Where is a Woman’s Place?

by Sarah on December 16, 2011 · 8 comments

Last week, Karin Agness wrote about a debate being held by the international news magazine The Economist. The topic was “A Woman’s Place is at Work.” NeW friend and advisor Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers argued against this notion, saying that a woman’s place is wherever she chooses, be it at work, at home, or both. A woman does not have an assigned place.

The results are in, and Dr. Sommers has been declared the winner. The debate brought up many interesting points, such as the importance of families as a factor in the decision to work, and that the freedoms we as women enjoy in countries like the United States and England as women are still a long time coming elsewhere in the world. Despite the fact this particular event has ended, the debate will continue for many years. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read the arguments presented by both Dr. Sommers and Linda Basch.

Did you vote in the debate? What are your thoughts on this issue?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia Anderson December 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

I think it’s a silly argument! Statistics show that 75% of women who work outside the home do so because they HAVE to not because they want to! Many women and a few men would much rather work from home and be closer and more available for their children (this is backed up with scientific polls). SO the argument needs to be, “How can we make it possible in our economy for Mom’s (and Dad’s) to be more involved in home life?”
That’s from my recent research/ reading on the subject.
Julia

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DDMeyers January 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Julie: I am a degreed woman, married for 27 years, with four children. I am a full time, stay at home mother. That is my career. My husband & I have made many financial sacrifices to realize this choice. We believe the investment in my full time parenting yields greater gain for our family than the increase in financial remuneration provides. By parenting, as a career, I build equity for our family that would not exist if both “Mom & Dad” pursued full time careers out side the home. We sacrifice money to achieve our goal. It is ALL about choice. After the last kid is “launched” (almost there), I intent to enter a money earning workplace because we need the money.

One More Thing: To female considering a career in the Full Time/Stay At Home Mom industry, be prepared for the great insult of having other women see your career as insignificant and self-indulgent.

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Julia Anderson January 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm

“One More Thing: To female considering a career in the Full Time/Stay At Home Mom industry, be prepared for the great insult of having other women see your career as insignificant and self-indulgent.”

You got that right! I am degreed mother of 9 and by the time my last child leaves the nest I will be 63 years old. I am working on advanced degrees so I can consult from a home office. We don’t necessarily need the money at this time but who knows what the future holds? Besides with so much practical life experience in an increasingly impractical world lacking in common sense, I feel I could be of real help.

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DDMeyers January 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Julia: (plz excuse my misspelling of your name in my previous reply) And I thought 4 was a lot! Recently, I was asked by a full time “career” woman if I knew how to multi task. OMG…This question reflects the prevalent cluelessness of the non full-time parenting female sector.

Good luck in all your pursuits!

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Richard Coutu January 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm

If you get to wear pajamas to work it aint a job. Raising a kid isn’t a job. It’s a privelage. Sick of all these women who think they deserve a pat on the back for popping out a kid then not abandoning them. Congratulations.

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Julia Anderson January 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Obviously Mr. Coutu hasn’t raised any children lately! My regrets to his mother for his obvious dis-respect towards mothers. He is correct in one regard, it is a privilege, but then so is having a job at all! Bringing children into this world, at the risk of your own health and life, is a sobering pursuit. Anyone who does not recognize that is ignorant of what successfully raising human beings is all about and the study and commitment it entails.

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Ben February 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Your right.

Your mother doesn’t deserve a pat on the back for having you.

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Kate February 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm

If staying at home is truly an admirable job, why don’t men “choose” to do it?

Choice is only as free as the parameters set by a patriarchal society. You certainly may be “choosing,” but that doesn’t mean that your decision wasn’t constrained by the culture that you live in.

Additionally, you’re choice to stay at home is not one that all women can make. It is one of privilege, and in this respect I agree with Julia and wonder how we can make society more conducive to parenting for both mothers and fathers.

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