That's news to you!
There's so much to like and dislike in this NY Times article on Ivy League women looking to someday become stay-at-home moms.
At Yale and other top colleges, women are being groomed to take their place in an ever more diverse professional elite. It is almost taken for granted that, just as they make up half the students at these institutions, they will move into leadership roles on an equal basis with their male classmates.
There is just one problem with this scenario: many of these women say that is not what they want.
I'm not real comfortable characterizing that as a problem. Also, as noted later in the article, the definition of leadership needs to be broadened ...uh, at least to the author and editor of this article.
This part makes sense to me:
What seems to be changing is that while many women in college two or three decades ago expected to have full-time careers, their daughters, while still in college, say they have already decided to suspend or end their careers when they have children.
"At the height of the women's movement and shortly thereafter, women were much more firm in their expectation that they could somehow combine full-time work with child rearing," said Cynthia E. Russett, a professor of American history who has taught at Yale since 1967. "The women today are, in effect, turning realistic."
Agreed. How can you be an effective parent if you're in an office from 8:00 until 8:00, as is required of many CEO's?
I'm very suspicious of the words "many" and "some" and "few." Where are the hard numbers?
While the changing attitudes are difficult to quantify, the shift emerges repeatedly in interviews with Ivy League students, including 138 freshman and senior females at Yale who replied to e-mail questions sent to members of two residential colleges over the last school year.
The women said that pursuing a rigorous college education was worth the time and money because it would help position them to work in meaningful part-time jobs when their children are young or to attain good jobs when their children leave home.
That describes me pretty well. I don't see much of an issue there.
In recent years, elite colleges have emphasized the important roles they expect their alumni - both men and women - to play in society.
Don't let them brainwash you! I don't remember The Columbia School of Journalism emphasizing any important roles to me. I do remember writing in my application letter what I hoped to do with my degree--find a husband with it.
For example, earlier this month, Shirley M. Tilghman, the president of Princeton University, welcomed new freshmen, saying: "The goal of a Princeton education is to prepare young men and women to take up positions of leadership in the 21st century. Of course, the word 'leadership' conjures up images of presidents and C.E.O.'s, but I want to stress that my idea of a leader is much broader than that."
She listed education, medicine and engineering as other areas where students could become leaders.
I can't believe she didn't mention Valentine's Day gift bag committee at pre-school!
In an e-mail response to a question, Dr. Tilghman added: "There is nothing inconsistent with being a leader and a stay-at-home parent. Some women (and a handful of men) whom I have known who have done this have had a powerful impact on their communities."
Ah. Well, she's not leaving us out entirely thank you very much.
Yet the likelihood that so many young women plan to opt out of high-powered careers presents a conundrum.
"It really does raise this question for all of us and for the country: when we work so hard to open academics and other opportunities for women, what kind of return do we expect to get for that?" said Marlyn McGrath Lewis, director of undergraduate admissions at Harvard, who served as dean for coeducation in the late 1970's and early 1980's.
(Emphasis added.) Have there every been quantifiable returns, other than alumni donations? I mean, I know the next Supreme Court Chief Justice is a Harvard man, and if we did a study, we'd probably find that most SCOTUS judges come from one of the Ivy League Universities, but across American society, what are the numbers? Where did the CEO of Walmart graduate? For that matter where did Tony Cao
go to school? He's the proprietor of a new hair salon in North Texas--changing people's lives, one head of hair at a time. Think of the environmental benefits!
University officials said that success meant different things to different people and that universities were trying to broaden students' minds, not simply prepare them for jobs.
I hope they didn't conduct a study to conclude that. Although, I'd like to add here, based on nothing but casual observation, universities are churning out people at alarming rates who are ready to work only at universities and the occasional low-stress restaurant!
"They [college-age women] are still thinking of this as a private issue; they're accepting it," said Laura Wexler, a professor of American studies and women's and gender studies at Yale. "Women have been given full-time working career opportunities and encouragement with no social changes to support it.
"I really believed 25 years ago," Dr. Wexler added, "that this would be solved by now."
See--I think we've solved it ourselves with flex-time, part-time work, staying home when your child needs you the most, working when she doesn't, like when they're in school. Dr. Wexler's question was answered at the top of the same page.
Dr. Bushnell said young women today, in contrast, are thinking and talking about part-time or flexible work options for when they have children. "People have a heightened awareness of trying to get the right balance between work and family."
It's an endless conversation in my crowd. I say each family do what's right for them! Not every woman is cut out to care for little children. They are crazy people--trust me! And they can be terribly rude and ill-mannered at times. I had no idea. There are some days when I still wonder would it be healthier for the kids if I went back to work and put them in a daycare where people are paid to be patient.
Children are always changing, needing new things, new kinds of attention and new stimulation--and it's never anything cool like surfing the web or learning to cook gourmet meals. It very often involves a doll or a toy that I'm not only not
interested in, I find
no inspiration to even feign
Whoops--sorry about the tangent. Anyway, as Dr. Phil once pointed out, if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody in the family happy. And if those aren't the truest words ever spoken, I can make them the truest words ever spoken.
Another thing to consider, as Ann Althouse pointed out, who at 22 can really predict with certainty what they'll be doing and want to be doing at 30? I think not so many.