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Feminist Says Child Rearing not Worthy of Time and Talents of Intelligent Humans

LifeSiteNews.com

By Hilary White
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  NEW YORK, June 20, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Linda Hirshman, a feminist US writer on cultural issues, has told the world why she thinks staying at home with the children is an occupation “not worthy of the full time and talents of intelligent and educated human beings.” She complains at length that the feminist movement, while making some gains in public life through legal activism, has largely failed in the one area where it counts most: the family.
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  She upbraids women who stay at home for failing the feminist agenda, saying, “They do not require a great intellect, they are not honored and they do not involve risks and the rewards that risk brings.”
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  Writing in the November 2005 edition of the American Prospect, Hirshman admitted that the real intention of the feminist movement was not“equality”, but to destroy what she calls “the unreconstructed family” of a husband and wife rearing children. She writes that the goal was to see as many women as possible abandoning family life for high-level professions and politics.
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  Hirshman, a committed radical, was a member in the 1970s of the feminist lobby, the National Organization for Women (NOW), a donor to the pro-abortion political organization, EMILY’s List, and a professor of women’s studies.
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  But, she complains, the movement has “stalled”; while the “public world has changed…private lives have hardly budged.” Childrearing is still seen by both men and women to be the natural purview of women. She writes of her “shock” to discover that among those professional women whom she called the “logical heirs of feminism”, large numbers were leaving their careers to opt for childrearing.
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“Marriage is essentially unchanged,” she laments. “The real glass ceiling is at home…Looking back, it seems obvious that the unreconstructed family was destined to re-emerge after the passage of feminism’s storm of social change.”
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  She writes, “this represents not a loss of present value but a loss of hope for the future—a loss of hope that the role of women in society will continue to increase.”
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  Some of the women she interviewed confirmed her worst fears: they liked being mothers. One declined to be interviewed because she could not leave her activities with her daughters: “We’re all in here making fresh apple pie,” she said.
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  Another, an “an Ivy Leaguer with a master’s degree” described her at-home activities: “I take my [3-year-old] daughter to all the major museums. We go to little movement classes.”
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  The article ignited a blaze of online outrage from feminists and traditionalists alike. Bloggers and editorials in print and online editions of a number of magazines have run comments blasting Hirshman.Â
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  In an op-ed at the online edition of the political magazine, the Huffington Post, Ann Coulter wrote that Hirshman and those who think like her, are “expressing an intolerant world view that women who don’t work are losers.”
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“Hirshman isn’t just expressing an opinion about what she thinks is best, she is saying that any woman who makes a choice different from what she espouses is unequivocally ‘wrong.’”
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  Coulter writes that feminism is losing its sway in public because it focuses on “problems that hardly exist…while spending precious little energy on issues that indisputably have a negative impact on women: pornography, sex trafficking.”
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“If [feminists] spent a fraction of the time on these issues that they spend trying to get women to get their men to vacuum the living room, the world would be a better place.”
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