Thursday, June 29, 2006

Not about Linda Hirshman

Well, not really. Except maybe a little bit. Thanks to Becca for pointing out Megan O'Rourke's terrific piece in Slate: A Working Girl Can Win - The case against staying at home with the kids.. Here's the money quote for me:

"The essence of the mommy wars in recent years has been the assumption that the woman who stays at home does so for selfless reasons, invoking the good of the children, future leaders of our country. But Hirshman flips the terms of debate, reminding us that women who work aren't being selfish: even 40 years after the feminist revolution, educated working women, especially those with top-level jobs, are still pioneers. Women have the right to stick up for their own careers, not just for reasons of personal fulfillment but for reasons of social necessity."

What she said. Of course, as a "working mother" I would agree, right? While I wish O'Rourke had added the obligatory "outside the home" or "for pay" after "women who work," I think she's got this right, and if it's what Hirschman says, then I reluctantly have to agree with her as well. It's good for society to have all kinds of workers. The workplace isn't always fun, or fair, or fulfilling, but the more different kinds of people are in it, the more chances we have of making it better. And until fathers choose to stay home with their kids as often as mothers do, "choice" won't really be choice.

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