It's rare when I agree with Southern Baptists, but OMG. THIS is just. There are no words.
The original article they're speaking about is here.
Most women hope to marry and have babies. If they resist the traditional female responsibilities of child-rearing and householding, what Arlie Hochschild called “The Second Shift,” they are fixing for a fight.
Um. Since when is child-rearing and householding something to RESIST? I'd give my right arm to be able to stay home and raise a child at this point, and I don't think that makes me less of a feminist.
The family -- with its repetitious, socially invisible, physical tasks -- is a necessary part of life, but it allows fewer opportunities for full human flourishing than public spheres like the market or the government. This less-flourishing sphere is not the natural or moral responsibility only of women. Therefore, assigning it to women is unjust. Women assigning it to themselves is equally unjust. To paraphrase, as Mark Twain said, 'A man who chooses not to read is just as ignorant as a man who cannot read.'
This is saying that being a responsible part of a family is lesser than, and less fulfilling than holding down a job. No, raising a family is NOT the responsibility of women alone. But a woman's choice shouldn't be based on the fact that men should do it, too, and don't always. Geez.
...here’s the last rule: Have a baby. Just don’t have two. Mothers’ Movement Online’s Judith Statdman Tucker reports that women who opt out for child-care reasons act only after the second child arrives. A second kid pressures the mother’s organizational skills, doubles the demands for appointments, wildly raises the cost of education and housing, and drives the family to the suburbs. But cities, with their Chinese carryouts and all, are better for working mothers.
Well, gee, I didn't know that raising kids pressures mothers' organisational skills more than working in some high-level corporate job, which, um, didn't the writer just SAY was more challenging than being a stay-at-home parent? And *gasp*! Wouldn't want to force a family into abject suburbia, after all.
Finally, these choices are bad for women individually. A good life for humans includes the classical standard of using one’s capacities for speech and reason in a prudent way, the liberal requirement of having enough autonomy to direct one’s own life, and the utilitarian test of doing more good than harm in the world. Measured against these time-tested standards, the expensively educated upper-class moms will be leading lesser lives.
For one thing, I TOTALLY disagree with the idea that SAHM's are all "expensively educated." NONE of the SAHMs I know are. That would include my mother, my sister, some of my closest friends, and um. Me, while my kids were young. And, SAHMs don't "use their capacities for speech and reason in a prudent way?" They have no autonomy? They aren't doing more good than harm in RAISING THE NEXT GENERATION????!!!! *fumes* There's no way I was living a "lesser life" by raising my kids. I can think of NOTHING as important. I'm not saying it's what everyone would choose, or SHOULD choose, but OMG, this is so vitriolic and judgemental that it just makes my blood boil.
To borrow their insight, these daughters of the upper classes will be bearing most of the burden of the work always associated with the lowest caste: sweeping and cleaning bodily waste.
WOAH, how classist is THAT? *boggles* The author is basically saying that educated upper class women shouldn't soil themselves so. peacey says that she can just see her looking down her nose, and I agree.
The whole premise of the article, that only upper-class women choose to stay at home with their kids, is ridiculous. It's also classist, because there are plenty of women who would love to have a career but can't because daycare is so expensive. And there are a whole bunch of women who choose not to have two cars and a big house in the suburbs because they feel that giving their kids the opportunity to grow up with their parents is important. Should there be more SAHDs? Absolutely. But it's not women's fault if more men don't opt for it (although I know some who do).
Motherhood is a feminist issue. It's just that a lot of feminists either don't get it, or get it in a way that's entirely antiwoman. And totally FUBAR.
"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people". And guess what? People get to make choices. Choosing to help their children along the path to making a better world is a good one, and fullfilling, and intelligent, and all that stuff. *shakes fist*