home with my kids. I suffered for her choices, as did she. She doesn't believe in regret, but looks back now and says that they were definately lost years that we will never get back.

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