Sunday, January 26, 2014

In Response to "I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry"

My best friend reads way too many articles. She reads a good portion of the daily happenings on the inter-webs, and then passes on the most worthwhile and the most cringe worthy to me to read, so we can discuss them. It's a great system, that way we always read the same things and I don't have to think or seek out enlightening material on my own. Although, on the rare occasion that I venture out and find an article all on my own I send it her way, so it's sort of a two way street...I'm just lazy and co-dependent, so I let her do most of the work. Once in a while she sends me something that makes me question her sanity and want to ask why she was hanging out in the strange places of the blogosphere. Today was one of those times. She sent me this post and the title alone made me want to punch something. So, let's start there, shall we?

"I Look Down On..." those four words said enough. You should not look down on anyone, for any reason. At all. I don't care if you don't agree with them, it's not your place to sit on your little thrown and determine them less than you. Who died and made you decider of all that is good and worthy? Nobody, that's who. So, keep your judgments and your "I'm better than you" attitude to yourself. I guarantee the world contains at least one person that feels that way about you. So, already I can tell that the author thinks they are more awesome than people they know nothing about. We're off to a great start. They are looking down on young married women with children. This tells me that they are either single without children and have no intention to have them, and are likely met with animosity about this decision from family/friends, or they may possibly be married, but likely have an intentionally childless marriage, and are even perhaps in an "open marriage" they definitely don't see marriage as the union of two people into one. They have a lot of bitterness where both marriage and children are concerned. They know people will expect them to regret this statement, but they refuse to, they aren't sorry. And, they need you to know that.

The picture is a mom with a pot on her head and a concerned looking child. Clearly the author thinks that child-rearing and "domestic work" is just insane.

"Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes I have to fight back vomit. 
Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same. It’s hard for me to believe it’s not just verbally placating these people so they don’t get in trouble with the mommy bloggers."
She's being honest. I like her. Here's the thing: majority of feminists aren't honest about their thoughts and feelings, they want to placate you. She doesn't care if she offends you. These are her feelings, and she owns them. Way to go Amy. Whether I agree with her or not, I respect her honesty. I like honest people. I don't like having to wade through a ton of crap to determine how genuine a person is. She's gained my respect by having convictions and voicing them honestly, though I completely disagree with her whole premise, I respect her as a human being deserving of my respect. 

Most feminists claim that they support any choice a woman wants to make, no matter what that is, then they turn around and tear apart those choices. In reality they don't want you to have any choice you want, they want you to make their choices, the way they want you to. They'll dress up it up and make it look nice, while degrading and belittling any choice that they don't support. She's upfront about it and says that she doesn't believe in validating every choice a woman makes, she doesn't think all choices women make are of the same value. She has some serious disdain for women that choose to stay home and raise babies. 

"Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself?"

No, I don't. Not equal, not above or below, but different.  These two women are playing in two totally different ball games. The woman who "works and takes care of herself" is a woman concerned with self, a woman who is solely focused on her needs, wants, and desires. In her universe she is the center, and often times, only occupant. The stay at home mom is concerned with the needs of her family first, and herself last. She is focused on the needs, wants, and desires of her family. Her family is the center of her universe. She is self sacrificing, and finds great fulfillment in being so. The two women have different goals in mind. They aren't playing in the same game. Sometimes the woman worried only about herself quits that game and joins the other, sometimes they play a little of both[by working AND being awesome mothers], and sometimes the stay at home mom switches to the game of "me" but they aren't on equal footing. They are on different footing, they are different women, with different objectives. Both equally deserving of respect, neither one "better" than the other in any way. They are both women, both human. Therefore, both equally deserving of the same general rights and respect. One woman may be valued and respected for her amazing abilities in the court room, while the other is valued and respected for her amazing abilities at home. That doesn't make either right or wrong. Just different, they are different women with different desires. Nothing wrong with that.

 "Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with."

Getting married and having children are life milestones, they change who you are. They represent a new direction on your path in life. We also throw going away parties, retirement parties, graduation parties, and housewarming parties. Each of these events symbolizes a news step in our paths. Each of these events are accomplishments, and important in their own rights. Each of these events shape who we'll become. At the end of your life if you made a timeline of the most life changing events you experienced, those would all be on it. Those life events matter, they make up part of who you are.

"These aren't accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average. "
Anyone can do them? Seriously, tell that to my uterus, it apparently missed the memo. They aren't average because we aren't average. We are all extraordinary in our own rights, therefore every major turn our life  takes is above average. Not everyone is cut out for marriage and family life. Everyone is different. No, not "everyone" can do them, not everyone desires to do them. Again, that's okay. I am sensing some serious bitterness coming from the author. It feels almost as if in order to justify her own choices she needs to belittle the choices of others. 

"And here’s the thing, why on earth are we settling for average?
If women can do anything, why are we still content with applauding them for doing nothing?"

Joining your life to another's isn't nothing. Bringing forth new life isn't nothing. Raising children is far from nothing. It's something. Your definition of what's important and what's average differs from mine. We're different people.  I find contentment and value in cleaning, cooking and chasing children. You may not. You may find value and contentment in science or math. I don't. I see that they have value. I see that others may find their personal contentment in them, I simply don't. Contrary to what Amy is saying here, that's okay. We're different people, we hold different ideals and values. Just because it isn't your thing it doesn't make it not a thing. You can't just go around deciding what matters and what doesn't based on your preferences.

"I want to have a shower for a woman when she backpacks on her own through Asia, gets a promotion, or lands a dream job not when she stays inside the box and does the house and kids thing which is the path of least resistance. The dominate cultural voice will tell you these are things you can do with a husband and kids, but as I’ve written before, that’s a lie. It’s just not reality.
You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids."
 Life is meant to celebrated, so go forth and throw those showers! Go right ahead, don't forget my invite! But, don't devalue other people's desires in the process. You don't get to decide what matters to everyone in the world. You get to decide what matters to you. You probably value things I don't, that doesn't make them less than the things I value, it just makes them unimportant to me, personally. I don't get to decide that they don't matter to anyone, ever. I value them because I value you, and they matter to you. Why can you not be exceptional  in the way you go about your marriage and how you raise your kids? Who sets the level for that anyway? I think that's in the eye of the beholder. Everyone's idea of family life looks different. Lots of people travel and accomplish great goals while married with children. It depends on the person. Some people's goal is a successful marriage and healthy, happy children. 

"I hear women talk about how “hard” it is to raise kids and manage a household all the time. I never hear men talk about this. It’s because women secretly like to talk about how hard managing a household is so they don’t have to explain their lack of real accomplishments. Men don’t care to “manage a household.” They aren't conditioned to think stupid things like that are “important.” "

I don't know what men you're listening to, but some men are talking about how difficult it is. Here's a lawyer talking about why his wife's job is harder than his, here's Matt Walsh talking about how difficult it is to be a SAHM, and I'm sure my husband would love to tell you all about his adventures in managing the household while I sick for a few days. He always tells me that my job is harder than his. For him. For me, I love my job. I find it challenging and rewarding. I find it fulfilling. I know some people don't feel that way about my work, and that's okay. You don't have to bow at my feet and declare my awesomeness. No stay at home mom does it forth the glory. That's the big difference, isn't it? The woman she's describing with her career and accomplishments galore is doing it for the response, for the glory. SAHMs don't. They sacrifice everything for other people, they put themselves last. They do it out of love for the betterment of someone else. That is something important. Lots of men stay home too. And, all of them [that I know at least] will tell you hard it is...and also how worthwhile it is.

"Women will be equal with men when we stop demanding that it be considered equally important to do housework and real work. They are not equal. Doing laundry will never be as important as being a doctor or an engineer or building a business. This word play is holding us back."

I have to wonder how Miss Glass feels about nannies, school teachers, maids, and financial planners. Does she deem these occupations important and worthwhile? Are they worthwhile because the job holder is receiving a salary?  I'm a stay at home "mom" to someone else's child. I sacrificed a very successful business to stay at home and cook, clean, and wipe a little hiney. My work may not be important to Miss Glass, but it sure is important to that little girl that I'm raising. It's important to my husband. It's important to me. Clearly she doesn't know the inner-workings of being a SAHM, or a mom at all. It is hard work, it's the same work that many others get paid for. With the experience gleaned from being a SAHM alone I would meet the job qualifications for a nanny, a line cook, a maid, an assistant, and a childcare professional. That's not including my work history, my experience as a business owner, or my education.

Essentially Miss Glass is saying that because we choose to forgo payment for our services, and because we choose to give up everything for another person that we are unimportant and less than. I'm sorry, but I do work. I do do something. I do the same tasks now that I used to get paid money for. Now, I just get the love and respect of my family, and that's more than enough. I work hard every day.

What's holding us back is seeing ourselves as better than anyone else. What's holding us back is deeming some work unimportant. What's holding us back is bashing other people for their career choices when we know nothing about them.

In the words of my great grandmother, may she rest in peace, "It takes all kinds to make the world go 'round." It does. Every occupation is valuable and important in its own right. From the janitors to the CEOs, they all matter. By devaluing the job of a stay at home mom we are devaluing the importance of marriage and children. That's exactly what people like her want. Don't let them win.


  1. I was reading the post about the towels, and somehow I ended up here. Your writing is genuine, honest, and a blessing to this SAHM. Do you blog anymore? Where all can your writing be found?

    1. Thank you so much! I don't as much as I should! I really need to start again. Most of my writing of substance is here. I do write fiction as well, I have a few books published. They're clean romance. But I haven't written real opinion pieces like this in a while. I'm so glad it was a blessing to you!


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