Provocatively worded, yes. Even more provocative were the statistics it yielded:
"[the survey] showed that people from India (54 percent), Turkey (52 percent), Japan (48 percent), China, Russia, Hungary (34 percent each) and South Korea (33 percent) were most likely to agree that women should not work.Okay all you old school feminists out there, start freaking. It would seem that the liberated younger generation sprung from your loins are starting to assert their own "freedom of choice," recognizing that sometimes the workplace isn't the greatest place to be.
And, perhaps surprisingly, people aged between 18 and 34 years are most likely to hold that view, not those from the older, and more traditional, generation."
Now I'm all for women working outside the home... provided that there are not more pressing matters to be attended to inside the home. And if the family can swing it. And that's a big if.
And it doesn't just "happen." Not in this economy. Not in a financial and cultural system such as ours where dual incomes are assumed and housing rates and the cost of living reflects this, painfully in some cases. No, choosing to stay home means choosing a whole host of other potential hardships: loneliness, loss of income, career-track derailment... not to mention an interminable sentence of regular diaper changing and laundry folding. So who in their right mind would choose such a lifestyle?
A mother, that's who. Because from the moment of conception, her life becomes utterly other-centered, and all those big dreams and career goals necessarily take a back seat to that little bit of immortality you've conspired to bring into the universe.
Does this rule out a future in the workplace, a foray into politics, a potential professorship one day down the road? By no means. These may still be in the cards ... but not in the immediate future. The here and now becomes much more focused, necessarily given over to the child who depends utterly upon you, more demanding than any boss and more pressing than any deadline.
It is not impossible to be a mother working outside the home... but neither is it ideal, contrary to what we may have had drilled into us growing up. I can remember so many conversations with girlfriends and classmates which included the phrase "But I don't want to be just a mom," followed by furtive approval-seeking glances cast round the group or classroom. Because although we were programmed with a deep reverence for choice ... there were some choices that were just unacceptable, not to mention archaic.
Which is odd, all things considered.
As it turns out, at least according to this study, there are more and more oddballs cropping up round the world, women embracing the bold choice to take on a most serious and demanding task worthy of all their training and pedigree: parenting their own child. Apparently it's a even more specialized market than we realized, and it can't be done by just anybody.
Or rather, can't be done as well by just anybody. Because although you might be the best lawyer your firm has employed in 50 years, the best pediatric cardiologist in your geographic area, or the most charismatic second grade teacher in your entire district... no one can be a better mother to your children than you can, and that's a fact.
So the next time somebody tries to bully you into reconsidering your "free choice" to be an at-home parent, be sure to call to mind the nobility of your work, and the specialization required to be the heart of your home ... and kindly clue them into the highly specialized and wildly sought-after market niche you're filling: somebody's mom.