Monday, June 19, 2006

I'd say I'm speechless, but that just about never happens

Linda Hirshman. Not one of my favorite people. Not that I like to judge, but I'm not feeling very badly about it right now. I'd heard all the hulla-baloo about what she has said lately about women choosing to stay home to be full-time mothers, and temporarily - or permanently - foregoing the workplace. And it didn't upset me a whole lot because I thought I'd heard it all before. Old news. Then I caught an interview with Ms. Hirshman on Good Morning America last week. And I was floored. And I became sad, so very sad at what she had to say. And it made me so very sad that she seemed so emotionally distant from what she was saying. When Kate Snow, the interviewer, showed a picture of herself with her baby daughter (and second child) she asked Ms. Hirshman if that baby should never have been born (Hirshman basically believes that educated women should be working women and, if they choose to procreate, have no more than one child). Hirshman started to backpeddle, and say that what she has written is not her opinion. No! It is fact brought about by lots of research. I did a little more reading on Hirshman and her opinions and research this weekend. But I couldn't do enough research because I was beginning to not think so rationally about the topic anymore. I was aggrivated. As an educated woman, I was annoyed. And I tried to get everything I'd read out of my head just for some peace, but so much for that. So today, when I found this quote, I was happy, because Julia (click to read her entire post on the subject) said it better than I could've and now I can let my head have a bit of peace before I go back to organizing and packing. What do you all think? After the boys go to bed tonight, my bedtime reading might be the comments from Julia's post today:

My problem, however and small though it is, is with this statement: "child rearing [is] not worthy of the full time and talents of intelligent and educated human beings." As hard as I have tried to put my personal feelings for Patrick aside and look at it objectively, I just cannot get past this assertion. It makes children sound like a tomato plants. Do you know how hard it is to screw up a tomato plant? Very hard. Do you really need to just feed kids and water them and make sure no one backs over them with a mower? Isn't there more to raising a child than that or am I kidding myself? Toilets, sure. I can understand why the idea of a female PhD quitting her research position at the Mayo solely to clean bathrooms might be a societal loss, but should child-rearing and housework really be in the same sentence like that?

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