A young woman named Amy Glass wrote a train wreck of a blog post on Thought Catalog entitled “I Look Down on Young Women with Husbands and Kids and I’m Not Sorry.” In case the title isn’t enough to explain how bad this is, here’s a snippet:
Women will be equal with men when we stop demanding that it be considered equally important to do housework and real work. They are not equal. Doing laundry will never be as important as being a doctor or an engineer or building a business.
The following commentary is an adaptation of my comment on Instapundit’s thread about this.
My undergraduate degrees are in chemical engineering and classics; I then worked as a nanotechnologist. A lot of my work is classified; a non-classified project I worked on was a NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts sub-contract for developing high-strength cable for a space elevator. After that came law school, and after law school came (inter alia) the Boston Tea Party, the individual mandate ballot initiative, Fair Districts Mass, and McCullen.
But none of that will matter when I’m dead and buried. In fact, most of it won’t matter before then: sheepskin and piles of paperwork are poor substitutes for human love.
Amy Glass needs to get over herself. She is a blogger, not the next Margaret Thatcher. Like almost all of us, she has an unimportant career whose largest value is supporting herself (and others, if she chooses to use it that way).
My grandfather died two years ago. I saw him in the week before he passed, and it aches that I wasn’t there for him at the very end. He was a CFO back in his high-powered career days, but the company didn’t hold his hand when he was dying in a rehab facility. Instead of traveling the world, he and my grandmother spent their retirement being grandparents; it was probably a good choice, seeing as the Eiffel Tower would not have hopped a plane to be with him, but his granddaughters did.
I now have my grandfather’s cat and happily cut back my social life, travel, and silly glamour to spend time with the elderly furball and pay for his care. It is a joy to show him the same love that was shown to me, and to know that my grandfather’s companionship from his pet didn’t come at the expense of the cat’s well-being after his passing.
The value of human relationships isn’t something that I learned from the patriarchy to keep me in my place; it’s something I learned from watching how high-powered men conduct their own lives.
The successful men I know all say that their biggest accomplishment in life is being a good husband and a good father. “Being a father is the most important job in the world [for men],” said a CEO whom I know. “I was born to be a father,” said my own father. The constant refrain that their happy kids are their biggest accomplishment – the accomplishment that makes the high-powered titles and accolades pale by comparison. My own father – a successful man in his own right- went to almost every single one of my track meets. He missed the very last meet; but he did the laundry, so he peeled my hip number and bib number off my uniform, then put them in a scrapbook that was part of my high school graduation present. Incidentally, my father was forty-two when I graduated high school.
By Amy Glass’ standards, my father is a victim of the patriarchy and should have spent his time earning more money.