The “Sex and the City” quote, “Why are we ‘should-ing’ all over ourselves?” came to mind when I read this piece in the Guardian, “Female Ivy League graduates have a duty to stay in the workforce.” Feminists love to tell women what they should do. From the article:
I am not someone who believes that every woman should be made to feel as though they must choose between being committed to their children or committed to the sisterhood of women’s advancement. But I do consider any Harvard Law School degree obtained by a woman who then chooses not to use it in any sort of professional capacity throughout most of her life a wasted opportunity. That degree could have gone to a woman who does want to spend her entire life using it to advance the cause of women – or others in need of advancement – not simply advancing the lives of her own family at home, which is a noble cause, but not one requiring an elite degree.
Perhaps instead of bickering over whether or not colleges and universities should ask us to check boxes declaring our racial identity, the next frontier of the admissions should revolve around asking people to declare what they actually plan to do with their degrees. [Emphasis added] There’s nothing wrong with someone saying that her dream is to become a full-time mother by 30. That is an admirable goal. What is not admirable is for her to take a slot at Yale Law School that could have gone to a young woman whose dream is to be in the Senate by age 40 and in the White House by age 50.
Should. Should. Should.
Basically, the author is asking 17 and 18 year-olds to predict what kind of mothers they will want to be when filling out college applications. She also assumes that once a woman decides to be a stay-at-home mother they are out of the work force FOREVER. The author is also implying that any other use of an Ivy League degree is more worthwhile than being a stay-at-home mother. Nevemind the economic realities women face when comparing working outside the home, the job market and daycare.
A former coworker and Yale grad who is now a stay-at-home mother tweeted, “Funny how we’re never told that men with a JD have an obligation to practice law or their law school spots have been wasted.”
Count me as “pro-choice” when it comes to how a women wants to use her degree. Her degree, her choice!