I happen to be a good little capitalist

You mean you and TangoMan and Richard are actually on the same side!?! OMG. :P

(Say, is TangoMan actually one of your secret pseudonyms, HF?)


But, somewhat more seriously and more on topic, HF, it seems to me that when you say, "WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE IS AN UNQUALIFIED GOOD", you are expressing an opinion about what other people should do, and I think that's what Nicole is reacting to.


Crossposted again; not trying to flog a dead horse.

The Happy Feminist

Yep. I AM expressing an opinion about what I think other people should do. I have never denied that. I have said pretty clearly in all my posts that we should encourage women in the workplace (which by the way is not the same thing as dumping on Nicole or anyone else). I don't presume to comment on the particulars of anyone's individual circumstances, but I do presume to have a general conversation about values.

I do resent to some extent that this conversation has to be so constrained and tortured because someone's feelings might get hurt. So yeah, women in the workplace is an unqualified good. And while I have no interest in castigating or dumping on stay-at-home moms, I shouldn't have to apologize for that statement.

The Happy Feminist

Oh sorry, I didn't realize you crossposted, ballgame.


I wouldn't go that far now, but my view of "work" includes anything that is directed for the benefit of the larger society beyond the family.

Rather than read between the lines let me simply ask you, if you were a parent, would you subscribe to the maxim "It's not the quantity of time I spend with my children, it's the quality of the time that has the largest influence on their development and happiness."

The reason I ask this question is that I get the distinct impression that your personal valuation metric rewards accomplishments outside of the home to a higher degree. Therefore, in a life-spanning calculus, the trade-off between raising mediocre children and doing more good in the world is more satisfying to your standards than the alternative of raising "Better" (however you choose to define better, though it probably is a function of parental time and commitment) children and giving less to society as a whole.

And just to spice up this comment a bit, because the topic is about duty, someone sent me this Caitlin Flanagan article "The Wifely Duty" which notes that the incidence of sexless marriages is increasing in two-career families. The more I read Caitlin the more I appreciate the zingers she launches. :)

raising mediocre children


TangoMan, sometimes your choice of words is just pricelessly John Bolton-esque. (Wait a minute. Maybe you are John Bolton …)

The Happy Feminist

I think it's important to spent a good quantity of time with one's children-- but I don't think it has to be mom at home all day every day. My mother did that, and I certainly benefited from her attention to a large degree, but the cost was too high for her and for society and for me. I also think that it is important for children to see parents modeling their values. I also benefited from seeing my dad work very long hours, dedicated to his job.

And of course you like Caitlin Flanagan, Tango Man, since she has utter contempt for women. I don't really mind the concept of duty in marriage, however, although I think it's insulting to think of it specifically as a "wifely" duty. I know it's a shocker but women happen to like sex, too. Jewish tradition provides that HUSBANDS have a duty to their wives to have a certain amount of sex. It is considered very wrong for a husband to withhold sex from his wife. But yes, I do think both parties should make an effort to express sexual affection for each other. Of course, when a party states a desire not to have sex that has to be absolutely respected.


I don't really mind the concept of duty in marriage, however, although I think it's insulting to think of it specifically as a "wifely" duty.

It's interesting that you make the equation of duty in marriage as being something that falls on the wife. When I read the piece I thought of wifely duty as something that wives do as counterparts to husbandly duty. And if you feel that men are free of all family duty I'd point you to a wealth of social science literature that illustrates phenomona like the marriage premium where married men's salaries go up when compared to controlled groups of single men, largely due to greater committment to work, more training being undertaken due to time freed up from marital specialization, etc.

And of course you like Caitlin Flanagan, Tango Man, since she has utter contempt for women.

I disagree with your broad stroke portrayals - her contempt, and mine, it's clear, is reserved for feminists, not women, and certainly not women who would have been proud to call themselves feminists 30 years ago. I take her perspective to be that the mission of long-ago feminism has been accomplished, and what that movement has metastasized into is what she takes aim at. Look, there's a very valid reason why many women you would categorize as living by some feminist principles disavow the label of feminist.

The Happy Feminist

I never said duty in marriage is something that falls only on the wife. Nor did I say that men are free of duty. I said the OPPOSITE.

Flanagan's the one who called HER article "The Wifely Duty." I happen to think BOTH spouses should make an effort to express sexual affection for each other.

Nicole Black

Hmmm, my comment seems to have mysteriously disappeared and I know it was less than 250 words. I'll assume a computer glitch occurred as opposed to some other nefarious scenario.

And what I'd said, in essence, was that you shouldn't worry about hurting my feelings, because you're *not* hurting my feelings. It takes more than an anonymous person of the web alleging that my actions are not feminist to make me run home crying to my mommy.

I then went on to set forth any number of real life example of which I am aware where women left the workplace after having kids, and then went back, many time with advanced degrees earned while at home with their kids. Thus, a basic aspect of Hirshman's premise, from which she derives her conclusion, is faulty. As a result, so is her conclusion (and it's offensive to boot).

If you're going to take a stance on certain issues on your blog that appear to criticize the choices that some have made, expect debate on the issue.

174--well below the limit.

The comments to this entry are closed.