Every woman should have the right to choose if she wants children or not. Doug Zeigler wants to insure his daughters aren’t shamed or pressured into parenthood.
There it was, big as could be, in my Facebook feed. I had to read the title 3 separate times to make sure I wasn’t reading it wrong. From ThinkProgress, “Fox Guest Encourages Female Host To Quit, Get Married, Have Babies.” I opened the article and read it with my mouth agape. Was someone trying to tell Anna Kooiman – one of the hosts of this show – she should quit her job to go home, get married, get pregnant, then stereotypically take off her socks and head to the kitchen?
Yes. Amazingly, it came from a woman. One would like to think Suzanne Venker might empathize with or even applaud Ms. Kooiman and her decision to work her ass off to get a high-paying job in a profession she loves. But, you’d be wrong. So, so wrong.
After her co-hosts practically bent over backwards praising Ms. Venker for her stance encouraging this regression to the 1950’s, Ms. Kooiman asked her for “some words of wisdom”:
KOOIMAN: “I fit into that category perfectly. I’m single. I’m 29 years old. I’m very career-oriented. What is your advice in just a couple sentences?”
VENKER: “My advice is, as the years go on and you find that you want, if you do, to get married and settle down, to understand time is going to be your greatest enemy. Not your husband, not men, not the government, not your employers. It’s time, there’s just not enough time in the day to do everything. So if you learn to embrace that side of yourself that isn’t about work — in other words, the nurturing side, the motherhood, all of that — it’s okay to let your husband bring home that full-time income so you can have more of a balanced life. And we should really be thanking men for this, not saying they’re in our way or not doing enough.”
So, to sum up Ms. Venker’s viewpoint: Women, you are only valuable as a sperm receptacle that can turn into an incubator. All of that other stuff like jobs, dreams, friendships, equality, pride in workmanship, being on equal footing with your male counterparts… none of that matters. What matters is your ability to pop out children and be a stay at home mom. Oh, and don’t you dare blame men for acting like cavemen. After all, they’re only doing what they are supposed to do. So, thank you men! Thanks for liberating us from the prisons of equality!
I really hope my daughters aren’t “liberated” by someone telling them that their entire worth is wrapped up in the productivity of their ovaries and their womb. Those are just two sets of organs in their bodies, and they’re not even the important ones. What if they are infertile? I don’t want them thinking they are any less of woman simply because they can’t reproduce. And the whole “It’s OK, they can adopt” sentiment doesn’t cut it if you’re going on the premise that females are only good as baby-making factories. In fact, I would think that’s pretty insulting. If they choose to adopt instead of getting pregnant, that is their own choice and certainly doesn’t devalue them as a person. And what about someone like Ms. Kooiman, who might simply want to be able to have a career regardless of marriage and children? Ms. Venker implies that she’s less than a woman because she wants to be independent.
Then there are the ever-growing section of couples where the dad stays home while mom works. That reversal of gender roles probably makes Suzanne Venker’s head explode.
I have friends who have stated that they don’t want kids at all. It takes a strong woman to know that kids are not something she wants, especially with the likes of Ms. Venker pushing motherhood as the gold standard of value in what it means to be a woman.
There is also the notion that my daughters will want to be stay-at-home moms. As long as it’s a choice they are making and not being forced or shamed into that decision, then they should be allowed to do just that, and with no reservations.
One of the wonderful things about our world today is the choices available to women. While our society still has a ways to go on the equality front, all of the struggles of women from the suffrage movement to now have opened up avenues to females. It’s why seeing a person who says that we need to return to a nostalgic version of hetero-normative america where men bring home the bacon and women stay home to ready the house for his return with no room for growth out of those roles is so disheartening. Many women (and yes, even some men) worked hard and sacrificed much so that my daughters could chase whatever dreams they may have. Seems that Ms. Venker has forgotten that what she deems to be the ideal is not and does not have to be the ideal of all women.
I’m thrilled that my girls have so many options before them as they grown and become women, and not like Dennis when talking to Arthur in Monty Python and The Holy Grail.
To be able go out in the world and make their own, whatever that may mean to them, knowing they are valued not for what they can spawn, but just for who they are.