Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dr. Laura

I will now proceed to B!$@% about Dr. Laura. Because I can. It's my darn blog.

Last Wednesday I came across this little number:

http://blogs.babycenter.com/celebrities/2009/04/12/dr-laura-says-all-moms-should-stay-at-home/comment-page-7/#comment-59105

Uhm, wow. Really, just wow. Over 100 posts to this blog. A very hot topic. And I admit, a hot topic for me.

We'll start with the original blog entry. Kudos to the author for not stating an opinion or ranting one way or the other. That showed great restraint.

On to Dr. Laura. Now, Dr. Laura has burned my biscuits for a long time. You can google her to find out what a hypocrite she is on your own. On occasion, when my blood pressure is very low, I listen to her show. I've heard her give women what I thought was terrible advice for many years. One of her books "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" pretty much compares men to house pets. Uhm, my husband is not a puppy. He is one of the most intelligent people I know. Far more so than I, probably. So to say that he has simple needs, and if I should meet them I will make him completely happy and faithful to me is a tad condescending to both of us, no? She touts a woman who greets her man with a kiss, tends to the kids without complaint, and does not challenge his ideas. Uhm, sounds like a Stepford wife to me. Creepy. I would like to think that my husband appreciates that I am honest with him when my kid is a pain in the rear, and that I do not simply concede all his points, but argue what I think is best. Otherwise, he married the wrong person... Oh, but I do greet him with a kiss when I see him. She might be right on that one.

On to her newest book, titled "In Praise of Stay at Home Moms". I think it's a little misleading. It should read, "Outright Bashing Working Moms and their Life Choices". Now, I will not claim to have read the book. It will drive my blood pressure through the roof, and I just don't need the stress right now. But from the quotes, I can see that she's still touting her 1950's agenda. It's not a right or left agenda, I don't think it's political. It's just a little... dated. Or crazy, you choose. She has once again laid on the line "the right thing to do". Thank you, Dr, for trying to set us all straight. We shall all now line up, in our aprons, and "do the right thing". Whatever.

What really got me going about this, though, was the comments on the blog. Over 100 of them. Really, I kid not. Most very opinionated to one side or the other. And I was a bit shocked. Many of the very negative ones were from SAHMs. I had always been under the impression that they felt they were under attack. Not here. Now they are on the attack. And Dr. Laura is giving them fodder. Eeek. Some of these ladies bring God into it (which I don't find relevant in a society where we all have a different idea of God. Really, now, if you want to make an argument, you'll need to come to the table with more than that). Others bring in the economy (and not everyone seems to have a grip on how our economy really works). And a few just bring in their own personal preference (good for them for sticking up for their ideals). Oh, and there was one Mom on public assistance who thinks she has a right to public funds, so she can stay at home with her kids. I'll leave that one for another rant.

I tend to agree with the folks who say live and let live. Do what you need to do. I shouldn't feel like I need to justify being a working Mom (yet somehow I do). My friends and relatives are all supportive. When I told the girls at my book group about this, they all agreed I needed to do what I thought was best for my family (not what Dr. Laura thought). My husband asked me why I even go near anything with her name associated with it (knowing she's as far from my agenda as I am from China right now). I was feeling all sorts of local love when I needed reassurance on this one.

It makes me sad that women are still cutting each other down. Men don't hurt women's causes half as much as other women do. Every time women make a step toward potential equality (the vote, working outside the home) we start to dig at each other. If you don't want to vote, don't vote. But not because your a woman. If you don't want to work, don't work, but not because you think your husband should support your family. Do these things to support your own beliefs. But don't stop me from having mine.

Oh, and please don't feel sorry for my son for going to daycare (a quote from the good Dr, "My heart hurts for what these women miss and what their children miss from them."). He's a happy little kid. And don't let your heart hurt for me, I'm doing fine, as well. Maybe direct your sadness at kids who really need it. The abused and neglected. Kids who are sick or in danger. They need your prayers, or your sympathy, or advice. Whatever it is you think this book is providing, other than criticism.

I don't want to start a 100 comment blog here, either. I know everyone has an opinion on this subject. I know there are pros and cons. I know some people believe in God's direction, and some don't. I just needed to vent.

4 comments:

Sprite's Keeper said...

Can I hug you right now? I don't promote book burning, but if there's a need for flame fodder, John has a old book of hers just perfect for kindling.
I cannot stand when someone disses me for missing something in Sprite's life. I would love to stay home with her because she is a lot of fun to be around, but in this economy, we CAN'T. Then someone like Dr. Laura responds with "Then why have children in the first place if you can't raise them?" Seriously? I hate that question. In fact, I think I'll expound on it on my site, because it really does piss me off. Do you mind if I link you and this post?

Mama Badger said...

Link away. I'd love to see what you have to say! My husband is in the airplane industry. With this economy, even with kid #2 on the way, I wouldn't dare risk leaving my job. Unless Dr. Laura is giving scholarships for SAHMs?

Lisa said...

I am a working mother, I know that I could not stay home with my child,I would go crazy. I know that I don't want to clean my home day in and day out. I know that I will challenge my husband on a regular basis when I disagree with him. However, the truth is that children are being left to be raised by someone else (i.e. daycare, nanny, family member) children lack parental supervision in the hours between the end of school and when working moms get home, creating opportnities for things I would rather they not do. My house is always a mess and fast, convienent food is a common staple in my household. I don't necessarily believe that women should be subservient to men, but doesn't it make sense that someone (man or woman)should stay away from the workforce to focus on the full time job that is housekeeping and child rearing?

Mama Badger said...

Lisa, thanks for the post. For us, there isn't a break between school and parental supervision (our kid is too little for that right now). And yeah, our house is sometimes messy. But I'd rather have a messy house than end up unhappy at home with my kid. I think the next perfect solution is a housekeeper (and I shall tell my husband that- right after I get a HUGE raise...)