Thursday, September 22, 2005

I’m on a roll with the Times this week, but it is just hard to pass up a story called Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path to Motherhood. I love a long title like that, it is so pseudo academic, only missing a colon and a quick blurb to really make it sing. What do you think of „Daddies put your wallet away: studies show..., or „From Ivy Tower to Crib Side: Many Women...“ Hmm...

Similarly pseudo, in my humble opinion, is the way that the author, Louise Story, examines her facts. Already lambasted by Jack Shafer in Slate for replacing a survey’s hard numbers with those editorial no nos “many“ and “seem,“ Story should be called to task for her truly unoriginal reading of the information that she did gather.

The basic thesis of her article is that, of the “many women“ surveyed at Elite Colleges throughout the land, “many“ declared that rather than follow a typical career path, they would “put aside their careers in favor of raising children.“

This is all fine and well as an opener into examing the current (privelaged) teenage psyche and its feelings regarding gender roles and career opportunities, but Story goes on to simply hammer this statement into the ground over and over, missing the chance to ask so many interesting questions.

My questions? Besides, “girls, who is going to be paying off those student loans?“ They aren’t exactly ready for national distribution but the gist is as follows:

1. Did you decide to go Ivy as the best way to meet the man of your (financial) dreams? Is your undeclared major MRS?

2. What happens if your MRS degree fails and you don’t meet Mr. Right and/or have children?

3. What do you perceive is a successful career track? How does this differ from what you would like to do?

4. Do you feel that you can compete more successfully off of a career track?

5. Do you believe that a successful career demands the equivalent amount of stress and effort as what it took to successfully enter and excel in your Elite College?

6. Have you ever changed a diaper or gone without sleep for weeks on end?

And finally...

7. Do you think guys are suckers for agreeing to work full time all the time, and staying at home a few years is just retribution for having to remember where the lightbulbs are, make all the phone calls, travel arrangements, and so forth? And do you really think it is that easy?

Oops, the last I should ask a few years later I guess. They are still in college after all, we don't want to shock them with reality too soon!

1 comment:

Karla said...

Oy, that article was just too much. I'm not sure whether it's a generational shift (I'm so frequently appalled by what women in their twenties say) or yet another sign that the privileged have no concept of what other people have to struggle to attain. (And I think I am relatively privileged, with the opportunities I've had.)