Blog of a Million Dreams

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Mothering is a Mistake?

The Feminine Mistake
By Leslie Bennetts

I just listened to Leslie Bennetts, author of The Feminine Mistake, talking with Pete Wilson (ugh, I don't like him, he's a blowhard) on KGO radio.

She makes a lot of really good points but makes the mistake that too many psychologists, social scientists and economists make when interperting data. That is, she puts her own spin on the facts and appears to endorse the idea that society should penalize women for staying at home with their kids.

While I agree with her data, that most women are better off in the workforce when it comes to their own individual economic futures, I think that our children and families are probably better off when women take care of them. She is biased against that.

Our society needs women to mother...and our frayed social fabric and lost children reflect that...

But she is right in stating that we now live in a society where women who choose to stay at home with their kids are screwed. They end up, in many cases, divorced and poor. Those women who choose to stay working (often at the expense of their children and families) may end up divorced as well...but chances are they won't be as poor...It's hard for a twenty-something housewife or career woman in her early thirties to see that but, really, she's protecting herself by continuing to work. Because American society does not value or reward mothering.

The very worst case scenario is a woman in her early 40's with a small child, getting a divorce. She's going to be in deep trouble unless she's been working the whole time she's been married.

I don't need to read Leslie's book because all I have to do is look around and I can see it. Sadly, there is no support for American women to have children, stay at home and take care of them. Leslie quotes a lawyer who states that.."mothering is a short term job"...pretty typical lawyer comment and a sad commentary on the lack of foresight of our legal system and lack of respect for mothers in america.


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