The Feminine Mistake

5 Jan



I found this book and decided it would be an interesting thing to look into because I’ve been trying to figure out how I could ever balance a large family and a career in politics or law. The author Leslie Bennetts interviewed many women, some with careers and some stay-at-home parents to determine the economic impacts of being a stay at home parent. She clearly does not think being a stay at home parent is a good financial decision and sometimes it seems as though she may be bashing the idea of stay at home parents but I definitely can see where she is coming from.

She talks about these women who have been stay at home parents for their whole adult lives and have therefore never contributed to 401K or a pension plan. While this isn’t a problem at the time, when their spouse divorces them, passes away, or gets a bad illness, the women are left to pick up the pieces and sometimes aren’t able to do that. She writes about women who have struggled and barely made ends meet after things like this have happened because they do not have the skill set to get back in the work force after a tragedy. The author does go on some tangents about the value of being a stay at home parent and while she supports stay at home parents, she talks about “full-time mommys” and those women who believe their job could be done by no one else. She goes on to say that women who identify not as a stay at home parent but a full time mommy are trying to make it seem as though women cannot have a career and be a mommy, as if they turn off being a mom when they are at work.

I’ve never been one to think of being a stay at home parent, for personal reasons not as anything against stay at home parents but I got to thinking about what would happen in those situations. If the income somehow stops, what is a woman to do? I also was struck by the “full time mommy” section. I’m not a parent and was personally offended by that comment. My mom worked my whole life and I still always considered her a mom.

How does being a stay at home parent effect women economically and is self-labeling as a full time mommy offensive to working parents?

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