Shriver Report: Women Talk Back
Published: Oct 20, 2009
Maria Shriver struck a nerve — but not, I suspect, the one in her happy headline. Thank you for your raw and angry letters. Here are excerpts from two of them:
1) I was told that teaching was an exceptional job for a woman because the vacation times matched those of my children. It mattered little that I graduated summa cum laude and even less that I was an accomplished instructor. It mattered most that I was a woman with children and that the teaching position fit that status."
2) What annoys me the most about women ‘working’ vs ‘not working’ is this: staying home with your children is not considered a job, even though, when you do leave the house to get what is deemed a respectable job, you have to hire someone to do the one you left behind.
I happen to love taking care of my children and my home; little in this world is more important to me. But life happens — divorce, recession, slump in the housing market — and before you know it, there I am, shoving my way through the subway turnstile, slugging it out 9 to 5 just to make ends come within 100 miles of each other.
Do people have worse problems? By far. But I would at least like to feel respected for the decision to stay home with my children when I felt they needed it most. It’s a job and it pays very well — just in a different currency.