Get Pregnant, Ladies!

Carol Sarler wrote this bizarre piece in the Daily Mail yesterday.

The gist of the article is that all capable, appropriately aged women should make babies, because it a) completes them and b) makes them better employees, and if they don’t they are a) weird and b) selfish.

“Much as I like to trumpet the importance of a woman’s right to choose all things at all times, there’s one choice I simply cannot understand: the choice of an otherwise sane and healthy woman not to have children.”

Wow, thanks for the support. Sarler ‘understands’ all the freak show women (like lesbians and those over 35) who want to make with the babies, but those with operational wombs who opt out are apparently incomprehensible.

Sarler writes on the subject now because ‘research’ (the source remains undocumented in the article) has shown that bosses/execs (male?) prefer to hire/work with women who are mothers rather than not. Because, see, the single ladies “lack humanity”. Whether single men or fathers also lack humanity is not mentioned. Perhaps it isn’t relevant for male employees – it’s just the women the bosses have to worry about being inhumane.

The article is full of similar offensive remarks and rather bizarre generalizations – “They’re [mothers are] not there to compete for the attentions of the male executives; they’re there to get out of the house; they’re there because they genuinely enjoy some adult company; and they’re there because they have mouths to feed other than their own and shoes to buy for someone else’s feet.”

Yes, as we all know mothers don’t have jobs because they are satisfied by work, it’s because they are tired of speaking in baby-talk and need the funds to purchase more Lego. And those single women in the office, drawing the attention of the male execs – wait, why are the execs male? Is this point moot when there is a female boss? Are the non-mothers trying to find attention for their work, or is Sarler implying that single women work so they have a selection of wealthy guys in offices to seduce? And, of course, non-mothers don’t also genuinely enjoy adult company.

“You cannot be a mother without knowing something about selflessness, compassion, generosity, commitment, fierce loyalty and plain hard work. You cannot – surely – be a boss and not value assets such as those in your staff.”

You cannot, surely, assume that these traits are exclusive to mothers. Nor can you assume that all mothers have these traits – not every mother is a ‘good’ mother. To think about it for a moment is to realize how illogical that statement is.

And perhaps the most offensive phrase: “we actually need our children; they complete us as women” – Bull. Shit.

Those women who are barren are incomplete? Single women are incomplete? How about high schoolers or university students? Is that senior thesis just filler until the true meaning of life is revealed in the eyes of your child?

Sarler’s illogical and frankly misogynistic article baffles. It is an attack on working women – the mothers don’t come across much better than the inhumane non-mothers, as it seems that what their job is doesn’t matter as long as they can talk to some grown-ups and get home in time to make dinner.

I have to wonder in cases like these if writers seriously believe what they put forward or are engaging in a little ‘Modest Proposal’-like mockery, looking at the underlying logic and implications of studies that even bother to ask ‘bosses’ whether they prefer hiring women with or without children; if you think about it, the study itself was designed either to say ‘all women should make babies’ or ‘you can’t have children and a successful career’.

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