Skip to comments.Full Time Motherhood?, How Selfish
Posted on 11/05/2005 7:45:30 AM PST by kalee
Full-Time Motherhood? How Selfish November 5, 2005 BY JULIE SHILLER
Across the nation, privileged young women are seeking to be competitive candidates to gain admittance to prestigious universities. Impressive SAT scores, awards, grades and extracurricular activities are of the utmost importance for college-bound high school students and their families.
The priorities of many of today's elite young women, however, are surprisingly conventional, according to one survey. The most fortunate and educated women say they will conform to traditional gender roles after completing their Ivy League degrees. They are choosing careers as full-time mothers and expect to be supported financially by their successful spouses. Such expectations are utterly selfish and a dishonor to the struggles that the Second Wave feminists (those who came of age in the '60s and '70s) endured for my generation.
ADVERTISEMENT Today, many white women who were fortunate enough to be born into wealthy families are taking their limitless opportunities for granted. In a recent article in The New York Times, "Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path to Motherhood," Louise Story examines this issue. More than 60 percent of Yale women surveyed concluded that when they become mothers, they plan on working only part time or not at all. Although feminism promotes the right for these elite women to choose, they are unappreciative of their economic privilege. Story claims that they "are likely to marry men who will make enough money to give them a real choice about whether to be full-time mothers."
As a Third Wave feminist, I am embarrassed that Story could make such an assertion. Do these women feel a sense of entitlement to be entirely supported by their husbands? Although all women should be permitted to be full-time mothers, most do not have the freedom to stop working outside the home. It is not an equal choice when less wealthy and marginalized women are not granted the option. Women who were born into an unearned advantaged position are relinquishing their power and independence to patriarchy.
Females in the Victorian era were silenced and forced into restrictive feminine roles. Hartford's Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper" in 1892 during a time when even well-off women were forced into domestic roles that did not challenge their intellectual abilities. The protagonist, a privileged white woman, was labeled a "hysteric" by a male-dominated scientific community that desperately sought a way to repress her for questioning her forced submission. In reality, she was merely responding to being suppressed by her husband and the controlling patriarchy. Now young women are choosing to return to the silence.
Today's liberated, Ivy-League-educated women are willing to sacrifice their privilege and their opportunities to become independent leaders of the 21st century. They are eschewing the opportunities that Gilman's protagonist and other oppressed women of the time yearned for. Ivy League women are not taking advantage of the ability they have to make incredible strides in the fight for gender equality that would benefit women from all backgrounds. Instead, they are choosing to use their power for their own selfish desires.
In the Victorian era, women were forced by men to adhere to submissive, weak and emotional roles as a way for males to maintain ultimate control and status. Now young, dominant women are in a commanding position to enhance the civil liberties granted to disadvantaged women and other minority groups. Unfortunately, the future of our nation has been placed in the hands of elite young women who have chosen to thoughtlessly improve their own lives while jeopardizing the future of those that they had the power to assist.
Julie Shiller, 20, of West Orange, N.J., is a junior majoring in sociology at the University of Hartford.
Oh well. The author may mature one day.
I think a photograph might clear up the basis for this editorial.
Puke,puke and more puke.
Raising children just doesn't carrry enough prestige for this hag.
She should be so incredibly embarrased....but that would take common sense. The don't teach that in Grad school.
Why am I not surprised?
Isn't it great to be young and know more than everyone else? /sarcasm off
Oh, thank you, your highness.
Placing children in "day care" or with "nannies" is deleterious to the child, the family and society, as well as being, IMO, immoral.
Put that into your tube of choice, Julie, and smoke it.
Why am I not surprised?
Is this from the Onion? It reads like a satire.
2 of my daughters want to be at home moms. It's their choice, and they are lucky they will be able to afford this opportunity. Too bad the feminazis can't understand some women don't need to be fullfilled working at a 'job'.
Sociology= The painstaking pursuit of the obvious.
What a stupid young socialist. There is nothing wrong with a woman having a career and ambition. Nothing at all. Both are good things. But women do have a primary biological role as human beings and that is to bring children into this world. Once they do have the children, they shouldn't wash their hands of them.
Society is best served when these children are raised right. A baby-sitter or a day care cant do the job of a loving mother. I think part of the reason for teenage crime, and the weakening of the american family is that fewer kids are being raised primarily by their own parents anymore. To me that is tragic.
My wife took off work until our children were in school. She found it much more rewarding and important than anything she had ever done professionally. Shes now back in the work world and doing well. Youd think the young feminist would be happy that my wife was given the freedom in our society to make a choice about how to live her life and that she has been able to succesfully balance career ambition in a field that women didn't have much access to fifty years ago, and being a wonderful mother.
It would most likely feature a corncob stuck up a certain portion of her anatomy. How else to explain drivel like this?
It is not an equal choice when less wealthy and marginalized women are not granted the option. Women who were born into an unearned advantaged position are relinquishing their power and independence to patriarchy.
>Such expectations are utterly selfish<
No, Julie, abandoning YOUR children, so you can have more spending money is "utterly selfish".
My husband is the head of our family, but ask him how repressed I am. Then stand back and cover your ears, he has a really loud laugh.
The Yellow Wallpaper?
I read that ... like a hundred years ago... and I remember it as the story of a woman who was sinking into madness.
Maybe I'd better pick it up again.
Of course, it's so selfish to want to raise your own children instead of
contracting that job out. I guess making sacrifices like living in a smaller
house, traveling less, and having less disposable income is selfish too.
Her message is that a career is, without question, more important than
I hope she chooses never to have children. What an idiot!
Best of all its pissing off liberal feminist..
This article will bite her later when she decides to have a kid... Providing she wants.
$100,000 for a Sociology degree?....
Who cares... it's not like "I'm" actually paying for it.....
Miss Shiller will be supported by the phrase "You want fries with that?"
So... let me get this straight... women who opt to stay at home to raise families, thereby giving other women who may have that choice, an opening into the job market, are considered selfish?
I am having trouble with the logic.
I've never understood this idea that women are repressed in marriage. Anyone who says that has never spent anytime married women, let alone married women. Most women have strong wills and can be quite relentless in achieving their goals.
I remember years ago, while working in a hospital, a conversation a large group of nurses was having. It ran something on the level of this:
"This career crap is bs. I want to get married, have babies, and be supported by my husband. I think this lib stuff is garbage. I think someone is putting something over on women."
Women who were born into an unearned advantaged position are relinquishing their power and independence to patriarchy.
Ms. Schiller: Please please please never marry. No man deserves such a hell.
Isn't it amazing that a college junior is so undertrained in logic that she doesn't see the foolishness of her argument. She calls the ones who choose motherhood, which is to serve others, selfish.....and feminism, which is to cater to self, the right path.
You cannot argue ration with an irrational mind.
Maybe someday she'll get it.
Another lesbo in the making. I wonder if she lusts after successful womyn like Andrea Dworkin....shudder.
Having a career is sometimes a necessity. That's why it helps to have
a baby within a stable marriage.
But to argue that women are selfish not to work is absurd. It is clearly much
more fulfilling to get up at 5 AM, feed and dress a baby, rush to day care, rush to work, get off at 6, rush back to day care, rush back home, feed family, wash baby, but baby to sleep, try to clean or do necessary household tasks, finish at 11 pm, get up at 2 for baby, and start all over again. That sounds like the
perfect life (sarc). Those feminists sure know how to live...
My wife is from West Virginia, too. Yeah, repressed all right ;-)
Wait a minute - my daughter graduated with a Bachelor degree in sociology in May 2004 and is not like this person. Of course, she went to a small liberal arts college in western Illinois where Bush 41 was the commencement speaker the spring before she started there. So, there may be something in the choice of schools after all.
I think it's wonderful too. Just imagine the wealth of knowledge and resources that are made available to their children because either parent, in this case the mother, is educated. What a wonderful thing!
And we sometimes wonder why so many men refuse to marry?
Who can blame them when they hear this kind of tripe? I'd be running away from the feminazi-babeo-fascists like this too!
I have to wonder where you spent your formative years.....with nannies? ...at a daycare?.... institutionalized somewhere....by someone other than your mom?
How sad your outlook on life....especially the lives of children.
I think I must have done my job well as 'stay at home mom'....
...My daughter, with an education degree, taught school for several years until she had her baby...
..now she's a happy 'stay at home mom' too....
..and her husband appreciates this very much!
Such expectations are utterly selfish and a dishonor to the struggles that the Second Wave feminists (those who came of age in the '60s and '70s) endured for my generation.
Hey dudette...no one twisted their arms to join the STRUGGLE as you put it.
They weren't required to sign their lives away for x amount of years.
The only STRUGGLE they had was what they created for themselves.
Stop your bellyachin and go do something constructive like these young mothers will be doing staying home, teaching their children manners, how to behave and all the nice things of life and THAT includes (for girls) playing with doll babies and learning how to care for them instead of MURDERING THEM. Learning how to set a table with their little plastic dishes, and yes, the cute little ironing board and iron. :) They will also learn how to wash and dry dishes, make beds etc. All the while this mother is teaching these things...she is the heart of the home and is loved by everyone as she loves them. :)
For the boys, they will be taught how to change tires, fix cars, be the "good guy", respect women (even those who don't want it) learn how to build things, take out the garbage, pick up after the dog and learn to look out for and protect women beginning with their mothers and sisters.
Can you imagine how many cakes and cookies they will have coming in from a day at school taking in all those wonderful aromas from the kitchen? Mmmmmm, good. Comfort food, secure feelings and joy.
Congratulations to all the young women who will take on this role. After all...it is really NOT a role but a natural thing for a woman to do if she has children. They are taught what they need before they go out into the world.
God bless them all. We are proud of them. Their STRUGGLE is to make sure they do everything possible for their children and that doesn't mean expensive shoes or constant toys etc. Good books, games, teach by example.
God bless them all. As for the fems...their STRUGGLE continues and that struggle is to keep their men bashing group alive. Good luck fems...you glory days are over.
My tagline applies to her for sure.
2. Its editorial board consists of "lifestyle leftist" 1970s Yalie buttoned-down revolutionaries. Skipper: "Che Guevara and Margaret Sanger Forever!!!!" Muffie: "Oh, good one, Skip!" 4. Butch? Lipstick? Hysteric? America wants to know! Then again, maybe we don't want to know.
I might have sounded like that at 20. I grew up.
I'm finishing up my PhD, and when I get married, I plan to stay home and raise
my kids. Feminazis can call me whatever they want, but when I have kids,
I want to teach them MY values. And, I can do a better job of educating
them in their early years than most public and private school teachers.
That is more of a priority than having a career.
I think the author is entirely dismissing of the contribution of woman who act as full time mothers. The description of their occupation does not come near to doing it justice.
In addition, the author is dismissive of the possibility of unpredictable situations that might suddenly force such family roles upon unsuspecting couples and families. We had a sample just recently with Katrina and Wilma here in SoFlo.
As mentioned and discussed heavily by fellow FReepers, when the power went out and neighborhood essentially became isolated habitations for a few days, such traditional roles became heavily prominent and reinforced.
True, men and women worked on the cleanup, but other roles became obvious such as women pooling together to want children, and men hunting and gathering supplies when they came upon the opportunity to garner them.
Men in our neighborhood worked to restore structural integrity of housing and perform large scale cleanup such as removing trees from driveways while women organized and allocated supplies such as food in the form of prepared meals.
It worked wonderfully and we all felt blessed.
However, if it came down to a difference in opinion in who was to carry out what chores, I suspect things would have been much harder. Still, had I been confronted, I suspect I would have happily ceded my role in tree removal and roof-reconstruction and repair.
I suspect the author may have some extreme difficulties when their time of trial arrives. For all their intentions, reality tends to tread hard on the illusions of the foolish.
"Isn't it amazing that a college junior is so undertrained in logic that she doesn't see the foolishness of her argument. She calls the ones who choose motherhood, which is to serve others, selfish.....and feminism, which is to cater to self, the right path."
I try to go back and remember what a pain in the but I was at this age.
I remember thinking how I had it all figured out (that was...BEFORE I had children!)
Real life experience will set this girl straight, and if it doesn't she'll wind up just like Maureen Dowd.
Wait until she is old and alone.
Old and ALONE.
No children around to make sure she is safe and cared for. Wait until the holidays roll around and she has no one at her table except her laptop and her cell phone.
Wait until birthdays, Christmas etc. roll around ahd she celebrates alone.
I wonder THEN what she'll think of the STRUGGLES of those fems before her.
Not being able to bear children is one thing. Most people adopt. However, not having children becuase you think yur job is more important well....all I can say is: "You are missing out."