Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Feminine Mistake

Good Morning America did a brief interview with Geraldine Ferraro this morning.

I remember being impressed that a woman was in the second spot on a major party ticket. I think I was about 13 years old. Thank you, Ms. Ferraro for starting us down this road.

However, I was disappointed with her comments about how do working women do this job (in reference to Sarah Palin)? Or any job? She mentioned that depending on income levels, women have daycare, a housekeeper, and so forth. Even Robin Roberts said that it was putting focus on working women and their needs from the workplace. Never once did either woman say anything about what Governor Palin's husband might do for the family. Never once did they say WORKING PARENTS in reference to needs from the workplace.

Being the wife of a stay-at-home dad, I am so frustrated with our society not allowing men to freely choose this lifestyle. When the feminist revolution came about and made society change its mind about women working outside the home, where was the revolution that said men could work inside the home, caring for the children, keeping up the house with sweeping, mopping, dishes and laundry?


First, I want to thank all those women that worked hard to allow me the choice of working outside the home, or the choice to work inside the home with my children.

But, shame on you for not helping to change attitudes about men and their role in society!!!!

People will say, "Well, women are the nurturers." Well, some women aren't natural nuturers, and some men are! We need to change society so that men are comfortable being at home, in the drudgery of dealing with small children and cleaning stuff over and over again. Because a man chooses to stay at home, DOES NOT MEAN HE WAS BAD AT HIS PREVIOUS JOB! He was not fired, he was not bored with it, he was not at a midlife crisis, whatever you might think.

So, I am frustrated with Geraldine and I'm frustrated with the media. Who is Sarah's husband? How does he spend time with the kids? Do they split the duties? How do THEY raise the children? Are there working women that have husbands who do raise the children because that is the CHOICE for the couple at that moment in their lives?

Today's dad is spending more time with the kids and feeling that his participation is just as important as his wife's, whether one, or both of them work. But, there is still a double standard for men. If my husband chooses to continue to stay at home and not work, because he wants to be at home when the kids come back from school, people might raise their eyebrows. With our stay-at-home mom friends, if that is their choice, no one really thinks twice about it. Men should not have their worth tied into their job and money making ability, and women should not have their worth tied into the raising of their children. THAT is soooo 19th century!

In my mind two partners in a marriage are partners in raising the children and both should have opportunities in work and at home to choose to raise their children as they see fit to do so for their emotional, spiritual and financial needs.

My husband and I, having lived in the Chicago suburbs for 7 years, started to find that we didn't spend any time together much as a family, because he was working weekends, or I was working weekends. If he took time off in the week, I would be at work and the kids were in daycare. It was too fast paced for us. We both applied for jobs in areas where we thought we could live on one income. I got the first job offer and it was decent and liveable. He made the very BRAVE decision to stay at home. I am proud of him and we love our home life as it is. Now that both kids are in school, he is thinking about going back to work, but I am thinking about staying at home. So, we do feel one parent at home, no matter which one it is, is the best choice for us.

But, I wish the rest of society viewed his choice as normal. Not as a deficiency on his part. He did not lose a job, he was good at what he did and would continue to be good. However, I think organizations that might look at his background may not give him the benefit of the doubt that they might give a stay-at-home mom. That's a crying shame, because they will not find out how talented my husband is in his field. All for a stereotype or an assumption about what stay-at-home dads are like or why they end up stay-at-home.

Naked opinions. You asked for it.

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