Though taken out of context, the above title is my favorite Maureen Dowd quote. Yes, Maureen Dowd said that, but when she did, it looked a lot more like this:
If the new ethos is “a woman needs a career like a fish needs a bicycle,” it won’t be healthy.
Are young women rejecting the feminist movement? Maureen Dowd seems to have noticed. She doesn’t appear to like it, but she has definitely noticed. In a surprising way, this is worth the read.
It made me think about how a coworker of mine recently asked me what my ideal job was. I told him that I would someday like to be a stay-at-home mom. His reply dripping with sarcasm: “Oh, that’s a lofty goal.”
I’m not sure there are many goals more lofty than bearing and raising the next generation, but let’s entertain the idea. Working hard at the job I am in now will get me a raise of several dollars per hour in the next two years. That’s pretty cool. Where will I be then? In the same place I am now - an office full of other people who know how to do my job - and a good deal of them know how to do it far better than I. Even if I decided to step up into a management position, there will still be a bunch of people around me who could easily replace me. Though I have never seen my company show anything but value for its employees, the fact I have to face is that in a workplace, I am fairly easily replaceable . If I just didn’t show up to work one day, there might be a little bump in the road when people wonder where I am and why my job wasn’t getting done, but by 8:30 am someone else would be doing it.
The more “lofty” goal, on the other hand, of someday devoting myself to raising my children and caring for my family would indeed make me irreplacable to my future husband and each one of my future children. No one else could do that job like I could. No other woman could love them the way I could. And if one day I just decided not to show up, they wouldn’t go on like nothing ever happened, only briefly giving thought to where I could be. If I did not show up, their worlds would completely stop.
There isn’t a paycheck in the world that could entice me to turn my children over to a stranger I wouldn’t trust with my car who is being paid $7/hr to put up with someone else’s children while I go to an office, spend my time, energy and brainpower doing a job for a company which realistically sees me as fully expendable. Modern feminism has it so very wrong and I am one of the young women Maureen Down writes about who has rejected it. I know that I need a career like a fish needs a bicycle.