The yummy mummy wars

If you didn’t see it a few weeks ago (I didn’t, I was in NZ), check out Monica Dux writing in The Age about the Mummy Wars. She’s reviewing Megan Basham’s book, Beside every successful man: a woman’s guide to having it all, about how women would be happier if they stayed at home with the kids and focussed on their man’s career instead of their own. I think she’s been taking Mad Men too seriously.

There are so many articles about What Women Should Do, and many of them are about motherhood: what kind of mother you should be – a yummy mummy – and how women without kids hate women with kids and vice versa. Few articles are about men and parenthood, but when they are they’re on hot young male nannies (the “manny”) and blowing wind up the backsides of men who “give up their high-powered career to be a stay-at-home dad” and my, don’t the female journos love these new heroes of manliness.

It’s sad that we still haven’t moved on from telling women what to do. We hide behind this idea that women have choices about motherhood and career, yet most women I know returned to work after six months of maternity leave because they had no financial choice. And then they have to spend a fortune on child care. This decision is presented in the media as a real choice. It’s not.

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