1. What are the main points of Linda Hirshman’s argument?
Linda Hirshman’s main points were that women are taking steps backwards, not forward. That leaving the workforce to have families only means that woman were not serious about “The Feminist Movement” to begin with. That society especially woman should care about being part of policy making, the decision making, and a larger part of elite society. Because when males are in charge they only benefit other men, for women to receive benefits not only in the workforce they need to be a strong figure in the workforce. Why would women want to think that they could never be a ruler in today’s society, when the feminist movement, gave us the right to vote, the right to work, and the right fight for what we as women believe in. Another point is why society should spend money on educating women if women are not going to use their degrees for society. Hirshman also thought women would benefit if they had a rules to follow for life, such as know what degree you want, be able to support a home and family, and lastly when ready do not be put in position that requires you stay home. Hirshman’s last point is that when Friedan started the feminist movement, she spoke of lives that have meaning and purpose, lives that are better and worse, and shattering glass ceilings that limit woman, and her final statement of it being hard to shatter the ceiling that is your roof but at times there is no other choice (Guest, 2011). Meaning that woman need to step forward and take a stance, if it means leaving the comfort they have grown use to, as all good things are worth fighting for.
2. What are the main points of Pamela Stone’s argument?
Pamela Stone argues that employers are not flexible enough for mothers to have both worlds. The real truth is women have a gap between what they want to do and what they have to do. The choice gap mentioned by stone was for woman with high-octane husbands, and having to choice between caregiver and work because of their husbands positions. Stone also argues that most women are home because of the economic downturn which stops employment for all workers (Guest, 2011). That with cut backs at most work places staying home was more feasible then hiring a nanny. Stone also argues that it is not just new mothers that feel the need to be home with their children, that mothers of six year olds also want to be caregivers, that the need of the older children is more physical than the younger child. Woman of children receive mixed signals from employers and their spouses. Husbands are not willing to share the responsibility of family. Stones argument is that family’s pull and work places push and both can be a large struggle for a new mother. Most mothers quit working because of their husbands not their careers. Most husbands did offer a choice but many sat back as bystanders, and did not have a hands-on approach. The supposed choice is not a real choice at all, that woman with high power husbands do not receive the support they need from their spouses to stay at work so they must stay home to tend to the child. That these women felt they had a choice but really didn’t receive the support to make an informed decision.
3. Based on Hirshman’s and Stone’s arguments, which author do you agree with? Provide supporting evidence.
I believe that Hirshman makes a better point that if women want to make a difference in the workplace it is up to them to do so. If a woman would fight for better schedules or even in work day care centers than keeping a job and family could be easily done. That if the family looks at income coming from both parents than one not working would be harmful not beneficial to the family (Guest, 2011). I also agree that woman do have a choice now that staying home with a child or returning to work is based on what the woman wants to do. Most women who are able to stay home would prefer to do so. The feminist movement was not a lost cause but as Hirshman said if women took her three steps or rules; be qualified for a good job, be serious about working, and do not put yourself in position where you have to quit work if you want a family (Guest, 2011). The movement allowed woman to go to better schools, encouragement to apply for higher jobs, and the choice to stay home or return to work. That I believe that Hirshman was right that if women wanted equals rights, and to make a stand in a “man’s” world that staying home with children and not returning to work only says that women were not serious about their wants and desires. That most men will not take women serious if work is not their first priority. I must agree if woman struggled so hard to make a difference in their standing with men than returning to standards before the movement means is similar to saying we only wanted to be noticed and it was not important.
4. Explore two other roles that can be acquired during early and middle adulthood, such as through parenthood, romantic relationships, and career. How have these roles changed through the past generations?
One role that has changed and can be seen as different is the role of caregiver. More men are staying home and taking care of the children while the women works and takes care of the families financial needs. In past generations the mom was the one staying home and this would have been the norm but as times change this role has also. Some families even have two working parents while children are placed in daycare. This is another changed in generation.
Another role that is acquired during early and middle adulthood is the need for marriage or staying married. Many early and middle adults are not staying married when their relationships are no longer generally happy. They are not willing to work on differences and once the compassion has left the relationship for them it is easier to end the relationship than look for what is lost. Some would rather not marry at all, than have the worry of divorce, or being in a relationship that has no love.
When looking at the roles of caregiver and marriage in modern society I can see this being a change positive for feminist movement. Women are able to support themselves and men are able to take on the role that was once thought to be a woman’s job. Society does not see a need for house work or marriage to be a woman’s destiny. Women are capable and able to be any role in society and moving forward with this thought will help the cause.