Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Name:
Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!

10.10.04

Stay-at-home mothers

60 Minutes had a story on tonight about women staying at home to raise their children instead of working. Now, ignoring the fact that 60 Minutes used to actually run news stories (tonight they ran a story on Sudan -- real news -- the one about women, and one about Queen Latifah -- I'm a fan of the queen, but come on!), I had some thoughts about these women.

First, they were all white. It's just something I noticed. Second, they were all, as far as I could tell, rich. Not middle-class. Rich. The point of the story was that women who were graduating from Ivy League or Ivy-like schools and getting high-octane jobs were just stopping their career track and having kids. Some older lawyer who fought through the wars of the '60s and '70s was horrified by this. I'm not that horrified by it, but it did make me think.

These white rich women are raising kids. Good for them. Nice to have a choice. So many people don't. I've been reading about the trend recently toward women staying home with their kids more, and that's great. But so many of them talk about having the choice to do so. Many more people, I suspect, have no choice. I also wonder about what the lawyer in the story said, how these women are deliberately making themselves dependent on their husbands. That's a good point. I wonder how many of them were making as much or more money than their husbands? Did the subject of the husbands staying at home ever come up? I'm a stay-at-home dad, for two reasons: my daughter is developmentally disabled and can't go to day care, and my wife makes a crapload more money than I do (high school teachers don't make any money, because God forbid we think education is important in this country -- but that's a topic for another day). So when it came time for one of us to quit, the choice was easy. I wonder if these women discussed this with their husbands, or if it was just assumed the woman would stay at home. That's what's more distressing about the story -- are we still locked in a mindset that says if there's only one bread winner in the family, it must be the father? I don't know.

My wife, cynic that she is, also pointed out that these women are losing valuable job skills, and when the inevitable happens -- the husband leaves them for younger women -- they won't be able to re-enter the work force. She also says that these husbands will give the excuse that their wives are too wrapped up with raising the kids, so they just had to schtup the secretary or whatever. I'm not as bleakly untrustworthy as my wife, but she has a point -- men tend to be scumbags, and one wonders if Lesley Stahl will re-visit these women in ten years and see how things are going.

I don't care if women are staying home more. I think it's a great idea for a parent to stay at home and raise their kids. In today's economy, however, it's just not feasible for most people. It would have been nice if 60 Minutes recognized that.

Sic transit gloria mundi