Honestly, I can barely see straight after plodding through these seven essays that so tidily cover the spectrum of how a given woman might feel about the manufactured Motherhood vs. Feminism “debate.”
The “debate” above–it’s designed to distract. Rather than examining the true problem of pay inequity, it celebrates the pitting of one woman against another, of one generation against another, of one economic class against another (thank you at least for this, Erica Jong).
Is there a method to my parenting? Who knows? I do what I feel or know to be right. I do what I am able to do, in the manner we can choose and afford. It’s what every mother does.
Does my method of parenting pose a conflict with feminism? Sure. I took myself out of the paid workforce, and reduced my salary leverage, by conventional measures, by a painful amount.
Guess what. My future employer, at that future job interview, will not be asking whether I breast-fed or co-slept with my children. He or she will be asking if I’m really worth my last salary.
According to salary.com‘s “What’s a mom’s work worth?” annual survey, in my area, I’m worth about $110,000 a year.
Here’s a real, well-furnished, but mildly uncomfortable “Room for Debate” for The New York Times to consider: “Would you match a returning-to-the-paid-workforce mother’s current estimated salary? Or do you plan to low-ball her?”
Maybe I should take this directly to Rachel.