Tuesday, October 23, 2007

San Francisco, first morning: CAREY

Carey Perloff: Second Wave feminist, mother, runs the American Conservatory Theater.

On stay-at-home moms:

"Society needs to make structural changes [to encourage men to take a role in child-rearing], but educated women shouldn’t just give up. Why are we granting all these scholarships to women if they’re not even going to use it?”It’s an upper middle class thing to decide not to work. The woman at the dry cleaners I see every day can’t choose to stay home. So what are we [middle class white women] complaining about?”

Discussion Questions:
Question 1
Question 2


risah, portland OR said...

WHOA!! Is she serious? That's not the point of feminism, to pile on a particular set of expectations on women! That is just as bad as telling women that they have to have 3 kids by age 25. Your career does not define YOU and thats what second wavers never understood.

i don't think getting an education and then having babies is not "using it." it is a middle class thing to have that choice, but that doesn't mean that the education was not valuable.

Anonymous said...

I think what Carey is trying to say is that women should believe in changing the country so that it is easier to manage both work and raising children. The solution is not to become overworked, admit you can't do everything, and start meeting with the other Mommies at the playground. We need have universal, free daycare and fathers who feel the need to share responsibilities. I am 36 and have a baby. I am just starting to realize how men still expect women to do most of the baby-raising.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I detect a lot of negative judgment regarding women who don't make choices she perceives as valuable. She even acknowledges that women's voices are not at the forefront of the plays she produces. By her own standards, isn't she squandering her talent?

I don't begrudge her for her choices, but at least be consistent.

Susan said...

Simply having children isn't valuable to society as a whole, and neither is having a job. Most of us can do this. What makes us and our time here on earth valuable is how we use it day-to-day. Are we just going along to get along, or are we making the kinds of decisions in our work and with our families that will have a positive effect on future generations? We have to stand firm with our values as mothers and active participants in society. Otherwise, nothing changes, or if it does, it's not necessarily for the better.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that no-one gets the point Carey made here. The point is that "choice" is a luxury that we should be proud that we have, not something to "complain" about. Education is a choice we have and everyone has a choice to consume it, but a question worth asking is why scholarships should be given out on the basis of gender if the recipient is not going to use that knowledge in a way to better society. That would be a misallocation of resources (as it would on anyone who would take a scholarship and not give back in some way). Another great point implicit in her statements is that feminism is working and women do have many choices now, but there is still work to be done. Go Carey