Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
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Poll

Are stay-at-home mothers with  graduate degrees conscientious caretakers or the downfall of equality in the workforce?

Educated stay-at-home mothers raise educated kids, benefiting society
 28 (35.4%)
Mothers should work part-time if possible
 10 (12.7%)
Mothers should be full-time 3-6 months after birth
 6 (7.6%)
Anything less than full-time is a detriment to all women and society
 5 (6.3%)
Doesn't affect society or equality either way
 30 (38%)

Total Members Voted: 79

Author Topic: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s  (Read 16092 times)

boo!

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #110 on: June 20, 2007, 06:13:40 PM »
Maybe you are speaking from your own experience as a lazy homemaker, otherwise, I don't feel that you have any merits for making such statements because you are not in the homes of these people.  Or maybe when you sat at home on your butt watching tv, this is what they did on the soaps.  I don't know, and frankly a topic that should have been a simple matter of differences of opinion has turned into trying to convince one another who is right.  It is all opinionated and none of the opinions can be formed based on every homemaker or stay at home mom.  Each one has different responsibilities and circumstances.

No Ellis. I'm not trying to convince you of who is right and who is wrong. You took parts of my comment and commented upon them without reading my very first statement.  I will not respond to your insults as they do not pertain to me in any way.  I worked full-time since my son was 8 weeks old- I worked full-time and attended law school up until last December.  I know the pressures of working and being a mother and get very frustrated by the mother's who literally sit on their butts all day while their children are in school full-time.  That was my only point.  As I said in my initial post on the topic, housecleaning, cooking, laundry, etc. (you know the things that one has to do whether or not they have children or not) take very little time if one does not have a job outside of the home.  I was commenting that their complaining that they have it rough is ridiculous.  I'm not sure why you cannot understand what I was saying.  Of course when there are little one's at home it's not an easy job- I never said it wasn't.  Been there, done that- while working full-time and attending law school.
I'm not arguing with you- I was responding to someone else's question- of which my prior post answered.

Ellis

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #111 on: June 20, 2007, 09:39:55 PM »
I was not insulting you, unless it applied to you.  I did not know on what you based your opinions.  I apologize for only replying to part of your statement, because the point you were trying to make did not apply to me either.  I can't speak for those women, because I still have a toddler at home.  I get it!.  My bad!  I became defensive because I know how hard I work at home, and now that I think about it, I have a friend of teenagers who doesnt work, and I fuss at her for not going to school, or doing something productive with herself.  So I agree that some form of productivity is necessary no matter what.
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Do you really believe in free speech, or just in speech you agree with?

annita

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #113 on: August 14, 2007, 09:42:27 PM »
Here's a thought experiment that, for me, makes the answer to this question clear:

Let's say a highly educated woman decides to be a stay-at-home mom. She justifies the decision noting that being a mother and spending time helping her children (including daughters) become educated, responsible citizens is itself a contribution to society.  Her education has prepared her to be a role model of intelligence and intellectual accomplishment for her daughters especially, and as a stay-at-home mom, she can use her education and intelligence to cultivate theirs.

But I ask this: does she want her daughters to have the same professional options as her sons? Does she want her daughters to have professional female role models?

If so, does she just expect other women (mothers or non-mothers) to be those role models?

Would the highly educated, stay-at-home moms be happy with a world where women attended elite universities and graduate schools, only to stop working when they got married and/or had children, raising their daughters to attend elite universities and graduate schools... only to stop working when they get married and/or have children? Etc.

To me, it would defeat the ideal of an equal opportunity society for women to be offered half the slots in the freshman class at Harvard or Yale or Berkeley or name-your-prestigious-institution, only for those women to become homemakers. Or to be given financial aid to attend law school, or a fellowship to attend grad school.

I'm sorry, but I think it is a privilege to attend selective universities and professional or graduate programs -- for any of these schools, there are more qualified applicants than spots. I think there's a certain amount of civic/social/entrepreneurial responsibility that comes with the privilege of admission to selective institutions of higher ed.... OK, off my soap box now.




MachuPicchu

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #114 on: August 14, 2007, 11:57:28 PM »
Annita, you almost had me until the last bit about admission to elite schools or grad programs as a "privilege" that women shouldn't squander by staying home. I think it's all well and good for society to, through extended pregnancy and parental leave, flexible part-time programs, free daycare, etc., provide outlets for women to remain in the workplace while helping raise a family. In fact, this should be essential, in my opinion. And I can even concede Linda Hirshman's point that the educated women you describe who stay home in droves are removing professional women role models from the spotlight, where they need to be--not only to inspire future generations but to deploy their particular expert knowledge or skills.   

But society cannot demand that individual women who rise high in academia or professions be forced to remain in the workplace; that is each person's education, her student loans or sacrifices, her choice. From Hirshman's writings, it appears she is not very tolerant of such choices (she's from the old-school liberal-feminist slant of the 60's-70's).

Here's a post I made on another part of the site regarding a potential solution:

[It] reminds me of what some feminist scholars have argued: Women entering high-powered, long-hour or highly visible professions might consider marrying "down" (academic, outside-the-home ambition level, etc.) instead of "equal." They cite stats that show highly educated and/or professional women with similar husbands are almost always the partners to give up their full-time jobs or high salaries and to either stay at home or take time cuts/hiatuses that derail their career trajectories  (and from what I've read, private law work is still mostly unaccomodating to parental leave and people who try "come back" to the practice after a few years' leave).

In this schema, the male partner would work part-time or 9 to 5, shouldering the majority of during- or after-work childcare, preparing meals many days of the week, etc.

Marrying a man with either less formal ed or with a less demanding job helps on two fronts: (a) it helps each individual woman realize her academic/career potential in a society often hostile to this, and (b)it creates and helps sustain a core mass of women role models for the next generation.

*Note that less demanding job or less education =/= less intelligent, less conversant in politics or literature, etc. or anything else two people like to talk about.

This is the way some female and male feminists/humanists think the U.S. can take steps towards gender and human equality. I am intrigued by this, and wonder what high-powered and/OR educated women feel about this.

annita

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #115 on: August 15, 2007, 07:37:15 AM »
 

But society cannot demand that individual women who rise high in academia or professions be forced to remain in the workplace; that is each person's education, her student loans or sacrifices, her choice. From Hirshman's writings, it appears she is not very tolerant of such choices (she's from the old-school liberal-feminist slant of the 60's-70's).

No, of course schools can't force them to stay in the workplace. And of course people cannot always predict where their lives will go: I can understand if some married women *and* men eventually make the decision that it makes sense for one of the members of the couple to take time off from work to raise children. But I guess what I find problematic is that some women might enter college/graduate school with the *plan* not to to work once they are married and/or have children (I'm thinking here of a controversial survey of female Yale undergraduates that appeared in the NY Times a while back). And I don't like the idea that the eventual decision about whether to work or not is only "HER choice." If women deserve to have a choice in this, shouldn't men? 

queencruella

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #116 on: August 15, 2007, 08:20:37 AM »


But society cannot demand that individual women who rise high in academia or professions be forced to remain in the workplace; that is each person's education, her student loans or sacrifices, her choice. From Hirshman's writings, it appears she is not very tolerant of such choices (she's from the old-school liberal-feminist slant of the 60's-70's).

No, of course schools can't force them to stay in the workplace. And of course people cannot always predict where their lives will go: I can understand if some married women *and* men eventually make the decision that it makes sense for one of the members of the couple to take time off from work to raise children. But I guess what I find problematic is that some women might enter college/graduate school with the *plan* not to to work once they are married and/or have children (I'm thinking here of a controversial survey of female Yale undergraduates that appeared in the NY Times a while back). And I don't like the idea that the eventual decision about whether to work or not is only "HER choice." If women deserve to have a choice in this, shouldn't men? 

I, too, really have a problem with people entering grad school with the specific goal of getting married and staying at home. My law school has quite a few students like this and I just think it's unfair to other students who didn't get in and actually want to do more than just find a rich husband.

On the other hand, I don't have a problem with it at the undergrad level. Kids are applying at 16-17 and at that age you really have no idea what you want from life. Hopefully entering college will increase their desire to do something more than just snag husband, but there certainly are some schools that are infamous for women wanting to do just that.

MachuPicchu

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #117 on: August 15, 2007, 10:32:30 AM »
I, too, really have a problem with people entering grad school with the specific goal of getting married and staying at home. My law school has quite a few students like this and I just think it's unfair to other students who didn't get in and actually want to do more than just find a rich husband.

Perhaps, although it might actually help other law grads by having less recent grads flooding the market competing for the same jobs.

It would be interesting to find out how your classmates (presumably female since you said "husband") articulate this. I can't imagine their decision would be a popular one around campus--or maybe it is at yours. How do they make their revelations about the purpose of their presence at LS?  Also, I'm not the first to have said this, but maybe someone could tell them there has to be an easier way to meet a spouse!

queencruella

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #118 on: August 15, 2007, 10:47:41 AM »
I, too, really have a problem with people entering grad school with the specific goal of getting married and staying at home. My law school has quite a few students like this and I just think it's unfair to other students who didn't get in and actually want to do more than just find a rich husband.

Perhaps, although it might actually help other law grads by having less recent grads flooding the market competing for the same jobs.

It would be interesting to find out how your classmates (presumably female since you said "husband") articulate this. I can't imagine their decision would be a popular one around campus--or maybe it is at yours. How do they make their revelations about the purpose of their presence at LS?  Also, I'm not the first to have said this, but maybe someone could tell them there has to be an easier way to meet a spouse!


It's very popular at my (Catholic) school. It's not something that the women try to hide or make secret in any way. They just flat out say they want to find a nice husband and become a housewife. They're still competing for the same jobs because it's not like they have their husbands lined up by the end of 1L, so that theory doesn't fly at all.

MachuPicchu

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #119 on: August 15, 2007, 11:00:20 AM »
They just flat out say they want to find a nice husband and become a housewife. They're still competing for the same jobs because it's not like they have their husbands lined up by the end of 1L, so that theory doesn't fly at all.

Wanting to stay home eventually is different from going to law/grad school with the sole purpose of meeting a spouse, though. I've met women who want to marry, work for five or so years after their grad schooling, then have kids, and then decide either to stay home permanently or go back to work when any kids are in school. I think that's a little different than straight up committing to an expensive series of degrees with domesticity only in mind.

Your classmates may be the latter, though, in which case I still find it a puzzling choice based on the amount of debt and/or payment, time, intellectual & physical stress, etc. Wish one of them would post, although I don't know if any such person would "come out" on LSD.