Could choosing the “mom ramp”—staying home to care for your kids—put you at serious financial risk?
That’s the premise of a new book provoking lots of discussion in the momosphere, The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much? by Leslie Bennetts. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve seen enough reviews and interviews to pique my interest.
Here’s a little sampling of the buzz about The Feminine Mistake:
So mothers, whether stay-at-home or working, have plenty to be mad about. The condition of motherhood — the embodiment of all the “family values” about which our politicians sermonize so odiously — will make them either dependent on their husbands or subordinate to men in the workplace.
And as long as affluent women opt out or get pushed out of top jobs and decision-making positions in order to raise children, men with stay-at-home wives and daughters and mothers will continue to make rules that make it hard for less privileged women — and men — to balance work and family. So these advantaged women and their decisions do matter.
The Feminine Mistake is a well-crafted cautionary tale for women of all ages. Its basic message is passionate and unflagging: Women who depend on men for economic stability do so at their own considerable peril. …Leslie Bennetts, who writes about celebrities for Vanity Fair, uses a dizzying array of statistics to back up her thesis: Women should make work a top priority with the lifelong goal of self-sufficiency.
Everyone knows that authors have to be prepared for negative reviews. What I didn’t anticipate was an avalanche of blistering attacks by women who hadn’t read my book but couldn’t wait to condemn it. Their fury says a great deal about the current debate over women’s choices —all of it alarming.
Having seen all the hubbub, I’m definitely planning on reading this book (in my non-existent spare time, of course).
Who’s with me? Let’s make it our first WMAG book club venture. If you do read The Feminine Mistake, email me with your thoughts about it (say, by May 15?). I’ll put together a book club post that encompasses your reviews. Should be fun!
More books on working moms and equality
- Getting to 50/50: How Working Parents Can Have It All by Sharon Meers: Here are real-world solutions for parents who want to get ahead in their careers and still get to their children’s soccer games; strategies for working mothers facing gender bias in the workplace; advice to fathers new to the home front; and tips for finding 50/50 solutions to deal with issues of money, time and much more.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg: In Lean In, the Facebook COO and working mother digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women.
Mogul, Mom, & Maid: The Balancing Act of the Modern Woman by Liz O’Donnell: This book takes an honest look at how women are balancing home life and career. The pressures of child rearing, coupled with an unfulfilling corporate culture, are too great to be ignored. O’Donnell goes beyond statistics and tells the stories of women all across America who are juggling careers, motherhood, marriage, and households.