Wednesday, September 21, 2005

An End to the Mommy Wars for the Next Generation?

OK, sit down for this. Yesterday morning I read one of the best newspaper articles that I have come across in a long time...and it was in the New York Times! The article was straight forward with an equal presentation from both sides --maybe a slight undertone of surprise, but all-in-all a great read.

The article, written by Louise Story, details the growing trend in Ivy League schools of women that are already planning to postpone their careers or put them on hold to stay at home and raise their children.

"Staying at home with your children isn't as polarizing of an issue as I envision it is for women who are in their 30's now." said Sandra Currie, Harvard Senior.

(Amen -it is a VERY polarizing issue for my generation -as has been evidenced right here on this site).

"Much attention has been focused on career women who leave the work force to rear children. What seems to be changing is that while many women in college two or three decades ago expected to have full-time careers, their daughters, while still in college, say they have already decided to suspend or end their careers when they have children.

"At the height of the women's movement and shortly thereafter, women were much more firm in their expectation that they could somehow combine full-time work with child rearing," said Cynthia E. Russett, a professor of American history who has taught at Yale since 1967. "The women today are, in effect, turning realistic." (source)

The only person mentioned, in the three page article, that seemed to view the choices of these young women as misguided was the Dean of Yale College, Peter Salovey, who said, "What does concern me is that so few students seem to be able to think outside the box; so few students seem to be able to imagine a life for themselves that isn't constructed along traditional gender roles."

I would disagree and say (especially in the mindset of academia today)...putting your children before your own ambitions is definitely thinking out of the box! I would also say that it's not a "traditional gender role" but a biological one.

Bravo to the NYT for this article and much respect to the next generation of women, who realize that the world has enough lawyers and what is really needed are more fully engaged mothers...

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