Motherhood and Career: Can They Go Together? - Juhi Chawla with Sadhguru



Motherhood Is Not a Woman's Most Important Job

Here are two facts that are true about the human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. Which one seems more important?

1) She is expecting twins with her actor husband, George Clooney.

2) She recently addressed the United Nations to urge world leaders to speak out against acts of genocide committed by ISIS.

If you are to judge by the way the media covered it, the first is the most important accomplishment. Clooney may have spent years studying and dedicating herself to her profession as a human rights lawyer, but that didn't stop writers from exclaiming that she was "showing a small baby bump in a clinging black suit." One fashion writer even wondered: "Wearing 4 and a half inch heels while pregnant…is that wise, Amal?"

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This is like asking Superman if a full-length cape is practical while he's rescuing kids from a burning building. The answer is, "that is not particularly relevant right now."

Amal Clooney UN
Amal Clooney pictured outside the UN before delivering a speech on genocide; one fashion writer asked: 'Wearing 4 and a half inch heels while pregnant…is that wise, Amal?'
Getty Images

Except, for women, their mothering skillsarebecoming an increasingly relevant topic of discussion. In the past year, women have been told either implicitly or explicitly that traditional roles are the ones they should be most focused on fulfilling. We're dealing with a President who has said "putting a wife to work is a dangerous thing," because, "a softness disappeared." He also said that "when I come home and dinner's not ready, I go through the roof."

Little wonder then that women in the administration like Kellyanne Conway declare, "my favorite label is Mommy." Or Ivanka Trump who claims, "the most important job any woman can have is being a mother."

"The glorification of motherhood implies that a woman's main purpose is not to change the world."

Being a parent is a source of joy and challenge and meaning for many humans of all genders. But it's not the most important job there is. It's not even technically a job, insofar as it pays no money. It is more like a very demanding volunteer position that you can never, ever get out of.

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And, as rewarding as that position may be, producing a younger person is not necessarily the main contribution people make to the world. People can probably not tell you how many children Harriet Tubman or Marie Curie or Elizabeth Cady Stanton had, but they can, hopefully, tell you what they did.

Harriet Tubman, Marie Curie and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are not remembered for how many children they had
Harriet Tubman, Marie Curie, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are not remembered for how many children they had

Society's specific glorification of motherhood—the repeated emphasis that it is a woman'smost important job—implies that a woman's main purpose is not to change the world. It's not to write books or invent or be feminist abolitionists. It is just to serve as a vessel for younger women and future men. Despite the perkier language, this is a view not far removed from the GOP congressmen who said women were "hosts."

Subtly, gently, it is a view that tells women to do less. Why would a woman bother with the business of trying to lead a government or corporation when society is continually quick to remind her that, really, she should be focusing on mothering? Because that isher most important job.






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Date: 12.12.2018, 02:29 / Views: 93455