An Open Letter to Amy Glass
Amy Glass, who I am assuming is a feminist, wrote a blog post entitled I look down on Young Women With Husbands and Kids and I’m Not Sorry. Now, I think that she and I agree that not every person, whether it be man or woman should become a spouse, let alone a parent. Neither of these tasks are easy and some people just don’t have the capabilities of doing it well. She seems to think that getting married and having children is the easiest thing in the world:
Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average. And here’s the thing, why on earth are we settling for average?
If these things were so easy why do we see the skyrocketing rates of people using dating sites and fertility clinics? Yes, it is the easiest thing in the world to go out and date and find that person who actually makes your life feel more complete. The person you can be totally honest with, even when you know they aren’t going to like what you have to say is the easiest thing in the world to find. I mean just open up your front door and the lines of people to choose from is a massive one.
I would love for her to go and say that to woman who has health problems that make it impossible for her to conceive. Go talk to the couples who spend virtually their entire life savings to have fertility treatments to make the dream of being a parent come true and see what they have to say. Once they get done slapping her silly they may have calmed down enough to laugh in her face. Getting pregnant would seem like an easy task, but for many it is Mission Impossible. Go sit with a woman who is doing everything under the sun to get pregnant when her period arrives and watch the tears and the feelings of inadequacy that she haunted by. Talk to a man who finds out his swimmers don’t do the job that God and biology intended them to do. Many men that I know that are having problems conceiving don’t want to get tested, even though the test for the man is much more simple, straightforward, and far less invasive.
Go and talk to the woman who does want to be married and have a family but is in her thirties and tell her it is an easy task that “literally anyone can do them”. Some people who remain unmarried aren’t that way by choice. That is their reality and they eventually make the best of it, or one would hope. Many married couples that don’t have children, aren’t childless by choice. That is the fate they were dealt and become the best Aunties and Uncles that they can be to their siblings and friends kids.
You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids.
What makes her think that women without a husband and children are exceptional? I work with a woman who was never married nor did she have children. She works two jobs and barely supports herself. She is on public assistance in the form of food stamps. She is bitter woman who is angry, especially when she says out loud that most of her problems she created for herself with the choices she made in life. The simple act of not getting married and becoming a parent isn’t an automatic entry into the world of exceptionalism.
Is a woman who gives up on the idea of marriage and family to become a professional woman automatically exceptional? Say this woman is the VP of marketing for some large international firm and is really good at her job but has no family to share this with as she ages more exceptional than the stay at home mom who raised a child to become one of those teachers. You know the one that I am talking about. The teacher that really affects a child and helps that child see something in themselves that they wouldn’t have otherwise. We all had that teacher. I know in my case I had several. The most remarkable thing about that teacher is that they didn’t just give that light to one child, they gave it to many. One of my high school reunions just recently passed, I am not going to say which one, but one of my “that teacher” attended the get together. Just judging by the people who hugged him and the amount of photos taken of him that splashed across my Facebook page the next day shows it wasn’t just me that looked at him as “that teacher”. He helped hundreds, if not thousands, of young adults feel better about themselves and find their own way in the world. Isn’t the woman who put the energy into raising such a man just as exceptional? I say yes she is.
Obviously Ms. Glass has no children. Otherwise she would never with a straight face say that it is easy. Child rearing is one of the hardest jobs in the world. You worry that every little thing that you do is going to influence them (which in most cases is true) and you second guess the choices that you make when something goes wrong. I would love to see her try to comfort a small child that is feeling ill, especially when the older sibling is in the other room pulling all the toilet paper off the roll while you are attending to the child that wants nothing else but the comfort of mommy due to a fever or cold.
I have strong feelings that children should have a stay at home parent if at all possible. I have no issue with a man being that parent that stays at home, if that is what works better for that particular family. I am a realist, I understand perfectly well that it isn’t always an option. Life doesn’t always work out that way. Nor do I dismiss that fact that many women today want to work even if they could financially stay at home. They feel they are a better parent by going out into the world and being productive at a job and bringing home at least part of the family income. I do happen to believe it is best for the child to have a parent who is involved in the life of the child. But I also understand that not all stay at home parents are good ones. It all comes down to putting the work and the effort into raising a child to become a happy and productive adult. That is something that can be done in a variety of ways and there is no one “right” way. Every child is an individual and has their own needs that don’t necessarily line up with the needs of other families.
But it is more than just a little insulting to hear another woman say that children and marriage is what keeps you from being exceptional. For some people being exceptional is nothing more than being the best possible parent and the person who always had a clean home that was ready for anyone that dropped by.
I also must ask is the women who clean homes for a living lacking in the exceptional department as well? After all they aren’t doing much of anything according to this logic. I guess they are just serfs who live to make the exceptional women such as she is lives a little easier so they can spend their energy being exceptional at their much more important jobs. Seriously, how elitist is this woman? There is no other way to take her little post other than a person who cleans homes is loser.
I hear women talk about how “hard” it is to raise kids and manage a household all the time. I never hear men talk about this. It’s because women secretly like to talk about how hard managing a household is so they don’t have to explain their lack of real accomplishments. Men don’t care to “manage a household.” They aren’t conditioned to think stupid things like that are “important.”
Feminists seem to have this real disconnect when it comes to men. That somehow they don’t feel the guilt and they don’t question what they are doing and how it affects their families. Many men who travel a great deal with their jobs feel just as guilty that they aren’t there for their kids. They don’t like missing virtually every soccer game. They also seem to have this disconnect that children don’t feel like something is missing from their lives because their dads are too busy working to have time for the little things that matter to them. I guess those little goals and events that kids feel are important aren’t exceptional enough for Ms. Glass.
My brother, who grew up with a father that didn’t attend games or pretty much anything else, promised himself he would be a different kind of dad. He has three boys that were all active in sports while they were growing up. He rarely missed a practice, let alone a game. My eldest nephew would sometimes get crazy over the fact that his father was “always around”. This kid also went to a private Catholic school. He was involved with church group within the school. One of the exercises they did in this group was to have the kids sit face to face and tell the other kid what they envied about them. One of the kids told my nephew how jealous he was that his father was always at the games. You see his father was an executive with some big corporation that required long hours and travel. Yes, those kids had financial advantages that my nephew certainly didn’t have, as my brother is on a much more limited budget, but what he got in return was time. Which is really more exceptional? I would have to say that putting the time into being the very best parent you can be as opposed to having a big house and large bank account is the far better choice. But what do I know? Obviously my life wouldn’t rate as exceptional.