Women who are not my role models


Newsweek ran a piece titled Leading the Way to focus on women who will, supposedly, lead in the 21st century. The list includes a bunch of women who either didn’t adjust their careers for kids or have jobs that are incompatible with family. Here are some examples:

Sarah Chang: “I travel all year long. And every week is a new city.”
Renee Reijo Pera: “At 47, I am going to become a mother soon.”
Marissa Mayer: “Google is a very comfortable environment for me because…a great late-night conversation really inspires me.”

The women of Newsweek are not the heroes of my generation. On the whole, my generation is not interested in this sort of achievement. Not even the men.

Wharton just published a study titled, Plateauing, Redefining Success at Work. The study finds that “rather than subscribing to the onward and upward motto, men and women in middle management are more interested in plateauing, unhooking from the pressure to follow and uphill path that someone else has set. (Thanks, Wendy)

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland published a study that found that senior executives have a lower quality of life than the terminally ill. (via Slow Leadership)

These women in Newsweek have given up everything for their careers. This is not what my generation views as success. This is what baby boomers view as success.

Newsweek does not reference to the fact that Gen Xers typically put family before career, and there is no acknowledgment that fertility takes a nose-dive at age 35. In fact, this article about women who have careers that leave no room for families is paired with photos of women with twins and triplets: As if IVF works all the time. Which it doesn’t.

Everyone worries about the media using women who are too thin as role models. I worry about the media using women who give up everything for their job as role models. Both are outdated and serve to limit women in senseless ways.

70 replies
Newer Comments »
  1. PunditMom
    PunditMom says:

    As I read the Newsweek article, I was particularly struck by Pera’s comments and truly amazed that, as someone who works in the fertility field and knowing what she must know about the “success” rates, that she put off a family for so long. Her attitude is so oddly nonchalant and is a disservice to other women our there who still believe their baby-making years are unlimited.

    I also realized there really weren’t any women in the piece I would want my daughter to emulate.

  2. Max Leibman
    Max Leibman says:

    If there’s a positive story in the examples of the women in the article, it’s that such a career path–and the success they’ve found on it–are open to women. The option is there.

    But you are quite right–this lifestyle is no more the “ideal role model” for everyone everywhere than the housewife of the mid-20th Century (or, worse, the housewife of earlier centuries). Our progress should be measured by the number of options available to any given class of people–and by how little grief they get for their choices among those options.

  3. Dave
    Dave says:

    Good stuff. What I like about your blog is that you call these kinds of workaholism cheerleader stories to task so we, men and women, have an alternative to career advice that typically leaves us feeling we are wrong to want more from life than a career.

  4. Cara
    Cara says:

    I agree with Max. Although I personally would not want to emulate many of these women, we also need to understand that if they are happy with these choices and if it works for them, bravo. Careers in the arts, especially, require dedication that cannot simply be switched on and off. Also, not every woman wishes to have children, which gives them more time for their work or other activities. This is why I don’t like the concept of “role models”: it often sets you up to follow someone else’s example rather than figuring out what works for you personally. What we may see as “giving up everything,” others may see as “spending more time doing work they love.”

  5. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    Everyone, thank you for the great comments.

    Cara and Max, I agree that we each have to pick a path that makes us happy, and the idea of having a role model is not that useful.

    But I am so over the idea that there are no right answers. That is a cop out. There are some right answers. One right answer is that people who do not have close personal relationships are not very happy.

    The research is clear: Just because someone doesn’t want kids doesn’t mean he or she will be magically happy from their work. The highest levels of happiness, even for people who love their job, require intimacy as well as work that accommodates that.

  6. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    Thanks “Career-Change-Wanted” for posting the link. I especially appreciated one of the final lines:
    “I know some of my students worry how they will manage their scientific research and a desire for children. …Instead, I have given them this: the visual of their physics professor heavily pregnant calculating the electrical capacitance of a neuron.”

    That’s leadership!

    Ultimately, I think that’s the best way to merge motherhood, career, and leadership. Rather than talking about it, by your actions simply demonstrate that being pregnant or a mom does not mean that you cannot also have a career passion — and vice versa.

  7. Bill Hanover
    Bill Hanover says:

    Dear Penelope,

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

    I am so glad to hear your voice of reason on this critical issue.

    Careers are always *.* (remember DOS ; – ) overrated when compared to the nobility of Motherhood. And raising your own children is profoundly noble and absolutely worth the effort!

    I’m glad to see this “old fashioned” idea has not escaped everyone!

    All the Best!

  8. Jen
    Jen says:

    OK, but…
    No question the boomer generation has approached whatever they do with a somewhat unhealthy “intensity” (ahem). But, that goes for the men as well…the study of executive quality of life was non-gender-specific.

    I think the recurring theme is really a generation gap…one which is not a gender issue. Penelope has addressed this in a number of posts…it seems to me it’s a matter of Gen’s X & Y claiming their right to differ from the ones who have gone before…but doing so without the overwhelming numbers the boomers had working for them.

    It’s going to be an interesting few decades…

  9. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    Jen, thank you for bringing up the point about it being a generational difference. That is one of my pet topics.

    FYI, while the size of Gen X is nothing compared to the baby boomers, Gen Y can match the boomers in their demographic power.

  10. Bill Hanover
    Bill Hanover says:

    As a “Baby Boomer/GenX’r” (right on the cusp) I am terribly concerned about the current generation I call “Generation TXT” for their tendency towards text messaging, chat, and the abbreviated communication mechanisms and attention spans.

    With a 50% divorce rate the values of actually “being” great parents may be foreign to a majority of them.

    So, I don’t know if it is a “generation gap” issue as much as a “values” and “Up-bringing” discrepancy. Just Thinking.

    Love More,

  11. LawyerMama
    LawyerMama says:

    Oh, I completely agree. That lifestyle may be fine for those women, but don’t try to tell me that they are “leading” me anywhere. We need to get away from the idea that women must put their families second to reach their career goals. Only when women of our generation insist on flexibility to have a career AND a family will things begin to change. Great post!

  12. Jen
    Jen says:

    Penelope: “X”cellent point that Gen-Y is a monster, too. I guess, as an “X-er,” it’s easy to feel lost.

    Bill, here’s what I’m hearing in your post: “Kids Today Just Don’t Get It.” Not sure I buy it, though. You can learn from everyone, even if it’s just seeing them follow a path (divorce? workaholism?) you really don’t want to follow.

    And, LawyerMama, I gotta disagree…it’s not about being able to have it all. It’s about not agonizing over the trade-offs that have to be made. You simply can’t be in two places at once. I think Penelope is wise to point out that deferring a choice (i.e., childbearing, connecting) too often becomes making a choice. I don’t think she’s romanticizing motherhood over career…just providing some hard-nosed realism.

  13. M Heinemann
    M Heinemann says:

    You’ve come a long way baby! Heck I don’t know what to think about career women/stay at home types-these days. Want it all; make fun of stay at home moms, now it's the nobility of motherhood. Hmmmm. Secret is to do what makes you happy in the long run. Career or stay at home..do it well.

  14. Bill Hanover
    Bill Hanover says:

    Hi Jen,

    You’re close, but it’s not so much that “kids today just don’t get it,” it’s more “kids today just aren’t getting it.”

    What aren’t they getting?

    Enough: Love, Time, Interaction, Mentoring, Role Modeling From Successful Marriages, etc.

    They actually need examples of how healthy happy families work. It’s not enough to bombard them with examples of dysfunction and say “hey, don’t do it like this.”

    I think there are great parents lurking inside most of us, but actually putting them in charge seems to be more of an exception to the norm unfortunately.

    All the Best,

  15. CrankMama
    CrankMama says:

    Amen, sister, aaaaamen!! Let’s get some REAL role models out there and let’s acknowledge that whether we like it or not, Nature does have a preference for breeding before age 47. And take it from me, twins aren’t something to be aimed for… they are more or less just to be survived.

    You are a unique & wonderful voice, Penelope.

  16. finance girl
    finance girl says:

    “Have babies in your 40s, no problem!” That is the myth I bought into in my 20s and 30s. After marrying at 33 and promptly trying to get pregnant, I now realize, many years later, fertility for most women is finite.

    IVF is not a slam dunk, even for those with unexplained infertility (hello, that’s us right here).

    We had 2 IVFs and have nothing to show for it.

    But I have my glorious career to bask in, right?

  17. SJ
    SJ says:

    I love that when Newsweek puts powerful women in the spotlight, the issue automatically turns to their shortcomings as mothers.

    I appreciate the fact that we are acknowledging that everyone suffers when work is put ahead of our personal lives, but it is important that we ask the same questions of powerful male CEOs. I rarely hear someone chide men for putting off fatherhood, or worse, pursuing career goals to the exclusion of children they already have. Yes, everyone’s got to make end’s meet, but there’s a difference between providing for your family, and then simply just trying to make the most money for the hell of it. Unfortunately, when women do this, they are castigated far worse than men. Just because a few women choose to pursue careers to the exclusion of all else doesn’t mean we’re jeopardizing the human race. They’re still in the minority.

    A better question for both men and women is whether our jobs satisfy us individually, and do they serve greater society? What are we achieving by conforming to a system that usually requires us to do jobs we do not love, and do not get very much from?

    I think it is time we recognize that a significant portion of our work system is broken, and that it puts families’ needs, in general, last.

  18. melanie gao
    melanie gao says:

    I dunno, Penelope. Not everyone is cut out to be a parent. What’s wrong with a person choosing a career that doesn’t leave time or energy to become a parent? Isn’t that a legitimate choice? They can still have close relationships with their spouse, partner, friends, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, etc…

    Sarah Chang has a gift and she’s living life to its fullest. As far as I can tell from the article she doesn’t have kids so I assume she’s not neglecting anyone by being in a different city every week. She’s a hero to me.

  19. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    It’s not about kids. It’s about ratelationships — all the types you mention in your comments. We know from scientits studying happiness that those relationships matter way more than work when it comes to making us happy. No matter what the work is.

    Someone like Sarah Chang, who is in a different city every week, has little ability to form close relationships with people. My point is not about making time for kids, it’s about how we need to stop believing that a great job can make up for the fact that there’s no time for relationships.

  20. Gwenn
    Gwenn says:

    This recent comment from my 21 year-old son made me stop and think. He looked over at me after watching a commeical on TV and said “You Baby Boomers are Overated.” I wonder….

  21. MS
    MS says:

    Research on happiness shows that it has virtually no relationship to income once a person is above the poverty line. The ironic part is that people keep pursuing careers *as if* if did actually make us happier.

    Aside from income level, doing meaningful work does arguably contribute to happiness. But there is plenty of meaningful work that doesn’t involve putting career before personal relationships.

  22. Ellen O
    Ellen O says:

    I think the danger is that currently many X women think that working a few years in their profession and then stopping to have kids means that their degree will always protect them. It wont. By the time youre done being an uber mom, your skills will be out of date…you wont be able to reenter at the place (position) you left…
    It is also easier to be able to say “I could have been a partner/executive” if you never were in there trying. I see many women doing that.

    Notice how few men leave their jobs, even when the wives have the possibility to out earn them…they know how the game is played.

  23. Claudia
    Claudia says:

    There is one question that no one has asked yet: What do these supercareer mothers do if they happen to give birth to children with special needs? While fertility goes down after 35, birth defects go up. I was the type that was born wanting a family above all else, and work was a sometimes-fulfilling time-occupier, but no cigar (I have a degree). I got a family in my early thirties, and two of my children have special needs and demand a lot of intense work for both school and social skills. Their Ubersister also has special needs simply by virtue of being “lonesome in a crowd” of special needs siblings. They will be teenagers soon, and it has only been in the last year that I could even contemplate a part-time, variable-hour job, let alone an ubercareer. I have been most fortunate that my husband is A.O.K. that I am a stay-at-home, and I feel this is what I was born for. But do these women who put off having kids till later years realize how exhausting an autistic child or Down’s Syndrome child could be? And will they be willing to do the (unappreciated) work that is necessary to bring these children to a place where they can lead independent lives? I cannot imagine any career that I could do that would compensate for my using a nanny (should I be so lucky to afford one) to oversee the care and management of my children’s specialists and education. Anyone want to enlighten me as to why I should feel otherwise?

  24. MS
    MS says:

    This is an interesting if unintended by product of the womens’ liberation movement of the 1960s and on. It is a very good thing in my mind. One glass ceiling after another has been broken through so that women can have more choice over what path they pursue in life.

    The unintented side effect is warping of the idea “I can do anything,” into “I must do everything.” I am not advocating going back to the traditional model where women cannot be professionals. I don’t think that’s desirable and I doubt it’s even possible at this point. My point is that if individuals, both men and women, do not consider both the benefits and costs of career pursuit, something may be lost in the process.

    I believe that we need are more creative and flexible solutions to our emergence from the traditional model. At this point, we’re doing everything and missing out on sleep and personal relationships. It’s not a satisfactory trade-off.

  25. murrell
    murrell says:

    I really agree with this artical about not putting family first. Althought there is a fine line between settling and haveing family. Women could strive to have a great career and then have a family. We shouldn’t have to be dependent on a man. Men choose work all the time and society says its o.k.. I belive that we(society) should work hard to have a balance between the work and family.

  26. Leah
    Leah says:

    I beleive that the full-time career lifestyle is perfectly fit for some women in this day and age, there is nothing wrong with that. Some women have a calling for being at the office, pursuing their careers and ultimately become workaholics; these women choose not to have families to go home to, but thats fine! Then there are the women who do it all and come home after a long 12 hour day to their husbands and children, and that’s fine too. After all, it’s not so uncommon to see the husband staying at home taking care of the house while the wife is staying late at the office.

    * * * * *

    Leah, I agree with you 100%. But in each example you gave, there was someone home with the kids. You left out the example where both parents are working 12 hour days. That’s what I disagree with. I don’t think it’s fair to the kids.I wonder what you think…


  27. MS
    MS says:

    That’s what I was referring to really Penelope, although I didn’t make it very clear. Many couples I know have both working full time, the kids in daycare or school, and precious little time and energy left over for their children and their own relationship. Time is money, and the trade off is made in favor of money.

    Part of this also stems from a tendency to identify oneself in terms of a career, in both men and women. We define ourselves in terms of our careers. How often does someone say “I *do* carpentry,” rather than “I *am* a carpenter.” I like what I do for a living, but it doesn’t define me. It doesn’t begin to capture me.

  28. MS
    MS says:

    I have no problem with a stay-at-home father or mother. I can think of no better way to spend one’s time than with their child. The moments are precious and they will never be that age again. It’s also not a permanent condition. As the child grows older, goes to school, moves out, etc. it frees up more time for the parents to pursue other things.

  29. Bianca Reagan
    Bianca Reagan says:

    Speaking as a member of Generation Y, not all of us fit one J-ello mold. Not all of us want to have kids. Not all of us want to spend time with our families. Not all of us want to have a career.

    Addtionally, it’s very easy to say that some women “choose” to postpone having kids so that they could have a career. However, for those of us who aren’t rich enough to “hire a headhunter” to find us 20-somethings a mate before we enter the post-35 bracket, what do you suggest we do, Penelope? I could find some random guy to impregnate me, to make sure that I give birth to a child during my peak childbearing years. But then what? I’m not independently wealthy, nor do I have a partner who is. So I’d have to continue working to support this baby, a baby that I gave birth to before I was emotionally or financially ready support out of fear that I’d be too old to be a mother at 35.

    I agree with Max, who wrote, “Our progress should be measured by the number of options available to any given class of people – €“and by how little grief they get for their choices among those options.” Most Americans with kids, even those in two-parent households, HAVE TO WORK to support their families. Staying at home is not an option for every mother or father. If it is, that’s great for them. But if it’s not, then that lack of opportunity should be recognized as a failure of our country’s system of employment, not as a selfishness on the part of parents who have to work to feed and clothe their children.

    Furthermore, families are not defined as simply a man, a woman and their offspring. Families include whoever an individual decides to spend their life with. So if someone decides not to have kids, not to have a career, not to find a life partner, or to do none of the above, that does not necessarily make them an unhappy person. Happiness means different things to different people, regardless of what fabricated Generation name they have been given.

  30. Anastasia
    Anastasia says:

    Like most things in life, this is all the fault of Alan Greenspan….
    No, just kidding, but seriously, how many people actually sit down and make a choice about this sort of thing? I have two sisters who, in the throes of pubescent hormones, got married to men who, though they may have feet of clay are generally good guys. I did the same, only it didn’t work out. Both of them were dissatisfied stay at home wives, and got pregnant rather unexpectedly. Now, whenever we get together they go off on some mother’s only tirade about how much better their lives were before kids, and how much freer they were, and I don’t doubt that’s true, but it seems a little cold to me. Meanwhile, I am getting my degree and fighting with my biological clock about when the perfect time for kids would be, and have had enough ‘accidents’ to start worrying about my fertility, but not enough earning potential to start trying in earnest. I think that probably the perfect time for ME to have children will be at the age of 34, after I have my degree, adn enough job experience to give it value after maternity leave. Then I will do a couple of years bonding, and hand the toddler over to my husband just in time for potty training. He will retire from his job to raise the kid and paint, while I go back to my 50k a year career, which I love (actual research, really)and I will still be able to play with my kid in teh evenings and on weekends. Great plan, huh? What kind of odds do you think a good bookie would give on that happening?

    Having been the product of an unwanted pregnancy, but thankfully borne to a woman of outstanding moral character, I have seen just how much kids can affect your happiness, and I think that the bigger issue than “career vs. family” is “Life planning 101”. If you want to be happy, when you have kids, don’t look back, and if you never do, throw yourself into good work, that gives you some kind of fulfillment. Either way, if you are going to plan, think it through then stick to your plan.

    speaking as a Gen X/Y’er, the big failing of Women’s Lib is that it carries with it an unshakable ideal of no consequences. The sexual revolution really freed us up, right? but the baby boom resulted. We want to have careers and families, as options? Now we HAVE to do both. Not commiting makes us rags in the wind, for anyone to pick up. Make some decisions people, then stick to them, and stop worrying about the road not traveled.

  31. Christine
    Christine says:

    I agree with your article 100%. As a former career woman who at age 37 now stays at home to not only raise my daughters but homeschool them as well, I don’t regret one moment of my decision. Our kids need us at home… they won’t remember if we make alot of money or have lots of things, but that we made time to raise them right with values. And when I am old, it will be these relationships that I have cultivated that will stay with me, not a fleeting career. If we don’t raise up the next generation with our concern, then who will Newsweek feature as future leaders in future magazines.

    FWIW, I wish I would see a “Outstanding Women” article that not only featured women such as Sarah Chang,Renee Reijo Pera, and Marissa Mayer, but mothers who put everything on hold to raise their kids as well. Why not a well-rounded “Top Women’s” list???

  32. Erika
    Erika says:

    Anastasia, I enjoyed your comments and your “plan” sounds great. Mine was great too, and actually WORKED for about 10 years! I got married right out of college, had a child right away, and never once wished for a career: stay-at-home mom was the career I wanted. Then…a set of twins…special needs diagnoses for two of my children and a life-threatening medical condition for the third…and my marriage failed. So here I am, very happily remarried but forced by economic circumstance to work outside the home; separated from two of my children while they attend school while living with their father and [wonderful] stepmom, due to medical and educational necessity. I never wished for a career other than mom, but here I am. I am now 38 and have finally managed to patch together something you could maybe call a “career”–potential to be fulfilling while earning (maybe) enough to keep my family just scraping by. It is hard when the rules are changed mid-game, hard to reorient yourself to accept joining the work world with a decade-old degree and no real job experience. I sometimes regret not having had something of a career to go back to when it became a necessity, but never because I missed out on anything. However, I do kind of feel caught in the middle–forced to sacrifice my plan and ideals of being a stay at home mother to my children, yet not able to go after real material success or the fulfillment that comes from bigger achievements in the professional world because I feel I need to give my family everything I can (of myself–not materially!), and that means I can’t pursue just any job. I am extremely blessed to have employers who believe the family DOES come first, but those are few and far between. I made my choice, but life changed around me and now I am stuck with kind of a 50/50 split that leaves me thinking I don’t do anything well enough.

    * * * * *

    This is an important reminder that we — including me — tend to plan for the best case, instead of the worst case. This is totally normal, but we need to keep in mind that bad things happen to most people. We just never know when or what it will be. Having a little preparation, a little resilience, can help so much. Not that I am great at this, but sometimes it takes not being great at it to know how important it is to do.


  33. Anastasia
    Anastasia says:

    It’s your perseverance, and your ability to regain orientation after such an upset, to strive for happiness and fulfillment outside your original context, that makes you a leader and a good example to me.

  34. Duane
    Duane says:

    One thing that makes me smile when reading this article, as well as the blog that follows it, is the apparent attitude of most women, be they “boomers” or “gen-letters”.
    Why does it seem that they feel they are missing something if they haven’t had children?
    Are you not a “complete woman” if you can’t or haven’t had children?
    It’s certainly nothing to base your life success on. Let it happen, or don’t dwell on it if it doesn’t.

  35. MS
    MS says:

    I agree with Duane that neither a woman nor a man needs to have a child in order to to live a happy, fulfilling, and meaningful life. I think the issue presented here is the conflict in wanting children and wanting a high-powered career, and experiencing a conflict between the two. Neither a career nor having children are the basis for judging one’s life success. My understanding of the issue at hand is recognizing the pros and cons of pursuing family and/or career and choosing accordingly. I think the emphasis on career in recent years sometimes leads to “I Must Do X, Y, and Z” syndrome. Since we are finite and imperfect beings the end result is frustration and exhaustion. A clear sense of priorities and acceptance, as you mentioned, seem to be the way for both women and men to avoid falling into this trap.

  36. JoAnne
    JoAnne says:

    Thanks for the reminder. I just had my first performance review in my new industry – information technology. After years of frustration with my husband’s long hours without any apparent compensation, I know understand why he did it – it is the culture, it is expected. My manager told me that no one will give me any sympathy if I complain about 50 hours a week. She said I can’t come to her for help until I’ve worked 60 hours a week for four weeks straight. I don’t think it was coming from her so much as it was coming from the company culture. And I hope that the expectations placed on me aren’t even higher because I don’t have kids, but I’ve begun to suspect it. Why is my cat’s vet appointment less important than your kids doctor appointment? Just because I’ve chosen not to have children doesn’t mean I want to spend all my “spare” time sucking up to meet an unreasonable cultural expectation!

  37. k.khan
    k.khan says:

    i agree entirely that none of these women are my role models either. I would not classify a high flying job as the only form of achievement of success.

  38. emily xyz
    emily xyz says:

    “Careers are always *.* (remember DOS ; – ) overrated when compared to the nobility of Motherhood.”

    Ooooh…how very “Handmaid’s Tale”!!

    The bearing and raising of children is NOT the standard by which a woman’s value is determined — that was the basic premise of feminism. Having kids is not a pre-requisite for a happy life, nor is every woman (or man) cut out for it, nor is it everyone’s dream. If you are happier pursuing a career, or if you simply have no interest in traditional family life, more power to you — male or female.

    I agree that in the workplace now, way too much is expected of employees. And I think Penelope has her priorities staright when it comes to keeping work in its place in life — not making it your whole life. But that works for some people, and if it does, and if they happen to be women, so what?

    To me the problem is when people try to give that much to jobs or careers they AREN’T really devoted to — or (more commonly) when employers manipulate people into thinking that kind of “work ethic” is necessary to be considered for, say, a raise or bonus. I think that’s what Penelope is addressing here.

    But if that’s what you meant, you worded it kinda poorly — or do you really believe there’s something wrong w/ a woman who like to work late at night? (I’m assuming you don’t know many musicians or theater people…) That’s the kind of fundamentalism that ultimately ends in burkas.

  39. Anastasia
    Anastasia says:

    Okay, I mean, c’mon, it’s not the yardmarker for a happy life, but seriously, people. you are not considered a higher life form unless you have a biological drive to procreate. Yes, I definitely feel that I will be missing something if I never have kids. I’ll miss stuff if I do have kids, and when and with whom I have children will determine what I miss. It is not what makes me a woman, but it lends purpose to me being a woman. And don’t kid yourselves, men feel the same way, sometimes even more powerfully. It is buying into a stupid feminist lie to think that your life can be complete, whole, and perfect if you never take the responsibility of creating a life, then sticking around to see what it does. I want that. Just not today. Tomorrow’s not looking so good for me either. But when (if) it happens, it’s going to be painful, it’s going to be inconvenient, and it will take at least 20% more inner strength then i will think I have. And if it never happens, well, I can still have a life, and be happy. I can have a career, and a husband, and a ton of disposable income. That’d be great.

  40. Dave Olive
    Dave Olive says:

    Outstanding Woman of the Year? I say my wife deserves that award. She is definitely capable of achieving more career success than myself! Instead of pursuing her career, she chose to leave her career and provide a nuturing and caring environment for our children.

    Now that our children are almost grown, she is going to graduate school so she can start the next half of her life and pursue her dreams.


  41. JoAnne
    JoAnne says:

    Gosh, Anastasia, I’m so glad you know what’s best for everyone. I’ll just stop making decisions for myself and let you tell me how to lead my life from here on out. How dare you imply that my choice not to have children shortchanges me in some 19th century way. It’s thinking like yours that has perfectly unsuitable women pushing out puppies out of some sense of obligation regardless of their own desires or capabilities to care for another human life. I feel that my decision not to impose my genetic imperfections or psychological issues on a new generation is far more courageous than simply caving in to the banal desires to procreate. It makes me an even higher life form that I don’t let my biology define my life and happiness. If I follow your line of thinking, I should also have sex at every opportunity and eat everything in sight because that's what my physiology dictates. Isn't having the free will and self-control to choose whatever path we think is best for ourselves important?

  42. Anastasia
    Anastasia says:

    Well, JoAnne, it’s good you are listening, now learn teh language. I didnt say that having children was BEST, I said that if you don’t you are missing something, man and woman alike. You are not contributing to overpopulation? Thank you for your sacrifice. Personally, I am a bit torn. I carry genes for alcoholism, and a host of unpleasant mental disorders. But make no mistake, whatever I decide in the long run, not having children would be something that I would be missing out on. I have choice, is my point. I can’t have it ALL. It seems pretty clear to me that your decision not to have kids has mired you into thinking that you are the most important person on Earth, and guess what, since you don’t have children, you are!

  43. Anastasia
    Anastasia says:

    P.S, if your physiology dictates that you have sex everytime there is an opportunity to do so, and eat everything in sight, I am really not worried about you getting the opportunity to procreate. Why do you think that just becasue your biological urges don’t rule you that they have no purpose? They are supposed to cast a vote, these instincts being more informed on some issues than your cognizant mind. If they are the only thing that drives you you’ll get nowhere. I agree you are courageous to deny your biological urges, but a real higher life form makes use of all the info at their disposal when it comes to making a decision.

  44. JoJo
    JoJo says:

    “It is buying into a stupid feminist lie to think that your life can be complete, whole, and perfect if you never take the responsibility of creating a life, then sticking around to see what it does.”

    Wow, that pantload is still steaming, it’s so fresh and warm! I have to agree with JoAnne on this one – you’re being mighty pretentious. In my own case, I don’t even HAVE biological urges towards having children that I have to bother denying! I simply don’t like children and don’t really see a positive side to having them – they look like giant pains in the butt to me. I have always felt that way and still do at the age of 37. I’m sure my eggs have reached their “best if used by” date, but either way I’m covered – I got my tubes tied three years ago.

    You go right ahead and sit there on your high horse, looking down your nose at my lack of “contributions” to the human race. Lather, rinse, & repeat for all I care – whatever makes you feel better about yourself. I say there are more ways to contribute to humanity than simply by adding more bodies to it, and I’ll be the one to decide whether my own life is whole and complete.

  45. Anastasia
    Anastasia says:

    Are you people even bothering to process, or are you too distracted by your knees jerking? I am PERSONALLY still on the fence about having children, but if I decide not to, the world will simply not be as large as if I had. Taking responsibility for someone besides yourself does that, and if you elect not to, your life may well be full of meaning and contribution. Take Mother Teresa, for instance. But you will STILL, no matter how much you accomplish, NOT HAVE THAT PARTICULAR EXPERIENCE. Get off my back, you insane femi-nazis. I do not define you by your child-bearing, I am merely pointing out that having children, whether it’s a good thing, or a bad thing, is a common biological drive and changes the course of ones life, male or female, old or young. If you really feel that way about children then I am glad you don’t have any. It would be a misfortune for you and them. I don’t think that this makes you less of a person, less of a woman, or less of a meaningful contributor to society. I just think it makes you child-less.

Newer Comments »

Comments are closed.