Ah. Amy Glass. Inevitably, this article made its way thru my newsfeed along with many incredulous and heated responses. So, my thoughts:
I am a SAHM. I actually work hard. I cook for two or three, one of whom changes the meal plan the moment I set her plate down. My sink and dish-rack are perpetually full of dishes. I constantly have a wipe/mop in my hand, trying to suppress the sticky. I sweep and vacuum multi-daily, trying to conquer the never-ending horde of crumbs and dog-fur. I pick up toys and books and clothes non-stop. The washer and dryer are on cycle “infinite.” Then, there are diapers to be changed and dollhouses to be arranged and songs to be danced to and books to be read aloud. I do all the little things, like bathe and dress and brush teeth and comb hair, twice. And, I complete all these tasks with one hand being held or with a little girl in my lap.
I suppose I would first have to address Glass’s statement that I am not on “equal-footing” with a woman who takes care of herself. Well, that’s true. *See above.*
She goes on to say, “These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them.” Yes, day-to-day housework takes on a menial “charm,” let’s say. Referring directly to getting married and having children? I must disagree here. It is no easy task to be married. It takes work. Furthermore, as someone who struggles with infertility, I am actually a wee-bit offended at the casual suggestion that “getting knocked-up” is no accomplishment. (And, we won’t even mention how offensive this might be to an adoptive or potentially-adoptive parent who may know unorthodox obstacles in becoming a parent). Let alone the rearing of any child. Or a special-needs child. Or multiple children. Or multiple special-needs children.
Glass next states, “If women can do anything, why are we still content with applauding them for doing nothing?” However, this statement coupled with her essential argument creates contradictory logic. She continues, “You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids.” There lies the rub. I am both: doing nothing, doing “super easy tasks” and too busy, too bogged down.
Glass’s next impression:
I hear women talk about how “hard” it is to raise kids and manage a household all the time. I never hear men talk about this. It’s because women secretly like to talk about how hard managing a household is so they don’t have to explain their lack of real accomplishments. Men don’t care to “manage a household.” They aren’t conditioned to think stupid things like that are “important.”
If women are solely seeking validation, men are doing it too. Never hear a man boast about the alterations he made to his theater-system or ride or man-cave? No, it’s not “managing a household.” Men are conditioned to think “other” stupid things.
Furthermore, there is a lot more physical labor in my daily activities as a stay-at-home-mom than as a writer. I would like to invite you over, Ms. Glass, to shovel my driveway of snow. Honestly, the sense of accomplishment I felt upon the completion of that task far superseded any award previously-earned. Not only is there achievement in sweat, it is a powerful illustration of hard-work to little eyes and little minds. As a SAHM, the mental activities can be mind-numbingly repetitive and banal at times, but this is equally as exhausting as any thought-provoking tasks. Finally, the emotional toll as a wife/parent/human-being can be overwhelming. When you are capable of empathy, when you care for/about another person, you share accomplishments. So, I may not have a Pulitzer, but I am currently teaching a person to read and behave and wonder. That’s equally as important in my book. Making real person out of real nothing = real accomplishment.
Glass finishes by including the following: “Doing laundry will never be as important as being a doctor or an engineer or building a business.” 1. I wonder if she wears dirty clothes or just buys new ones all the time? I mean, makes her own new clothes all the time. (Because someone did make your clothes, Amy). 2. Obviously, average/menial work is not important. Although, I don’t know how things would work for doctors, engineers, and business-builders without all of the assistance they require. (It was poor judgement to ostracize just about every other profession, Amy. Yikes).
The truth is, this is a difficult subject for me. I, for one, do think it is incredibly rare to “have it all.” I don’t care if you are a stay-at-home mom, a working-mom, a career-mom, a business-woman with kids, etc.; if you choose to be a parent, you may not succeed in other arenas in the same fashion.
But, my opinion here truly doesn’t matter. Feminism actually is about “validating the choices” that women make. Equal-footing with men? Women should have the same rights over their bodies and minds… and, be able to choose any method of living- even if it rubs you the wrong way.
Ultimately, Glass chose not to approach the subject with any modicum of respect. Hell, she titled the post, “I Look Down On Young Women…” This leads me to believe that she was really just trying to stir a frenzy, generate blog-views, etc. In this effort, she found success.
Finally, in the fifth paragraph, she uses the phrase “the dominate cultural voice.” I think she meant the adjective, “dominant.” Not the verb, “dominate.” (Exceptional writing there, Ames. You never heard that saying about glass houses?)
(For the record, I don’t think men, in general, or women, in general, think “stupid things”).