I was flipping stations this afternoon and came across one of those religious television programs that was interviewing Dr. Laura Schlessinger about her new book In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms. I tolerated about two minutes of her going on about the neglect working moms make their children suffer by withholding love, support, fun, games, and hugs before I turned it. And I don’t think we need to have a discussion here about 1.) the fact that most working moms find themselves getting no support or help from dead beat dads 2.) those women have no choice but to work, or 3.) conservatives encourage women to avoid birth control and tell us not have abortions, but 4.) don’t want any social programs or government assistance that could help the single gals out there who are having babies with no help from anyone else.
This issue is so old, I cannot believe people are still fighting about it. In 2009, I would have hoped we could realize that some women can afford and want to stay home with their kids. Some cannot afford it, but do it anyway. Some cannot afford it, so they work. Others utilize help from friends and family. Some work and really enjoy having a break from their kids. Why does anyone really give a rat’s ass? Shouldn’t our primary concern just be that human beings do what they can for one another? If a parent has their kid’s best interest at heart, what more can you ask for?
I was going to put quotes around the doctor part of Ms. Schlessinger’s name, but I decided to look up her qualifications and, as it turns out, she is, indeed, a doctor, and got her Ph.D from Colombia, plus some further education on family and marital counseling. Not that it makes that much of a difference, because she’s still a conservative misogynist with whom I agree on almost nothing.
Take, for example, a couple of other books Amazon.com recommends by her: Coming Out Straight: Understanding and Healing Homosexuality, and The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands. She also has a few that are cleverly disguised as feminist or empowering for women, but are really … well, not.
Amazon recommended some books by other authors: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, a book by Steve Harvey that apparently encourages us to, you know, be a chef in the kitchen, a lady in the street, and a whore in the bedroom. Because it’s the only way you can really trap win a man.
Also, consider one of the subject lines of the book’s reviews: Did the Feminist Movement Really Give Us What We Wanted?
When a woman like Dr. Laura can make a shitload of money preaching to her conservative choir, or playing the nice, family-oriented version of Ann Coulter by stirring up old controversy, then I’d say the feminist movement has worked for you. When I hear a Vagina American say she doesn’t need feminism or that it hasn’t done anything for her, or that it’s hurt more than it’s helped, I want to ask her how I’m hearing her opinion, and who allowed her outside of the house in the first place?
Should she be expressing any opinion in a public forum? Or should she be barefoot, wearing nothing but an apron (okay, maybe some spiked heels), pregnant, and servicing her husband while simultaneously cleaning the house and baking his meatloaf?