Redefining ‘Slave’

Oh wow.

Just read this comment that was quoted in a financial blog post:

“I think the biggest mistake that women make is ‘staying home to raise the children’… It is essentially SLAVE Labor, which no one in our country can truly afford to pay for. We don’t notice it because it seems like it has always been so. We need to redefine work and benefits.”

I have just one, loaded question. Which I would elaborate on, if I didn’t really, really need to get back to my own slave labor:

Who (or what) so mercilessly compelled the writer of this comment to have children?

Who is she enslaved to? Her libido?

Just…  saying.


12 responses to “Redefining ‘Slave’

  • psphoenix

    ?! Wha…
    I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
    Kimber, Have you read the book, The Help? I found it a good read.

  • kimkiminy

    Are we certain the author actually has children?

    While I can see the logic of the statement, my question is this: who exactly is going to pay women to stay home and raise kids, as though it was a profession? And while no one steps up to do that, women all over the world will continue to have kids anyway.

    • kimberlybbert

      Ha. That’s the big question. They actually tried this in Canada for a while–pay the welfare moms to stay home with their kids, rather than pay daycare more than mom makes, at her job. (Welfare actually does pay my childcare more than the mother makes at minimum wage, if she has three or four kids. True story.) Anyway. In Canada, what ended up happening is that while it saved the government money, and the kids were in better hands, other, non-welfare mothers caused a stink and said, hey! Pay us to stay home too! Which is ridiculous, but you can see what they were saying.

      If you have children, it should be because you want to raise children. The next thing they will be saying is that we should be paid to care for our pets. Or maintain our boats. Lifestyle choice people! You choose it, you are responsible for the consequences!

      The thing that bothers me about the whole controversy is the idea that the only measuring stick we are using for a woman’s worth is her income. Really? You have to make actual dollars to feel good about what you are doing? Oh, and yes, she did have kids. And stayed home with them for five years. Or claimed to.

  • kimkiminy

    Sure, I see what you’re saying. Hubby jokes about gay marriage: while we see nothing wrong with it, what disenfranchised group will want the legitimacy of marriage next? Polygamists? Pedophiles? Beastiality? Furries?

    Unfortunately, income is one of the few non-subjective ways we have of measuring one’s… worth, for lack of a better word. Without something we can assign numbers to, we’re left with fuzzy concepts like value. Ever read “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”? The protagonist slips into insanity while pondering the nature of “value.”

  • Nena

    Okay i need to get this book… and read it. Kimber you make a good point

  • Ruth

    I have some rather strong opinions! I will cool my heels a little before I dare to state them!! On second thought I have said some of it before. If you might care to read it with me now go to http://timeinablogttle.blogspot.com/2010/05/my-babies.html or here http://timeinablogttle.blogspot.com/2010/06/babies.html BUT be warned I do express emphatic opinions

  • Ruth

    OK – I have read again some of my previously expressed opinions as well as the link Kimber included in this post. Thank you Kimber for helping me put those thoughts into the context the writer may have intended – possibly to just practice sound economic principles – and it is important to note that the writer was quoting Patricia from another blog – you can follow the links above as well as I did. And Patricia and the above quoted writer make some rather excellent points don’t they? and they are women with a woman’s perspective. Whether we like it or not we still live with at least the remnants of a ‘male dominated’ society in a country where slavery was once an accepted way of life (I put the tirade about that society on my own blog).
    Having said all that, I posit some questions: Do I value myself (or others) only through the lens imposed by society or specific parts of society? Can I form my own opinions and establish an inherent value for myself that is independent of money, prestige,age,health talent or external affiliations? Can I allow others to have their own inherent value? Who says – and what validity can be attributed to their say so – so who says my priority and choice to have a spouse and/or children and nurture them is more ‘right’or not than a choice to have a career or talent that consumes my time and energy instead? Just asking. Generally that is! Not anyone specifically – but feel free to tell me if you want to.

  • Ruth

    And BTW – if I get money or status from a choice how is that relevant? Like Kimber asks in her comment above – do I have to have either to validate my choice or being? or anyone else’s? And do I have to be slim or svelte as well? If it takes one of these to have personal value where does the list end?

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