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QualiTcare 08:23 PM 07-31-2010
Originally Posted by professionalmom:
I find it odd that people are still using the term "oppressed" to describe women in the pre-feminist movement. Women in those days took care of the children, cooked cleaned, did the laundry, did the gradening, etc. What do women do today? The exact same thing PLUS they now have less time to do it in because many of them are working outside the home. Some women from that era described themselves as oppressed because they wanted to escape the housework and kids. Fine. But don't try to convince everyone else that they are less of a person because they like being at home. And many women did like being home in those days. That never gets reported because no one wants to hear stories about people who are happy. We like conflict. We are drawn to stories of oppression, depression, challenges, and struggles.

I have always supported (and will always support) the feminist movement as it was originally intended - to give women choices and equal pay for equal work. But, like many things, I do think it was taken to the other extreme.

I have worked in various fields in the corporate, legal, and medical fields, for many companies full of female employees. Many, if not most, of them wanted to be at home and not work. But they felt that they had not choice. That sounds pretty oppressive to me - not having a choice. Many of these women were racing to drop kids off at school and daycare to get to work, then racing to pick up the kids and get them to their activities on time after work (skipping lunch to fit in the mandatory OT or be able to get out early so they can get to their kids on time), running through a drive-thru for dinner, racing home around 9pm to help with homework, showers, and crash in bed, usually around or past midnight. Some were on the verge of divorce, wanting to reliquish custody to their husbands because they were at their wits end. Many were on anti-depressants just to get through the day. One of my best friends put her foot down and told her husband that she was giving 2 weeks notice at work and that she would now be an at-home mom. He freaked at first. She and I went to lunch a month after she quit working. She looked fabulous! Hair was done nicely, makeup perfect, no bags under her eyes, etc. She had been exercising, more involved in her church and her long-lost hobbies. She looked happy. She looked alive! She said her kids were actually getting along for once (they often used words like "hate" and "wish you were dead" before mom quit), her house never looked as organized, and her husband changed his tune because their marriage had improved in EVERY way. She finally had time to devote to her family and they were ALL thriving more than she could have ever dreamed. She even told me - oppression is not having a choice and letting it consume you to the point where you are not allowed to live, but merely exist and constantly running on a treadmill that never ends. She said, that once she made the decision to take charge of her life and jump off that treadmill, she found freedom. From a former corporate mom, now stay-at-home mom of the 21st century.

I can cite example after example of this occurring in this day and age. I'm not saying women weren't oppressed at all back in the 50's and earlier. It's great that we have gained acceptance in the workplace. But, it has almost become a prison for many women. In my personal experience, I would estimate that 70-80% of the women I have worked with, worked because they did not have a choice or they "thought" they did not have a choice, but if given the choice, they would stay home and raise their kids.

QualiTcare, I understand that YOU like working outside the home. I have nothing against that. For some families, it works and it sounds like it works for you and your family. I applaud you. However, I have seen many, many women in the workplace who just feel trapped and "oppressed" because society does not support their desire to be at home and raise their children and / or they "need" the extra income. (Side note: for single parent families, it's not "extra" income, it's THE income and is a different ball of wax that I am not talking about in these particular comments). You are blessed to be able to do what you want and work outside the home. I am blessed because I worked my tushie off to be able to be at home with my DD and future twins, which is what I wanted. I just wish EVERY woman had the CHOICE to raise her children as she sees fit and not be forced TO WORK or forced NOT TO WORK.

As for women (who WANTS to be at home and has a spouse) quitting their jobs, it would better the economy. First, it would create a vacancy in the job market, which could be filled by a man (or woman) currently on unemployment. For every woman who voluntarily leaves the workforce, vacancies are created, which can be filled by those on unemployment. Fewer people on unemployment results in less of a strain on state government (welfare systems), lowered unemployment rates. Then there would eventually be a shift in the supply / demand. If the unemployment rate drops from 18% to 5%, that will place employees in a much better position to bargain for better wages, better benefits, fewer hours (a.k.a. less OT), etc. I'm not sure how this couldn't be a positive.

Obviously this works for the 2 income family going down to 1 income. It would be very difficult at first. However, as I showed in the example, we would be putting the employees into a better bargaining position and the husbands out there will be able to bargain for higher wages and salaries, which would bring in more income to the family. Now this would not work if it would put the family on assistance. But there are many, many ways to cut back on expenses, which would make the need for the second income, obsolete. It jsut takes creative budgeting.
well, it WAS oppression because like you said - they didn't have the CHOICE to go to work. some women may have been happy staying at home just like there are women today who are happy staying at home. the difference is -women today have a CHOICE and OPTIONS that they didn't have before. women today may "feel oppressed" but they aren't REALLY - not like women used to be. yeah, they may not be able to quit work because they can't figure out how to do it and stay financially stable - but the OPTION is still there. lots of women don't vote - but the OPTION is there - they CAN vote.

you say don't make people feel like less of a person because they want to stay home. i say don't make people feel like less of a parent because they want to work. that's not to you, but everyone that talks crap (the ones that "get it")

just like there are children who would like to spend more time with their parents - there are children who are homeschooled that would love to go to school. i watched a documentary with 4 high school kids that WANTED to go to school. i DO think there are mothers who use being with their children as an excuse NOT to work just as much as there are working mothers that use work as an excuse to not be with their children. it works both ways.

i saw not long ago you said you're moving in with relatives due to finances. what if you didn't have relatives to move in with? lots of people don't. some people may have that as an option but they'd never consider it. if my option was to be a stay at home parent and move in with my in-laws or work and have my own home - i'd choose to work. everyone's priorities are different. i think MOST mothers have their children on the top of their priority list, and providing for their children (food, clothing, shelter) requires them to have a job.

it's easy for daycare providers to talk about how mothers should spend more time with their kids because they're staying at home with theirs and getting PAID by these working mothers. if every mother stayed at home, all daycare providers would be out of a job. that little factor seems to be overlooked.