Why The Workplace Doesn’t Work For Parents

Why The Workplace Doesn’t Work For Parents

shutterstock_219857245Readers here are exploding with opinions about women, work, and parenting. Several high-profile articles in the past few days have created one of those crystallizing moments — a spotlight on the on the fact that work just doesn’t work for so many of us. The more of these moments we have, the greater the chance that things actually change, so let’s seize this one and keep talking.

Actually, Elizabeth Wurtzel, took exactly the opposite view in her essay last week on the website of The Atlantic titled “1% Wives Are Helping to Kill Feminism and Make the War on Women Possible.” Women choosing to leave the paid workforce, she writes, are not signs that something is wrong with the workplace, but that rather something wrong with women. She is mortified and depressed by those who would waste their brains and education and choose to be supported by a man. This is not what Feminism is for, she writes. As an “ism,” she argues, it is an economic principle, like Capitalism, and Marxism, and Communism, and therefore its sole measure of success is economic parity.

Using the scores of comments on my Facebook page as a barometer, it seems more than a few of you disagree. “I remember the 70s,” writes Shannon Stoney, “and feminism was about many things besides the workplace. There was a lot of talk and writing about preventing violence against women; about patriarchal religion and ‘God the Father’; and even about wages for housework! The right to be a CEO and make a lot of money seemed actually like a minor part of it.”

Or, as Heidi R. Miller wrote: “Why shouldn’t feminism be about choice and trying to forge a world that suits our wildest dreams?”

There was disagreement over mostly everything else Wurtzel said, too. READ MORE