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View Diary: Dear Ann Romney: allow others the choice you made (204 comments)

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  •  Assumptions (2+ / 0-)
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    mainefem, schnecke21

    There are many assumptions made in this essay, many of them not entirely defensible.

    First is the idea that "homemaker" is embedded in the American Dream.  It was part of the post WWII in the standard of living, but it hardly lasted two generations.  Prior to the war, everyone worked.  Men worked, children worked, women worked.  The work that Women and children did tended to be unpleasant, a la The Jungle, so if the family could manage they did not.  However, women that did stay home tended to do more than put dinner in the microwave and run a vacuum cleaner.  They mended or made clothes, had a garden, probably washed clothes by hand.  Of course the solidly middle class had servants so the mother could live more of a life of leisure, lunching, shopping, getting their hair done, but it is unclear to me if if this should be a standard of living that we should all aspire to.

    Just to be clear, I understand that in your case it was the father that stayed at home.  This is an improvement in the life choice, as it is more likely that the most efficient fo a couple works, but the question is in a situation where homemaking does not require the effort if did three generation ago, if we as a society should support that choice.

    The other assumption is that raising children and making a home is work.  Certainly in some countries this is the case.  Public funds are allocated and laws are enacted to insure a parent can raise a child and care for the home.  In this country while that may have once been the case, it has not been so since Ronald Reagan and Bush won three terms under the heading of "Welfare Mom".  This firmly and clearly illustrated that the majority of the voting public does not consider raising children real work that benefits society.  While society is behind women serving their husband and children, as shown by the income gap between males and females, when we take the husband out of the equation, and have mothers only taking care of the children, these women all of the sudden become leeches on society, even thought they are doing the basic same work. What is truly funny is that some conservatives say we punish stay at homes moms with no husband because we don't want to encourage out of wedlock pregnancies.

    But if raising children is real work, and children are out most valuable asset, then why are so many people trying to end prenatal care, CHIP, and the small payments made to insure that mothers, or fathers, can stay at home and take care of their kids.  Why is the focus on work outside of the home, even by many liberals, as a moral cause, with special payments for childcare, as a condition to get payments to help raise a child.  Don'e many conservative, and most liberals, claim a Homemaker as a completely equivalent job to any other?

    So I get what you are saying, but the issue goes beyond a stable two parent family in which one income is sufficient.  Such a situation has always existed and will always exist to some degree.  For a while is was an choice available to the majority in the US.  However, that time is no longer, and I don't think that the implications of that choice were what many believe, and many did not get to make the choice to stay at home.  For instance, women a little older than me, have stated they had little choice.  It was either get married or work at a low paying job, the highest and most professional of which was teaching.  You probably know an older woman who got married, maybe got herself knocked up before hand, to insure that someone would take care of her in a society that did not make it easy to provide for herself.

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