Friday, August 13, 2010

The Feminine Mistake by Leslie Bennetts

I was wondering if anyone has read The Feminine Mistake - Should Women Sacrifice Careers for Family? by Leslie Bennetts. I saw the book referenced in a Jezebel comment and then I saw this video on youtube:

I agree with Bennetts that most people don't think of working to pay for child care as an investment, but I also think raising your children when they're small is an investment in their lives (if possible of course). And after reading this review by Joan Walsh I'm not sure if I should take the time to read it or not.

So, I was wondering if anyone of your random people in the interwebs has read The Feminine Mistake. If so, did you like it?


  1. I haven't read it, yet, but I've been meaning to. There's a similar book that I saw on a talk show a few years back called "Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World".

    I can understand the concept behind the idea the authors are trying to get across, but the way they try to present their message is offensive. Specifically the author of Get to Work. It's about how you shouldn't rely on your husband to support you and your children, because he can (and will, apparently) leave you when you're middle aged for a younger, hotter woman and then you'll have no job experience to fall back on. I just don't have it in me to read them yet because I don't feel like being pissed off that much.

    I agree with you about raising your kids (if possible) being a very worthy investment. I don't understand the point of paying someone else my entire paycheck (and more, at the rate of pay I could earn and considering I have 4 kids) to a nanny or daycare who would do the same shit I do. Plus, I get to spend time with them during these crucial developmental years and instill our family values in them.

  2. Exactly! As Walsh says in her review, why is it we always have to tell women what to do? It seems like being a housewife is automatically seen as a vulnerability. I can understand that concern because of the way it was back in the day, but the women most of these authors are talking about are college educated. Many of them were career women before they decided to stay at home so it's not like they have zero work skills like housewives in the past. Even if they do take a professional hit from staying home for a while, these women still have the tools to eventually integrate back into the work force.

    For me the issue should be more about how we can make it easier for people to renter the workforce and changing the way we undervalue domestic work (which these authors are reinforcing IMO) instead of focusing on individual women.

  3. I agree with both comments. HOWEVER, working or not, I think that mothers should be careful to stay cognizant of what is happening with the family finances. I also think having a well-defined back up plan for employment is wise, in case financial independence is suddenly needed. I say mothers but I really mean whoever is the person who sacrifices a career outside the home for the children. You never know what's going to happen and I have heard too many stories of trusting spouses that due to betrayal or bad fortune are left out in the cold. I strongly advise anyone who is taking a time out from working to keep an eye on community accounting classes or whatever that could enhance a resume if needed.

  4. I had meant to comment but I totally forgot. lol

    I just wanted to say that I think you bring up a good point and too much complacency in life is risky. Be it at home, work, school, or even your relationships.


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