On Amy Glass, Stay-at-Home Moms, and Feminism: When Will We Stop Judging Each Other?
An article written by Amy Glass, "I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry," has been making the rounds as of late. She contends that those of us that choose marriage and a family over focusing solely on ourselves and our professional goals are "being applauded for doing nothing."
But, in this post, just days later, she got it right. Feminism doesn't mean that every woman has to break through the glass ceiling and become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. No, feminism instead means that every woman has choices. To quote Ms. Glass:
"The great thing about Feminism is that it means that women can do anything. You can be a working woman or a stay at home mother and both choices are equally valid. There is no “wrong way” to do feminism. This means that as good feminists, we never judge the choices of other women."
It's hard to imagine that the same person wrote the following only days earlier:
"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."
When are we going to stop judging one another? The woman that chooses to forgo marriage and a family to climb all the way to the top? Good for her. That's her choice. The woman that chooses to work, but doesn't choose to climb the ladder so she has more flexible hours? Way to go. That's her choice. Or, the woman that chooses to stay at home to raise a family? That's her choice, too. And, all of these choices are equally valid.
My mom chose to work while raising my brother and me. She had an extremely successful career, while balancing her roles as wife and mother. She coached our teams, she's been married to my father for 38 years, she seemingly had "it all." I've always wondered if she was disappointed when I didn't return to work after we had our oldest son, that I was "settling" for less than the best, that I was choosing to not have "it all."
So, I asked her this morning, "Mom, you're not going to hurt my feelings, but were you disappointed that I chose to stay at home?" She replied sincerely, "No, not disappointed. I was worried about you financially, but I was never disappointed." (It turned out fine financially.) Even though I didn't choose her path, she wasn't disappointed. If my mom, the poster child for "have it all" isn't disappointed in me, no one else should be disappointed or "look down" on me either.
For now, I will choose to forget the original article and remember this from Amy Glass, "Raising kids, managing a household and working a job are all equally important. There is no good or bad, there is only equal."
What do you think? Do you think stay at home moms are being applauded for "doing nothing"? Do you believe that the stay at home mom is equally as important as the mom that chooses a rising career or the woman that forgoes a family for career?