Michelle Malkin is a professional blogger. She is also a proud mother of two. Her husband, Jesse, is a stay-at-home father who also happens to ghostwrite portions of her blog.
They employ at least one full-time nanny and another part-time babysitter to watch after their kids. Not out of necessity, but because of their blogging obsession.
Now, I only bring up these facts (in firmly diplomatic terms, of course) to draw attention to Michelle’s do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do approach to parenting. Below the fold is the entirety of a column by one Ms. Michelle Maglalang, which appeared in the Long Beach Press-Telegram on April 30, 1993.
Instead of Taking Our Daughters to Work, Just Take Care of Them
So what has the feminist movement done lately for the nation’s young girls?
The Ms. Foundation might answer that question with a description of its triumphant success in organizing Wednesday’s national “Take Our
Daughters to Work” campaign.
Members of the American Association of University Women might answer with a description of their invaluable studies on the giant discoveries of classroom gender inequity and young girls’ low self-esteem.
Still other feminist activists might answer with a report on their latest lobbying efforts to make “liberating” contraceptive innovations like RU-486, Norplant and the female condom accessible to teen-age girls.
Well, my answer to you is short and simple: not much.
In its zealous pursuits to liberate women from the burden of their wombs and free them from the oppression of their homes, the feminist movement has abandoned an entire generation of young girls - all except their own daughters. It’s rather nice that Gloria Steinem can lead the teen-age girls of her upper-middle-class friends into the plush corporate offices of Ms. magazine in New York for a day. Hurray for boosting self-esteem. But what does the feminist elite have to do or say about the sexually active teen-age girls whose “liberation” ended in unwanted pregnancies? Not much.
The feminist establishment went ballistic over the recent Lakewood Spur Posse affair, in which teen-age boys kept score of their sexual conquests. ”This is what happens when we accept society’s patriarchal dictates that `boys will be boys,’” they all moaned. But what do they have to say about the recent, equally appalling discovery that some 14- and 15-year-old girls in San Antonio are having sex with HIV-positive gang members to prove their toughness? So far, not much.
Feminist self-congratulation for the “Take Our Daughters to Work” holiday demonstrates how out-of-touch and irrelevant the activities of the modern feminist movement have become in the everyday lives of the majority of young girls and women. Active parents, trying to balance career and home life, already take their kids to the workplace. It’s not a big deal to those moms and dads who can’t afford Swedish nannies or Swiss private schools.
Ms. and Cosmo executives and daughters can keep their one-day self-esteem celebrations, because I believe most girls would prefer it if their moms could simply be home when they got out of school every once in a while. In the long run, I bet most girls would prefer it if their moms acted more like mothers and less like “best friends.”
In the end, I think, most girls want and need the “standard female role model” that feminism has so arrogantly rejected these past few decades. She need not be Donna Reed or Carol Brady. A devoted parent who puts the home ahead of the office without resentment would suffice. And what could be more esteem-raising than to know that you, as a child, were your parents’ top priority? That you, as a child, were not a nuisance or obstruction to your parents’ self-fulfillment, but were the main source of it?
There’s only so much self-fulfillment to be had from the workplace. And many burned-out careerists are now realizing that the “Mommy Track” is an empty one-way street. Open any women’s magazine to find their laments.
This irony should give pause to feminists bent on promoting holidays like ”Take Our Daughters to Work.” While they push their daughters onto early career tracks of their own, lots of parents are yearning to spend more time with their children out of the office and back at home.
Maintaining a home and keeping a family together are difficult tasks these days. It takes two - father and mother - to bring up sons and daughters in a loving, nurturing atmosphere. We don’t pay enough attention to those families struggling to make every day a “Keep Your Home a Safe and Happy Home” day, or “Celebrate the Family” day. There’s a leadership vacuum in the feminist movement just waiting to be filled with concerned men and women who don’t shrink from family values.
At best, the feminist movement has allowed women to pursue careerism as unabashedly as men have done for so long - so much so that paying attention to your daughter now strikes them as a novel concept worthy of a holiday.
Wednesday’s celebration may be a triumph to the feminist elite, but I’m not sure I can think of anything more unfulfilling than the life of a full-time feminist with nothing better to do than dream up meaningless holidays.
The most infuriated portion of the audience here is likely the actual parents out there. Should anyone raising children take the advice of someone who is merely parroting the talking points of Dr. Laura?
Unless you’re deluded enough to agree with any of the arguments in this column, you can see how attempting to deconstruct it would be a dizzying affair. But we’ve got all of the major Malkinian methods here: accusations of intentional ignorance w.r.t. anecdotal atrocities (targest being fashion magazines and unnamed feminist groups); unsubstantiated claims masked as emotional appeals (the “best friends” thing); intentional misrepresentation of an ideology (in this case, her blanket reference to “feminism”); confirmation bias; building and burning of strawmen (e.g. the “strawfeminist”); and, finally, blatant hypocrisy.
It is likely that Michelle never intended to take her own advice on parenting. She clearly sees conservative women as sheep to be herded, who deserve no respect for accepting the shackles of subjugation. And nowhere does Michelle allow for women to be single mothers, or for men to be the primary caregivers.
This juvenile attempt at a takedown of feminism wouldn’t even receive any play in the feminist blogosphere if it appeared in a newspaper today. Even conservatives would scoff at an attack on “Take Our Daughters to Work” Day. Most likely, because they themselves gladly participate in it.
If anything, it’s nice to know that Michelle the Evangelical Elitist hasn’t changed much in thirteen years.