Friday, March 20, 2009

Judith Warner on Mommy Wars

Finally, consensus around the so-called "mommy wars" is starting to be more and more reasonable. Judith Warner last night on her blog for the New York Times, noted:

Now, I’m just as jealous of the yoga-pants-at-9-a.m.-on-Monday-morning crowd as the next frazzled working mom. But, I’m sorry to say, however delicious charting the downfall of the wealthy at-home mom may be, we do have to stop for a little reality check. While the rich, bathed in our attention, are turning necessity into a hand-wringing sociological event, most women in this country are just going about their business, much as they always have.

We — journalists and readers both — simply must, for once, resist the temptation to let what may or may not be happening to the top 5 percent (or 1 percent) of our country’s families set the story line for what women’s lives are becoming in this recession.

Because, the fact is, the story’s not about them.

“This is a classic blue collar recession,” says Heather Boushey, a senior economist at the Center for American Progress. Fully half the jobs that have been lost so far have been in construction and manufacturing. Only 5.1 percent of job losses have been in finance and insurance — the kinds of careers that support the opt-out lifestyle.
Exactly. While endless television shows love to debate whether women "should" work, the simple fact of the matter is that women do work. They have for decades; they can't afford not to. We need to focus on the way families really are.

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