Monday, October 29, 2012

Newsweek article: American Women Have It Wrong

Comment on the Newsweek article: American Women Have It Wrong

From the outset of this image, as a diverse woman of African descent, I found this Newsweek article interesting, yet derisive.

Another rant of a "Dr. Mary Sue" - a mainstream woman, with the car, the career, the family, the husband, the everything that is not applicable to diverse women at all. If she knew a day in the life, she would not be so cold in her comments.

That women experience pregnancy and childbirth in a deeply physical way. Women are the ones who carry the child for nine months, and whose bodies leap instantly after labor to sustain that child through the first critical months of life. These are physiological aspects of mothering that defy government regulation and corporate policy. And they are not going away.

In context, she was discussing biology that is unchanging and money cannot be thrown at it.  But the mere statement is saying, on the one hand, we women who have bear children do it alone, and on the other hand, "government regulation" and "corporate policy". What about the law? Some women who are "doing it alone" are not doing it by choice...

Because in her next series of discussions, Debora Spar states, that women need to make a choice because we cannot do it all. "No human can do this..." Sure, this is true... But that is still a culturally insensitive statement when having to do it all must be done if we are talking about survival. Yes, something will give. But discounting hope? Are you willing to sacrifice your household for others? No, you will not. Bluntly, what you just said there --"making a choice to have children, career, etc" is disempowering to women, because a lot of women had no choice, i.e. the man raped her...Refusal to receive proper reproductive choices...job biases. These are legal ramifications that yes, a government CAN most definitely regulate and corporations can most give policy on.

Girls need to have all their grandmothers wanted them to have, while looking as pretty as their mothers wanted them to look...You try so hard to be who everyone wants you to be while attempting to maintain some kind of individuality and in the end you seem to lose everything.

In context, Debora Spar speaks on the feeling of it all crashing around you. I think a lot of women, who aspire to be something great go through this, often. Many fail. But appearances are a political fights. There are women that are profiled and discriminated against daily. Just ask a Muslim woman in the United States wearing an Abaya and Niqab... Or a Black Woman choosing to wear dreads vs chemically straightened hair? Or a Latina or Vietnamese woman who speaks limited English? The more astute women attempt to appear more Caucasian to get by in daily life, than to maintain their cultural customs of appearance. Our cries to "sell ourselves short" be it conscious or not, still is not a fear of failure or discovery of a failure, but more like battle wounds for our diverse communities!

...Making a world better for women also demands that women work together...You see the woman who was here before you? Why don't you track her down, and try to work together.

Lovely statement "Dr. Mary Sue" -- really had me going there. I almost bought it until you said  "rural schools for girls in Africa"...

American women have it wrong because in your purview, Dr. Mary Sue, your world is enraptured outward versus looking inward. I think you tried to feel the cause of struggle and you rode on your accomplishments of being a professor for scores and President of a liberal arts college. Beautiful thing by the way. But your disconnect with your pollyannish views that women have husbands that work daily to help you and all you have to worry about is having to read the books versus speaking to sources is not what works for a lot of women. You totally missed lesbian couples who want children!

I am sorry, until all women, especially in the United States, have control over their own destinies including their bodies, especially reproductive health, then choices are being MADE FOR THEM! NOT MAKING THEIR OWN CHOICE!

I know you've written every economic book and your research is stellar, but add the layer of bigotry to your statistics, and I think all your insights will shift. The Government has published several articles on understanding health disparities and their economic impacts.

Therefore, Sistah Mental Health and Wellness has to find your point of view MARY SUE!