Adam Ash

Your daily entertainment scout. Whatever is happening out there, you'll find the best writing about it in here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Elite college women will be happy to dump careers for motherhood

From the NY Times:

Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path to Motherhood -- by Louise Story

Cynthia Liu is precisely the kind of high achiever Yale wants: smart (1510 SAT), disciplined (4.0 grade point average), competitive (finalist in Texas oratory competition), musical (pianist), athletic (runner) and altruistic (hospital volunteer). And at the start of her sophomore year at Yale, Ms. Liu is full of ambition, planning to go to law school.

So will she join the long tradition of famous Ivy League graduates? Not likely. By the time she is 30, this accomplished 19-year-old expects to be a stay-at-home mom.

"My mother's always told me you can't be the best career woman and the best mother at the same time," Ms. Liu said matter-of-factly. "You always have to choose one over the other."

At Yale and other top colleges, women are being groomed to take their place in an ever more diverse professional elite. It is almost taken for granted that, just as they make up half the students at these institutions, they will move into leadership roles on an equal basis with their male classmates.

There is just one problem with this scenario: many of these women say that is not what they want.

Many women at the nation's most elite colleges say they have already decided that they will put aside their careers in favor of raising children. Though some of these students are not planning to have children and some hope to have a family and work full time, many others, like Ms. Liu, say they will happily play a traditional female role, with motherhood their main commitment.

Much attention has been focused on career women who leave the work force to rear children. What seems to be changing is that while many women in college two or three decades ago expected to have full-time careers, their daughters, while still in college, say they have already decided to suspend or end their careers when they have children.

"At the height of the women's movement and shortly thereafter, women were much more firm in their expectation that they could somehow combine full-time work with child rearing," said Cynthia E. Russett, a professor of American history who has taught at Yale since 1967. "The women today are, in effect, turning realistic."

Read on here.


At 9/21/2005 8:42 AM, Blogger FemaleCSGradStudent said...


How much of this "Motherhood is what I really want" bullshit is perpetuated by the all those damn celebrity mom's who report that their children are little angels and never mention the army of nannies that they all those damn sitcoms on the television where the mother's stay at home and their is always some aunt, mother-in-law, gay neighbor, or whomever to babysit at a moment's all these stories that tell about women who went to Harvard, had a chance at a fulfulling career, but picked staying at home. Why do I have to feel guilt-tripped every damn time I hear one of these stories. Why do I have to feel like a freak for being 29 and getting my PhD with no husband in sight?!

Stay at home mom's are awesome. It's a great job. Go motherhood! But why does this seem to be the only choice anymore? Why not a federally-funded childcare program so that all women can choose between staying home and career without worrying about a sitter? Why not a government stipend for mothers so that they can have financial empowerment while doing one of the most important jobs in the world.

America's neoconservatives talk about family values. Why don't they put their money where their mouths are.

At 9/22/2005 8:47 AM, Blogger Adam said...

Right on.

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