Carol Platt Liebau: Me, Me, Me, Me, Me

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Me, Me, Me, Me, Me

In this piece from the Sunday WaPo "Outlook" section, Linda R. Hirshman -- an outspoken proponent of mothers working outside the home -- writes about how vilified she's been for propagating ideas like this one:

The tasks of housekeeping and child rearing were not worthy of the full time and talents of intelligent and educated human beings. They do not require a great intellect, they are not honored and they do not involve risks and the rewards that risk brings. Oh, and by the way, where were the dads when all this household labor was being distributed? Maybe the thickest glass ceiling . . . is at home.

She devotes the rest of the piece to telling us about her. All about her. How she's been mistreated. How her book proposal was turned down. Etc., etc., etc. ("But enough about me. What do you think about me?")

One hesitates to be unkind, but it's worth pointing out that Hirshman's behavior seems to follow her philosophy. At work and out in the world, women do (and often must) think about themselves first. At home, however, they learn that there are others who have needs that are important and compelling -- and that it's not all about them.

Obviously, in her eagerness to get out of the home and push other women with her, Linda Hirshman has forgotten some important life lessons -- assuming, of course, that her own mother was home to teach them to her.

In any case, one of the things my mother taught me was that when you educate a man, you educate an individual. When you educate a woman, you educate an entire family. Hirshman might want to think it over.

(HT: Charlotte Hays at IWF's InkWell.

6 Comments:

Blogger COPioneer said...

Not sure what you mean Carol, about this comment, "when you educate a man, you educate an individual. When you educate a woman, you educate an entire family"?

As a family man, I'm a bit insulted. My wife works part time, so we have the perfect balance - we think. And we share equally in household work and raising our kids.

To me, there's been nothing in my life more rewarding than the work I've done in coaching kid's sports, leading childern's worship at church, and being a leader in cub scouts. And my only hope and prayer about my efforts is that some kid (maybe not even my own), may look back on the time I've spent and have learned some lessons about respect and responsibility.

As for Hirshman, "...they are not honored and they do not involve risks and the rewards that risk brings" I ask, Why are they not honored? Could it be because of liberalism ripping the fabric of our society? And what could more important than raising good kids with good morals? Oh yeah, breaking the imaginary glass ceiling...to the I, me, mines.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

Copioneer,

I agree with you on father's contribution. The educated family man, that I know, play a significant and profund role in educating his family.

8:42 AM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

Hirshman: "they are not honored"

Proverbs 31:10-28: "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies....Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her."


Hirshman: "not worthy of the full time and talents of intelligent and educated human beings. They do not require a great intellect..."

I suspect that Hirshman only values the traits she thinks she has. Making a home requires patience, love, compassion, diligence and selflessness. Homemaking also requires an intelligence of the kind Hirshman lacks: insight into oneself and others -- the beginnings of wisdom.

Hirshman commits the common feminist mistake of using a "traditional male" frame of reference to judge "traditionally female" activities. For her, "liberating" women means making them behave like men.

Socrates, a real philosopher, was aware of how little he knew. Hirshman, who has the chutzpah to liken herself to Socrates, lacks this awareness.

She is a fool, plain and simple.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

Let's not hasten to take offense. No one is saying fathers aren't important; fathers are very important in many, many ways.

The point is that, most of the time, women have the lion's share of responsibility in caring for children (copioneer, if you work full time, your wife works part time, and you share evenly in housework and child-raising, when do you sleep?) It's not to say that fathers don't matter; it's to say that while they're working to support the family, often the mother is with the children -- teaching them.

9:10 AM  
Blogger suek said...

"...when you educate a man, you educate an individual. When you educate a woman, you educate an entire family."

I haven't heard that one before...I like it. Wonder if it would fit on a sampler...or the modern version - a bumper sticker!

5:29 PM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

of course I sleep very little! And additionally I turned down jobs that would have me traveling around the world too much, as I did in the 90s.

8:14 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Google