Friday, January 19, 2007

Mother and.....

I am really tired of the focus on women who are mothers and who work. Why? Well, I was watching Good Morning America yesterday morning and Diane Sawyer was sitting with the 16 women senators. That is great and I think the bigger focus was on the historical implications of finally having a group of women in the senate--of course it still is not nearly a true "representation" of our society--as all of the women were white and in reality there are more women as part of our population than men. That is a topic for a different post.

What bothers me is that our society is still so focused on Women and that their main role is that of mother and wife, above and beyond everything else. Just this morning Nancy Pelosi was characterized as Mother and Speaker...when was the last time your heard President Bush characterized as Father and President? Ummm. NEVER. I am not trying to minimize the importance of the mother. That is not what I want. When is society going to accept that this isn't the 50's anymore and that men too are fathers and bare a great deal of the responsibility of raising their children. That is why this bothers me. I am a mother and a mother first. My husband is a father and a father first, but the focus on what he does is his work outside of the home. As women, we must reject the labeling and the emphasis on us. Why? Because it is time for society to realize and accept that it takes both parents to raise our children--whether it is two dads or two moms, etc. It is no longer odd that mothers--I mean women--work. Women have been working outside of the home for a long time now. Sure, not as long as men have been, but it is time for society to accept this fact.

Women--who are mothers and wives work. Men--who are fathers and husbands work. This is not new. Men have always been absent from the home sphere and that is somehow accepted. But women must constantly be reminded that they have dual roles. "Now remember you are not only a CEO but your a mom too. How do you do it?" Somehow it is selfish if a woman wants to work. I believe a child benefits from having a parent at home with them when they are young. But, I also plan to go back to work when my kids start school. Does that mean I will not be there to raise my kids? Because my husband works does that mean that he is not raising his children? When was the last time a man was asked how he achieved a balance between his home life and his corporate/political life?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the world would be a better place if our male Commanders in Chief bore the "Father & President" title?

MP

dfg said...

Oh THANK YOU for writing this. It so needed to be said. And perhaps a shift in attitude would encourage more fathers to step up to the plate and help out, not to mention changing the societal expectation to do so!