Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Choosing women's work

Linda Hirshman writes in the American Prospect:
During the '90s, I taught a course in sexual bargaining at a very good college. Each year, after the class reviewed the low rewards for child-care work, I asked how the students anticipated combining work with child-rearing. At least half the female students described lives of part-time or home-based work. Guys expected their female partners to care for the children. When I asked the young men how they reconciled that prospect with the manifest low regard the market has for child care, they were mystified. Turning to the women who had spoken before, they said, uniformly, "But she chose it."
It is hard to imagine what "sexual bargaining" she was teaching those college students. It sounds as if they understood their self-interest a lot better than her.

David Brooks trashes her article for other reasons.

There are feminist bloggers who are very upset with Brooks. They argue that a woman shouldn't choose child care because a man wouldn't choose child care. I am a man and I have chosen to spend a lot of my time on child care. It seems like a reasonable choice to me.