Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A fire lit!

"Nor did she ever question the strictly segregated gender roles that prevented her from exploring her own potential."
Leslie Bennetts, "The Feminine Mistake"

Well, she did it. I wish I was rarely the girl who has opinions before all of the facts, however I was raised to be the girl who has opinions no matter what! And that's why I have a husband to censor me (most of the time!). However, I have a feeling this will be an ongoing subject for awhile, and so, while I am waiting to receive the book to read, I don't mind expressing my opinion because it is just that, and if it changes, I can write that too! So this morning I watched the Today Show who interviewed Mrs. Bennetts on her new book out "The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much?". The feminine mistake that she is talking about is that women are staying at home with their children instead of being in the work place making money "in case" divorce, death, injury or loss of job was to happen to them. Considering her statement that we cannot explore our potential while being a stay at home mom....I understand that women, like her grandmother lived in a time where because of society, were expected to stay home, however, it was her grandmothers,as it is all of our jobs to explore our potential from whatever respected position we hold, whether that be a mother, a lawyer, or even a journalist! Our potential does not lie in the amount of money we make, the position we hold, or even how we deal with disaster, which in her words 'is going to happen'. We can all find our potentials at different places, which is why her words to me are so damaging to women. When I finished college and together with my husband decided the best decision for our family was going to be found with me at home with our children, I did not nor do see this as a lesser place for me to be. I believe that I do have an impact on my children, especially with where the world is going, and am grateful for the chance that I have to educate and enlighten myself and my children every single day. On another note she says:"Women are socialized not to brag, but it's very gratifying to make money, be successful, and get recognition for your work. " Mrs. Bennetts and I do have a little in common, as I too, enjoy the chance to be successful, and get recognitions, even if they are as little as a Mother's Day cards that say, "Thanks for being the greatest mom ever!" I think as the years go on the knowledge, confidence and success that I see in my children will be the greatest rewards I will ever get, regardless of whether I am named "Illustrator of the year" or, in fact, any other recognition that I could recieve. And then she goes on:"It's as if the adult world of work and public affairs regards these self-appointed CHO's ("chief household officers," in the self-congratulatory parlance of one magazine aimed at that constituency) as somewhat dimwitted second-class citizens who aren't really up to the task of dealing with reality, which has to be left to the grown-ups."So thats what she wants to call us, because isn't she as well, part of that "adult world of work and public affairs". I agree with her that by saying so many judgemental things, she has exactly put me down as a "dimwitted second-class citizen". I can tell you Mrs. Bennetts, not only am I up to the task of "dealing with reality" but ready to voice it in such a way that I hope many far and wide will hear. You see I am not against working mothers, stay at home mothers or any other kind of woman, EXCEPT ONE. I AM against the judgemental, degrading, I-know-all-because- I-interviewed-"most"-everyone woman who puts down and diminishes our feminine spirits by her 'I know all' attitude! Every woman who has made an educated choice to do what she does, deserves to be given respect to do just that. Shouldn't we celebrate women and our accomplishments at any level and deem them successes for us as a whole. Shouldn't we celebrate the fact that we have incredible women who are educated in both the work place and the home and that we can both have an impact on the world today. Despite your "optimistic" attitude of life and marriage, hopefully you, Mrs. Bennetts, can learn maybe a little lesson from us "dimwitted second-class citizens". She says:"We don't want to upset the stay-at-home mommies," more than one editor told me in a patronizing tone of voice that suggested the conspiratorial whisper of adults who are trying not to wake the cranky children." Guess what, Mrs. Bennetts, cranky children, stay-at-home mothers dependant on obliging husbands, whatever name you want to call us, YOU AWOKE US, and hope you hear loud and clear the words of those who made an educated decision to make a 24/7 impact within the walls of their home,which can be made with more than just money! You see the "Feminine Mistake" is not that stay at home moms do not have a future, but rather that women are being told that they are less than what they know to be true by others who believe that "success" and "potential" have but one definition.
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