Saturday, February 25, 2006

Oh Happy, Complicated Simpletons!

Warning: this violates the short and sweet blog entry rule. Read on, please. It would give me great pleasure...

This woman has it going on. She has a kid, she's writing a book, and she's a successful, what, law professor or something? I'm glad there are law professors. Really I am. I have no use for them, but I'm glad they're there. Granted, I have even less use for law professors of her ilk, but I digress.

Ms. Hirshman believes that women who stay at home are doing themselves and society a disservice, and that with the divorce rate what it is, women need to be prepared by staying in the office.

"Hirshman has some questions for the women who disagree with her: How can women leave the workplace when the divorce rate is 41 percent? And don't women know that after divorce, the man's standard of living goes up 10 percent while the woman's can collapse?"

Well, I for one don't really have any concern about divorce, so I can easily leave the workforce. I have a solid marriage that started with a commitment from me to my husband to "make it hard to leave in the morning, and great to come home at night." I've always been around for him, and I've always made homemaking a priority, even when I was working. He loves for me to be at home raising our kids, and doesn't want me to go back to work, though would "let me" if I wanted to. (I say "let me" because it's not something he lords over me--I'm a free agent.) Could it be that marriages are strong and homes secure because there's someone keeping the proverbial homefires burning? Hmmm....Let's examine some of her other points.

In response to a woman who took issue with her for demeaning her choice to be financially dependent on her husband, Ms. Hirshman says,

"Well, people choose to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, but that does not stop people from saying it's a mistake," Hirshman said. "Listen to the risks you're taking before you take the risk."

This is the silliest reasoning I've ever heard. Why isn't she listening to any of the happy SAHM's whose marriages are secure and don't have children in therapy because of their absentee parents? This argument has holes so large that I could drive my minivan through. One is a dance with death, another is a lifestyle choice. I don't see the connection.

"Hirshman says working is also a matter of feeling fulfilled. She doesn't buy into the arguments of many homemakers who say taking care of the family is the most fulfilling thing they could imagine.

"I would like to see a description of their daily lives that substantiates that position," Hirshman said. "One of the things I've done working on my book is to read a lot of the diaries online, and their description of their lives does not sound particularly interesting or fulfilling for a complicated person, for a complicated, educated person."

I wonder if she read my blog. Oh dear. Do I sound uninteresting or boring or uneducated? I'll have to go back to my professors in graduate school and give them a piece of my mind. I laugh as I write this. This woman hasn't a clue what it means to love with her life, to give everything in her soul to the health and well-being of her family, or to have the all-over feeling of rightness that comes on a lazy Saturday morning because DADDY gets to be home with us, too! As far as Ms. Hirshman is concerned I am complicated, educated and creative. I am also thrilled to have given up money to give all of those God-given talents to my children and husband. I love. I am loved. What on earth do I need money for? Do I sound fulfilled to you? If not, then you have a problem.

I wonder what Ms. Hirshman would say to my best friend who gave up her spot on the U.S. Olympic sailing team because she wanted to have a baby, and didn't want to delay any further? She's so glad she did. Medals don't giggle for you when you tickle them.

Hirshman says that's why women should only have one child. If you have one, you can keep up in the workplace, but two makes it difficult.

My response to this is only something that wouldn't be very Christian to write. Who the heck is she? Communist dictatorships demand that families have only one child. Do I really need to go into all the societal, not to mention familial problems that this implies? What would Ms. Hirshman say to my friend who has seven of the most wonderful humans that walk this earth living under her and her husband's roof? (They don't have to worry about divorce, either, by the way.) I'd like to see Ms. Hirshman keep up in that household--forget the workplace.

The long and short of this is that Ms. Hirshman is a condescending elitist. She just doesn't sound particularly fulfilled or happy to me. I think she is damaging herself and society with her choices and vitriolic lashing of anyone who is not living her version of the successful or even useful life. Misery loves company, does it not?

Many thanks to SPUNKY (I read you every day) for posting about this. I just couldn't leave it alone.

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