Yee Haw!

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How 'bout this New York Times article about the number of Ivy League women graduates who plan to work part time or stay at home when they start having children.

And here's something that made me laugh and bang my head on the desk all at once:

For many feminists, it may come as a shock to hear how unbothered many young women at the nation's top schools are by the strictures of traditional roles.

"They are still thinking of this as a private issue; they're accepting it," said Laura Wexler, a professor of American studies and women's and gender studies at Yale. "Women have been given full-time working career opportunities and encouragement with no social changes to support it.

"I really believed 25 years ago," Dr. Wexler added, "that this would be solved by now."

Yep. Darn those women. They just won't BEHAVE!


You know, MamaT, it sounds to me like "it would be solved by now" means the workforce issues, and not the women's thinking. Maybe she's saying she expected that 25 years would bring more flexibility among employers so that women didn't have to make either/or choices.

And I didn't read the whole article but I want to know if it addressed the question of paying for these Ivy League educations. The average new grad student loan total these days is higher than ever. Some of these young women have wealthy families but a lot of them don't. How will they afford to stay home if they're still paying for their seminars with professors of gender studies eight years from now?

That should say something more like "the average debt load for a new grad," since it's not about grad students. I shouldn't leave comments first thing in the morning.

Jamie, you may be right, and you are certainly more charitable than I am about this issue! The reason I took it as I did, I think, was because of the first sentence of the excerpt: "how unbothered women at the nation's top schools are by the strictures of traditional roles."

To me, that made it sound like it was at least a subtle dig at those who chose the "traditional" path of mommy-hood, even for a time.

In the whole article, there are many women quoted who expect to work for 10 or so years at their careers, but then take a break for mommyhood. Once children are in school, they intend to go back to work, at least part time. They see their degrees as a way to get them decent and fulfilling part-time work.

This hit me hard, perhaps, because I am one of those women! While I don't have an Ivy-league education, I do have a post-graduate degree and the major certification in my field. I gave that up to become a SAHM.

I cannot tell you the amount of grief that caused to people who didn't even know me. And how often they were moved to tell me about the stupidity of my decision and the "waste" of my education. I suspect that Dr. Wexler would not approve of my decision, though it was the right one for me.

I used my education for 15 years of a career, and was able to put my husband through school to change his career. I continue to use my knowledge in the service of my church and my friends. My education wasn't wasted. It was and is well used, though certainly not for profit any longer! :-)

It seems to me that Dr. Wexler believes that women can ONLY be satisfied if they work along with mommying. While that may be true for some, it is not true for others--it is certainly not for me personally. If the women themselves are unconcerned about their choice--in fact seem happy about them--why is it a concern for Dr. Wexler?

I'm not fussing at you! Please understand that. I'm just trying to clarify my thoughts on my take! Thank you for commenting!

Darn those women. They're being uppity in the wrong direction.

Poor Dr. Wexler, she has found her answer and others decided not to accept it.

A close friend (and college classmate) of our eldest daughter recently chose to quit the law firm she was with to stay at home with her first child. She still practices law - from home and at her convenience.

Good for her!

Oh, it drives me CRAZY when people imply that smart women shouldn't stay home, or that I'm wasting my education by sharing it with my children. CRAZY, I tell you. I was chewing on the idea of staying home with my kids as an undergrad, and there was NO support for the idea then. I'm not suggesting this professor is all over the idea (and I don't feel like you're fussing at me so don't worry!); I just parsed her comment a little differently than you did.

I've been arguing about this on an email list Cacciaguida and I belong to. Somebody raised the question whether women who don't mean to put work first ought to take up a spot at Yale. The best response (not mine) was, "Oh, has Yale become a trade school? I must have missed the memo."

Well, that is just silly...that logic should go to all kinds of schools. Should one take up a space at the affordable state college? People don't think too much before they speak, do they?

Anyhow, how, exactly, does one *waste* a college education? I sure as heck don't use any of my business degree, but as a life experience, college was really important in my development.




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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on September 22, 2005 11:48 PM.

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