Wednesday, June 14, 2006

 

Linda and the Mommy Brigade

I read a post by Linda Hirshman on Prospect writing wrt women in the work place. I have read only a small sampling of her work, but I get the sense from that sampling that she feels that women should work because they may provide higher value to society as workers than as stay at home mothers.

My thoughts are, why would anyone do anything for society? Men don't. They work because they must. They must for economic reasons and for personal validation reasons. But I don't think men work for the good of society. Why should women?

Women are an underutilized resource. I am convinced of that. But if a woman can stay home because that is what she wants to do, who is to say she should do something different?

Frankly, if *I* didn't have to work, I wouldn't, and to hell with society. :)

I suspect she gets so much anger from the mommy brigade because her language threatens the societal validation of their choice. Without that validation, they would feel forced into the work force - and time and choice would disappear for most of them, just as it has for most men.

Better would be to argue for flexibility for both men and women, not a single minded devotion to working for the good of society. Hell, she might as well shill for the "selfish gene" if she is going to make society the ultimate good.

The fact is, just as in biological evolution (or at least so I speculate), society is advanced when the collective choices of individuals, acting in their own best interests, aligns with the interests of all. You really can't have one without the other.

Not for long, anyway.

Jake

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