In the West, courtesy of modern birth control, when most of us have children, it's because we want them. They, after all, didn't ask to be born. To me, this means that we have obligations to them far beyond the material ones of food, shelter and clothing, and even beyond the less tangible one of "love." I think we owe our children a certain amount of sacrifice. That is, if a marginal, or even significant, diminution in our happiness is necessary to the child's well-being, we don't "follow our bliss," we make that sacrifice. That's what Elizabeth Vargas did. She's the co-anchor of ABC's World News Tonight who left her job because, with a three year old and an almost wrapped-up pregnancy, she wants to give her attention to her children and not her employer:
‘For now, for this year, I need to be a good mother,’ she said in an interview on Friday, a few hours before anchoring her last newscast….
It sounds like a fine decision to me. I certainly don't advocate women abandoning their jobs automatically for children. Often, having a job is the right decision, whether economically or because there's a certain virtue in the mother and child spending a little less time together. However, Vargas clearly decided that her children, who didn't ask to be born, need her more than ABC does.
This should be obvious, so you're probably asking why I'm making such a big deal of this. I'm making a big deal because NOW is shocked:
‘It seems unlikely to me, having survived and thrived through her first pregnancy, that she would logically give up the top job in TV a few months out, anticipating she couldn’t handle it,’ said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. ‘It just doesn’t strike me as a logical explanation. I don’t think there are too many men who would be happy to be removed from the anchor chair.’
Gandy added that ABC, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co., ‘doesn’t look like a very woman-friendly or family-friendly workplace.’
The sentiment underlying Gandy's statement, of course, is that women should never, never put their children's interests ahead of their own. This goes beyond merely saying that children should not be spoiled, nor is it healthy for them to believe they are the center of the universe (a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree). Instead, it is saying that children have no needs independent of the mother's. They're sort of like a fashion-statement, nothing more. NOW's antipathy toward's children becomes ever more aggressive. No wonder most American women deny being feminists.
Hat tip: Independent Women's Forum