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.