Self-help Books Continue to Spout Nonsense

Megan Basham’s book “Beside Every Successful Man” is reviewed in The American. Once again, a woman (who works, clearly, as a writer) is telling the world that the ladies don’t like working, really. They much prefer to manage a house and raise the kiddies.

“Ask a group of mothers if they would continue to work full-time if they didn’t have to and the answer will overwhelmingly come back ‘No!’” she writes. In her universe, women prefer to “devote hours to planning a pumpkin patch excursion or to scrapbooking our most recent family vacation.”

Yes. How thrilling.

The American describes the book as “a fairly standard career guide, albeit one cleverly packaged to reflect the fact that it is generally women, not men, who buy self-help books.”

Reviewer Laura Vanderkam also points out “Studies have found that a big reason professional women drop out of the workforce is not that they don’t want to work, but rather that there is insufficient flexibility in their jobs—partly because their male colleagues and bosses have such “supportive” wives that they don’t need flexibility. In other words, the two-people-one-paycheck model Basham extols makes life harder, not only on working moms, but also on men who want to have a balanced life and spend more time with their children.”

What books (and authors) like Basham reveal is that the corporate environment is largely reliant on an old model – the one-income, house-wife one, which has long since bit the dust.

A better advice tome would be a guide for businesses on how to increase their flexibility to get the most out of their workers while supporting their responsibilities to their families.

image from Random House

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