Originally Posted by lisalou
There was actually a very good article recently in The Economist about aging populations and birthrates. Italy and Japan are actually having a lot problems with birthrates. While France was able to turn theirs around by giving women more options in the work place and having more family friendly policies. Italy sort of has family friendly policies but your career as a woman can't really go anywhere if you decide to have kids same with Japan where it's even worse women don't get high powered jobs to begin with. Basically it boiled down to the more options women have and the more support they get for those options, the more kids they have which I find interesting. You sort of go from an agrarian society where you have to have a lot of kids, to a more industrialized society where job opportunities make you need less kids to an enlightened industrial society that sees the importance in work/life balance and birth rates go up.
I don't think sahm'ing per se actually hurts women, everyone should have the choice. But when the patriarchy that sets the agenda feels it should be the default for women who have kids, that's where it hurts women. When I just become a lactating uterus, then I have problems with society.
I would definitely like to see more 'family orientated' businesses. I'm not sure what the overall situation is like for the U.S, but it's definitely happening in the UK (slowly).
Any suggestion that women should be undertaking a certain role on the basis that she has a uterus makes me uncomfortable and a little defensive. I completely support 'choice', whether that be WOHM, SAHM, WAHM.. the individual family should be able to have the ability to choose whatever approach they wish.
Unfortunately, economics does not always allow for choice. The standard of living now is so high, especially in the US and the UK. I work in the Credit Card department of a Bank, and I'm talking to so many customers who cannot even afford to cover their basic living needs, electricity, gas, food, Council Tax, Rent/Mortgage, so am wondering how this is going to impact upon family life in the long term as more working families have to increase working hours to cover their living costs. I realise I've gone a little off course with this section, but I believe that it does have a serious impact upon the structure of the family.
For me personally, it never occured to me to stop working long term after my son was born. Financially, I am a single Mother, so my son relies upon me for his comfort and wellbeing economically. But even if I was married, I would still work.
I've seen mentioned in some of the previous posts also... the idea that if women didn't work, this would remove the economic competition that men now experience. I feel that this undermines women, and once again, suggests that women's roles should be limited and defined by their biology. If we suggested that men stop working so that the competition would be removed for women in the workplace, I imagine that this idea would be rejected as silly and SO not going to happen because of the traditional idea of men being the main/sole breadwinner.
Plus it ignores the fact that women have always worked throughout history. The fact that women have always worked undermines the ideal of the 'nuclear, man works, woman stay at home' family anyway. I've always interpreted that as an ideal that was formed according to class status anyway.