Thursday, September 22, 2005

Not Just a Jewish thing...

So women want to stay home. This is not new. The question is why? Why don't these women feel that their future husbands should sacrifice their careers instead?

7 comments:

Sam said...

I don't think the article said these women want to stay at home—if they want to stay at home, what are they doing at universities and law schools? They want to work, but not full-time when they have children. They expect to be wealthy. The third page of the article more-or-less answers your question.

The paragraph that jumped out at me was:

"It is a complicated issue and one that most schools have not addressed. The women they are counting on to lead society are likely to marry men who will make enough money to give them a real choice about whether to be full-time mothers, unlike those women who must work out of economic necessity."

Who is counting on whom for what?

miriam said...

"Why don't these women feel that their future husbands should sacrifice their careers instead?"

zev, ask "why should they sacrifice parenting and all that potential inflience on their children" instead and you may have part of the answer. (one young woman interviewed basically said as much.)
the other parts of the answer are probably along the "unquestioning sheep" lines that most of the article sort of suggests.

i am somewhat curious why more women don't give the "it depends who has what career who will give it up and stay home" answer, however. maybe they don't trust the menfolk with their own offspring?

NoFreeLunch said...

Staying at home doesn't always mean sacrificing a career. My mom was able to devote herself to her passion (art) only after she quit her high-paying business career to raise me and my brothers.

Shmuli said...

When Rachel and I got married, our plan (i.e. Rachel's plan) was for Rachel to stay home with the kids. I believe the major reason Rachel wanted that was because she admired and wanted to be like her mother. Rachel, however, is not the same person as her mother and changed her mind pretty soon after Yisroel Yosef's birth. In any case the article suggests that Rachel's attitude is typical. I, at least, consider it a healthy and desirable attitude.

One thing that struck me was that it seems that these women do not generally want large families. This is sub-optimal from society's perspective. It is my impression that part-time work or interrupted careers are worth less than the time invested would suggest. On the other hand, the marginal cost and time goes down for each succesive child while later siblings are only slightly less valuable to society than earlier siblings. Nevertheless, these women are choosing as they do because the marginal increase in happiness goes way down with each succesive child.

Zev- Take a hint from the article and do not suggest to potential spouses that you will sacrifice your career for hers.

Sam- Rachel tells me that studies show (but can't explain) that education improves parenting, as well as pretty much everything else.

Miriam- Well, obviously these women prefer (and expect) to marry men whose careers shouldn't take a back seat to their own expected careers.

Shmuli said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mr. HaLevi said...

Taking a look at this list alone makes one wonder if this is in fact not changing. Rebecca is the career one in our family, Rachel has largely been for Shmuli's, and I'm sure Oren would love nothing more than to have Miriam support him.

And what Yehuda does we can hardly call work.

At least comparing Israel to America, the idea of the woman working and the dude raising kids here, it ain't hapenning. In America, though still unusual, I think the balance is becoming one that is decided more on logic and less on precedent.

One of the things I hate most of Israeli society is how women here are seen as sperm receptacles whose purpose is to raise as many kids as possible, usually, "for the cause". talk about a fascist state.

Yehuda said...

I am afraid I don't understand why this is a "Jewish thing."