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MAMA LIKES

Work/Life Balance Isn't Just About Working Mamas
posted by Amy

One of the more frustrating misunderstandings that some people have about feminism is the idea that feminists think men are icky, and that feminists only care about women's needs. Since most of the feminist mamas I hang out with on a regular basis are married to feminist papas, I hear a lot of men talking about ways they try to create a better balance between work and family, whether that means using vacation time to work in their kindergartener's classroom or sidelining their careers for a few years to stay home with young children. These men are impacted by a culture that demands its workers pretend not to have personal lives, just as their wives are.

But it's still rare to hear about work/life balance issues anywhere but in publications aimed at mothers. That's why I was glad to read Mothers at Work Are Canaries in the Mine, in which Charlotte Fishman writes, "Increasingly, both men and women seek a world in which the spurious community of overwork yields to a genuine community supporting the common welfare. This community leaves time for school volunteerism, home-cooked meals and exercise, for nurturing friendships and following personal pursuits and for political participation."

That kind of community sounds like my feminist ideal. After all, isn't feminism about everyone having real choices?