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News & Politics News & Politics

Feminists Limit Women's Choices

Posted by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 9:50 PM
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1 mom liked this

Feminists Limit Women's Choices

Linda Chavez's column is released once a week.

Not since Hillary Clinton's infamous remark during the 1992 presidential campaign — "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas" — has a prominent Democratic woman so insulted full-time homemakers. Speaking on CNN Wednesday, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said that Ann Romney has "never worked a day in her life" and, therefore, can't understand the struggles of most women.

Rather than apologize for sticking her thumb in the eyes of millions of American homemakers, Rosen doubled down when critics responded. "This isn't about whether Ann Romney or I or other women of some means can afford to make a choice to stay home and raise kids," she said. Talk about a "war on women"; this sounds like a war on work-at-home moms. In Rosen's view, they're either lazy or privileged.

Nothing about Rosen's comments surprises me. I know her slightly — we are both frequent panelists on PBS' all-female public affairs program, "To the Contrary" — and she's a perfectly nice woman. But she's also a hard-core feminist — and that's the problem.

Feminism as ideology eschews individual choice. Women must fit a certain mold; if they don't, they're either deemed in need of having their consciousness raised or dismissed as frivolous ninnies.

Ann Romney, who raised fives sons, has defended herself against Rosen's accusation by saying Rosen should have come to her "house when those five boys were causing so much trouble. It wasn't so easy." Frankly, Romney would be better off not dignifying Rosen's attack by responding.

Anyone who has spent a day caring for a toddler — much less trying to handle five boys at one time — knows that motherhood is hard, full-time work. The fact that many mothers choose to work outside the home, as I did, does not mean that those who choose to stay at home are taking the easy way out.

Nor is it true, as Rosen and other feminists assert, that most mothers "have to work." Certainly, most single mothers must work to support themselves and their children, which is why their labor force participation rates are higher than those of married mothers, 75 percent compared with 69 percent. But many married women work primarily because they want to. There's nothing wrong with that, so why pretend it is out of necessity?

When you factor in the actual costs of working outside the home, it might not make great economic sense for a mother of young children to work. Out of her wages, she must pay for child care, transportation, a work wardrobe and work lunches, plus the extra cost of convenience foods or eating out when she doesn't have time to prepare family meals, not to mention higher family taxes. Those expenses add up and, for some lower-income women, might outweigh the financial benefit of the extra paycheck.

Even if working outside the home is not born out of necessity or particularly remunerative, many women still would choose to do so because they find it personally rewarding. And our economy has benefited greatly by having so many more productive workers added to the labor force. Almost no one today argues that women shouldn't have the right to seek employment outside the home.

The same can't be said about attitudes toward women who choose to work at being mothers and homemakers. For the Hilary Rosens of the world, these women are fair game to be sneered at, insulted, demeaned and belittled. Their achievements raising children and being supportive wives, good housekeepers and community volunteers are dismissed.

Feminists believe that the only legitimate role models for young girls are women whose lives mirror their own. Feminists don't want to expand choices available to young women so much as they want to limit the options to feminist-approved categories, and full-time homemaker clearly isn't on the list.

Linda Chavez is the author of "An Unlikely Conservative: The Transformation of an Ex-Liberal." To find out more about Linda Chavez, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM


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by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 9:50 PM
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Replies (1-10):
chelsieb84
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Hmm very interesting.  

lga1965
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 10:33 PM
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 We women have a whole lot of  choices and more freedom because of the womens' movement. "Feminism" or whatever you are calling it only means you can be a SAHM or a Working Mom if you need to earn money for the family and nobody will criticize you for it.You will hopefully be hired because of your abilities and education and be paid equally for it. Or you can decide to stay home with your kids. We can be the President of a company. Or we can work from home. Or not work. THIS is what the womens' movement did for us all. Be happy.

29again
by Gold Member on Apr. 15, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Did you even bother to read the article?  And remember, it IS an OPINION piece. 

Quoting lga1965:

 We women have a whole lot of  choices and more freedom because of the womens' movement. "Feminism" or whatever you are calling it only means you can be a SAHM or a Working Mom if you need to earn money for the family and nobody will criticize you for it working. (this is ALL the women's movement did for us.) You will hopefully be hired because of your abilities and education and be paid equally for it. Or you can decide to stay home with your kids. We can be the President of a company. Or we can work from home. Or not work. THIS is what the womens' movement did for us all. Be happy.


NWP
by Guerilla Girl on Apr. 15, 2012 at 10:51 PM
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Yes...And from the same company that syndicates Focus on the Family and Ann Coulter, a super conservative syndication group. Consider the source.

Quoting 29again:

Did you even bother to read the article?  And remember, it IS an OPINION piece. 

Momniscient
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 11:00 PM
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I don't think the article has a concept of overgeneralizations.

At least Hilary Rosen said her remarks about one very specific woman. lol.

Feminism has always been a target for the Conservatives. As an ideology it is a target for blame and vitriol and arguments that we were all better off back in that golden nebulous day that no-one really seems to understand but sure does glorify.

I don't have any opinion on whether stay at home mothering is good, bad, indifferent or wonderful. Women choose to do it. Other women may choose to criticize it. Aint life messy?


tm88rn
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 11:04 PM
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I am a hard core feminist and I believe in every woman's right to do what she wishes, be that a working mother, a stay st home mother, or a woman who does not want children ever.
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rccmom
by Gold Member on Apr. 15, 2012 at 11:07 PM
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LOL. People have short memories. Feminism allowed me to serve in the military. Then, it allowed me to go to college and achieve a degree in a major of my choice. It also offered me the freedom to decide whether to work, or stay home.

Society has put restrictions on women's choices, but feminism helps to increase those choices. Yes there are bumps along the road, but that is common for any movement.
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Momniscient
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 11:12 PM
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Choices are scary and messy. That's why it is villified.

Hey even making the faux paus of criticizing another woman is choice.

What I don't get is the convenient assumption that 'feminism' is like the ten commandments. Static and not up for interpretation.

Quoting rccmom:

LOL. People have short memories. Feminism allowed me to serve in the military. Then, it allowed me to go to college and achieve a degree in a major of my choice. It also offered me the freedom to decide whether to work, or stay home.

Society has put restrictions on women's choices, but feminism helps to increase those choices. Yes there are bumps along the road, but that is common for any movement.



jaxTheMomm
by Gold Member on Apr. 16, 2012 at 8:30 AM
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Hey, nobody told me we had actual RULES!


Quote:

Feminists believe that the only legitimate role models for young girls are women whose lives mirror their own. Feminists don't want to expand choices available to young women so much as they want to limit the options to feminist-approved categories, and full-time homemaker clearly isn't on the list.

I call bullshit.  That statement right up there is bullshit.   I've never seen anyone say that full-time homemaker was against the feminist rules.  Because of feminism, I can vote.  I can work.  I can earn a nice living.  I am not the property of the man in my life.  I'm able to contribute fairly.  Nobody limited my options, which is why when I was pregnant with my 2nd child, my husband fully respected and supported my decision to quit my job and becomin a SAHM.

However, when we discuss a very wealthy woman, as Rosen was doing, is that quite the same as when I was a stay at home mom?  I don't think so.

matreshka
by Gold Member on Apr. 16, 2012 at 9:21 AM
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Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  I am glad that feminism is reaching a point where it is respected that some women choose to stay at home and lead more traditional lives.  Still we need to keep vigilant when our mothers and grandmothers fought for are challenged.

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