My answer is a lot shorter than yours, Leslie,
American politicians, hear me roar:
As a woman, I want to -- need to - work to provide for my family, keep my sanity, and give back to my country. But in order to max out my abilities as an employee and mom over the course of my lifetime, I need a few things:
1) Real economic incentives for companies that provide flexible schedules for family caregivers, maternity and paternity leave, onsite day care and aftercare, and a cool, well-lighted place to pump at work
2) At least as many high-quality, affordable child-care centers as there are Dunkin' Donuts (preferrably next to every Dunkin' Donuts)
3) A Constitutional amendment protecting women's rights to birth control (so that we can choose when to work and when to focus on raising kids).
4) Subliminal cultural messages (an advertising campaign, role models on TV and in movies, newspaper articles with supporting data) just like the ones moms have endured for the past 40 (or 40,000) years, but this time communicating the value to American society of supporting women's efforts to combine work and family.
So, what do you need?
I need the government to stay out of my private life.
It's not the government's job to find you a place to nurse, or a place to babysit your child, or guarantee your right to prevent conception. (Should they buy your doughnuts too?) When I worked I negotiated my own benefits or I didn't work there. Period. I was never forced to work on Sunday and any day my husband had off (before I quit altogether) I had off. Ladies, if you want to work, that's your right. Go for it. I support your freedom to choose in every way except one - with my tax dollars. Don't ask the government to negotiate your benefits for you and provide subliminal psychological messages to support your choice. The state is not your personal nanny. It's not their job.
Why is it that women who claim they are independent, depend on the government for so much of their independence? I just don't get it.
Related Tags: Mommy Wars, Washington Post, working women, stay at home mothers, feminism, family