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When Linda R. Hirshman published an article called “Homeward Bound” in last December’s American Prospect, she fully intended to reignite the dying embers of feminism’s fire. But the ensuing maelstrom of criticism and applause from national op-ed columnists like David Brooks in The New York Times to mothers—stay-at-home and working mothers alike— surprised even her. Suddenl When Linda R. Hirshman published an article called “Homeward Bound” in last December’s American Prospect, she fully intended to reignite the dying embers of feminism’s fire. But the ensuing maelstrom of criticism and applause from national op-ed columnists like David Brooks in The New York Times to mothers—stay-at-home and working mothers alike— surprised even her. Suddenly, the retired professor of philosophy and women’s studies is at the center of an increasingly hot debate on sexual politics. With Get to Work, Hirshman expands her now-infamous call for all women to realize the ideal of economic independence and self-determination. Examining the trend of affluent, educated women abandoning their careers in order to raise children, Hirshman has concluded that the real glass ceiling that’s barring women from success in the workplace is in their own homes. Why, forty years after The Feminine Mystique, do men and women assign the low-level and generally unrewarding jobs of housekeeping and child rearing to women? The time is ripe for a new feminist revolution based on values and quality of life, not some false promise of “choice.” Get to Work will lead the national discussion as Hirshman lays out a strategic plan to help women rediscover that their place is not necessarily in the kitchen.


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When Linda R. Hirshman published an article called “Homeward Bound” in last December’s American Prospect, she fully intended to reignite the dying embers of feminism’s fire. But the ensuing maelstrom of criticism and applause from national op-ed columnists like David Brooks in The New York Times to mothers—stay-at-home and working mothers alike— surprised even her. Suddenl When Linda R. Hirshman published an article called “Homeward Bound” in last December’s American Prospect, she fully intended to reignite the dying embers of feminism’s fire. But the ensuing maelstrom of criticism and applause from national op-ed columnists like David Brooks in The New York Times to mothers—stay-at-home and working mothers alike— surprised even her. Suddenly, the retired professor of philosophy and women’s studies is at the center of an increasingly hot debate on sexual politics. With Get to Work, Hirshman expands her now-infamous call for all women to realize the ideal of economic independence and self-determination. Examining the trend of affluent, educated women abandoning their careers in order to raise children, Hirshman has concluded that the real glass ceiling that’s barring women from success in the workplace is in their own homes. Why, forty years after The Feminine Mystique, do men and women assign the low-level and generally unrewarding jobs of housekeeping and child rearing to women? The time is ripe for a new feminist revolution based on values and quality of life, not some false promise of “choice.” Get to Work will lead the national discussion as Hirshman lays out a strategic plan to help women rediscover that their place is not necessarily in the kitchen.

30 review for Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elyssa

    Linda Hirshman is VERY direct and this will not sit well for all readers, especially if you don't agree with her premise. I found the book refreshing because I think the feminist movement is in need of radical transformation and the most effective arena to do so is in the world of work. As a working mother, I felt affirmed by her message that women need to abdandon the illusions of "choice feminism" and claim their place in the work world, especially in leadership positions where we can make pol Linda Hirshman is VERY direct and this will not sit well for all readers, especially if you don't agree with her premise. I found the book refreshing because I think the feminist movement is in need of radical transformation and the most effective arena to do so is in the world of work. As a working mother, I felt affirmed by her message that women need to abdandon the illusions of "choice feminism" and claim their place in the work world, especially in leadership positions where we can make policy (including policies about work/life balance). This book inspired me to think beyond my middle management position and explore ways that I can have an impact on policy in my agency and in my field. As with all books about being a mother, I wish she had incorporated more about the need for fathers to step up and contribute euqally as parents, so that the question isn't "should mom stay at home with the kids or go to work?", but instead "how can a mother and father best equalize the time spent in careers and the time fulfilling their parenting responsibilities?". I know by posing these questions I am excluding single parents, but wouldn't we have more dialogue about gender roles and supportive policies for ALL parents (single and partnered) if we had more women in leadership positions? I wish Linda Hirshman could have toned her book down a decibal or two because I fear that her aggressive manner is preventing many people from hearing her core message. I urge anyone who is thinking of reading this book to do so and give her a chance. If anything, she will challenge your thinking.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    I agree wholeheartedly that if inequitable households are preventing a parent returning to work then that poor division of labour must be addressed. However, I feel that the author's assertion that the only flourishing life can be found in the high powered workplace to be limited and lacking in imagination.She had no real perspective on how many people's lives operate. Very few of us are likely to be Mozart, Einstein, MLK, Condie etc.(Her list, not mine). The reality is that work serves the purp I agree wholeheartedly that if inequitable households are preventing a parent returning to work then that poor division of labour must be addressed. However, I feel that the author's assertion that the only flourishing life can be found in the high powered workplace to be limited and lacking in imagination.She had no real perspective on how many people's lives operate. Very few of us are likely to be Mozart, Einstein, MLK, Condie etc.(Her list, not mine). The reality is that work serves the purpose of putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. The vast majority of working women and men go to work for that reason and are fortunte indeed if they attain a high level of satisfaction and fulfillment. Every one of us is unique and what one may find restrictive another may indeed flourish. Anyone can push a vacuum around (physical capacities a given) , what is important is what is happening in the mind, the brain, the thoughts and analysis that can happen at times when our bodies ,though busy, our brains are free to range.And is the paid workplace free of mind numbing tasks? As an argumentative text I found it poorly written and at times incoherent.Her solutions were not that........God forbid that anyone should enjoy having children so much that they have another one. At one stage she states that Betty Friedan, when writing The Second Stage had...."lost her edge". The book was "full of useless, grandiose, and wishful rhetoric." My response to that ......sounds familiar.The same can be said of Get To Work.

  3. 4 out of 5

    MM

    Highly recommend this one (I'm inclined towards manifestos and polemics anyway -- I like the genre and find the agon useful). Hirshman basically critiques what she calls "choice feminism" as illusory choice. That is, the line of reasoning among women that suggests, "whatever I choose is ok -- whether it's staying at home with the kids, trying to become elected President, or enslavement." She points out that the women's rights movement of the mid-20th Century was great for starting to dismantle th Highly recommend this one (I'm inclined towards manifestos and polemics anyway -- I like the genre and find the agon useful). Hirshman basically critiques what she calls "choice feminism" as illusory choice. That is, the line of reasoning among women that suggests, "whatever I choose is ok -- whether it's staying at home with the kids, trying to become elected President, or enslavement." She points out that the women's rights movement of the mid-20th Century was great for starting to dismantle the patriarchal institution of work, but that we've done nothing to change the patriarchal institution of family. And that's where the real challenges lie now, she suggests; only when we fundamentally change this patriarchal arrangement and challenge these assumptions within family arrangements (i.e. which sex is the primary money-maker, which is the primary caregiver, etc.) will women become consistent and useful participants in public life. In order to get women into powerful positions, in other words, we need to free them from the patriarchal arrangements in their family lives. Further, she calls for a moral critique of the so-called choices women are making -- particularly the choice to drop out of a career to be a stay-at-home mom. She suggests that this particular choice is highly mitigated (i.e. there are loads of institutional arrangements that lead women in this direction -- starting with the tax codes and ending with unquestioned assumptions about gender roles). She also asks: 1) are these choices good for the individual women, arguing that no, being a stay-at-home mom is not good for a flourishing life, and 2) are these choices good for society, arguing that no, keeping women out of powerful roles in society delimits us, and does not help anyone. Anyway, it’s an interesting and quick read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Hirshman hypothesises about the pitfalls of "Choice Femism" or the "Opt-Out Revolution" in which women go to school, are trained to do great things and end up giving up their careers for the life of housework while their husbands continue to work. At first, it's hard to agree with her, because how can you argue with the value of a family, but then it got me thinking: Why is it assumed to be the woman's job to drop out to care for the children? That doesn't seem fair at all! No fair!! Backed up wi Hirshman hypothesises about the pitfalls of "Choice Femism" or the "Opt-Out Revolution" in which women go to school, are trained to do great things and end up giving up their careers for the life of housework while their husbands continue to work. At first, it's hard to agree with her, because how can you argue with the value of a family, but then it got me thinking: Why is it assumed to be the woman's job to drop out to care for the children? That doesn't seem fair at all! No fair!! Backed up with facts, even when it's maddening, Hirshman sticks to her guns and lets you know what she thinks about it. Definitely a great read to get thinking on the subject. I wouldn't say I agree 100% with her, but it's a great entryway into feminist literature. It's also really well written. I even read the bibliography!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid

    I'll be brief: halfway through the book, I had to send the author fan mail. I felt like she'd said everything that had been in my mind and heart for the last 10 years. I polished it off in one sitting and bought copies for all the working mothers I know.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Infuriating and also insightful, everything a good book should be. It will either make you cheer or want to pull Hirshman's hair out, but very entertaining.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Cumbee

    This is the rudest little book I've read in a while and I love it. I had heard of the "anti stay at home mom book" and finally found it- it's about more than stay at home moms but it certainly does not shy away from examining them as one of feminism's failures, which is a perspective I've never heard in sincerity, only in parody. Get to Work puts forth a 5 step plan for straight women to exist as straight women and pursue positions of power. She also completely denigrates the value of housewor This is the rudest little book I've read in a while and I love it. I had heard of the "anti stay at home mom book" and finally found it- it's about more than stay at home moms but it certainly does not shy away from examining them as one of feminism's failures, which is a perspective I've never heard in sincerity, only in parody. Get to Work puts forth a 5 step plan for straight women to exist as straight women and pursue positions of power. She also completely denigrates the value of housework for the sake of housework, argues passionately against choice feminism being used as a shield against analytical thought, and explains why the dream of more flexible workplaces/leaves won't do the trick. Hirshman writes in the middle of the "opt out" opinion wars over highly educated elite women. This book is written from a specific socioeconomic standpoint. The fact that it is straight and white when it comes to talking about stay at home moms is kind of the point- she never pretends that the choice to stay at home is anything other than a privileged choice to begin with, and she draws her material from women who fall on two ends of a spectrum. There are women who had the means to get into college (graduating with debt but still pursuing middle class dreams) and female Ivy Leaguers who wanted to be investment bankers. I can't pretend like that doesn't date or limit the book, but I urge you to go look up some of the current (2017) articles circulating around about working mothers, straight married life, childcare, etc. The problems have NOT changed and feminism has so far NOT changed our world in better directions here. A quote that is representative of Get To Work's animating force is: "The idea that men are entitled to be ideal workers in the market economy and that women are responsible for housekeeping and child rearing survived forty years of feminism without a scratch." Stay at home moms are in absolutely hideous positions in relation to their working husbands, end of story. Bloggers and the New York Times play a lot of parts in this book. That sounds and can be obnoxious, but I would refer you again to the "unsolvable" second shift articles. Her gay history is wrong but whatever. To every straight person out there- If you can't find your own gay historians, store bought is NOT fine. It's hard to review this book. I would love to talk about it, but it's hard to lay out all of your thoughts about such a visceral, emotional topic (but one that still absolutely demands a good faith intellectual effort). There's really not a lot of nuance about who does the majority of the housework in any straight marriages.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Linda Hirshman is a heroine of our time, and you know it because liberals and conservatives both don't want to have anything to do with what she's asking them to consider - that we are all wrong, together, about how we view women in our culture. We've spent too many years patting ourselves on the back for winning the right to vote and have a few women in board rooms, as CEOs, and even representing us in government positions. But when we look at the vast numbers of men still outnumbering women in Linda Hirshman is a heroine of our time, and you know it because liberals and conservatives both don't want to have anything to do with what she's asking them to consider - that we are all wrong, together, about how we view women in our culture. We've spent too many years patting ourselves on the back for winning the right to vote and have a few women in board rooms, as CEOs, and even representing us in government positions. But when we look at the vast numbers of men still outnumbering women in every position of power and prestige in our country, we have to take a step back, ask why, and re-evaluate what we truly believe and value. I can't wait to read more books like these from minority perspectives, because when "research" focuses on so few individuals (predominantly from highly-educated, upper-class, wealthy family backgrounds), it really is just a book about trends and observations, and less of a journalistic or research-based approach. However, the trends and observations Hirshman makes here are valid, and if you just want to call her names because you disagree, guess what? You're proving her points, because you're refusing to add anything of value to the conversation. Grow up, and get to work.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ingrid

    THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ! This is the guidebook for my life. Every time I feel discouraged at work, I re-read this book. You will be inspired to be independent, make your own money, have your own aspirations, be your own person, and soar as high as possible. Working moms: You are not harming your kids by having a career. You are providing an excellent model for them! Ladies, put down Redbook and pick up The New York Times. Feed your brains! Go after the corner office. Climb that ladder. The THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ! This is the guidebook for my life. Every time I feel discouraged at work, I re-read this book. You will be inspired to be independent, make your own money, have your own aspirations, be your own person, and soar as high as possible. Working moms: You are not harming your kids by having a career. You are providing an excellent model for them! Ladies, put down Redbook and pick up The New York Times. Feed your brains! Go after the corner office. Climb that ladder. The world deserves your intelligence and hard work. You are not going to change the world by sitting at home. Get out there and give it all you've got. Wives: Have money of your OWN! If your husband dies or walks off, you need your own savings, credit, retirement, etc. Men take care of themselves financially - why shouldn't women?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    This book was an awful example of the concepts that some neoliberal feminists can put forth. She is a complete capitalist/individualist and encourages all women to go into business and tears down culture and family life. She completely ignores the construct of gender and is super into the binary gender system. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    In “Get to Work,” Linda Hirshman argues - in a tone that fluctuates between starkly sensible and harshly snarky - that stay-at-home motherhood “is not good for women and it’s not good for the society.” She goes further than Jessica Valenti (whose arguments I now realize largely recap Hirshman’s) in declaring that (1) “[c]hild care and housekeeping have satisfying moments but are not occupations likely to produce a flourishing life,” and (2) “[h]ighly educated women’s abandonment of the workplace In “Get to Work,” Linda Hirshman argues - in a tone that fluctuates between starkly sensible and harshly snarky - that stay-at-home motherhood “is not good for women and it’s not good for the society.” She goes further than Jessica Valenti (whose arguments I now realize largely recap Hirshman’s) in declaring that (1) “[c]hild care and housekeeping have satisfying moments but are not occupations likely to produce a flourishing life,” and (2) “[h]ighly educated women’s abandonment of the workplace is . . . a sex-specific brain drain from the future rulers of our society.” While it is tempting to rage against Hirshman and her “plan to break through the glass ceiling at home,” both critiques merit reasoned discussion. In order to address Hirshman’s aggressive statement that “[b]y any measure, a life of housework and child care does not meet . . . standards for a good human life” and the implication that women who choose to stay-at-home with their children use not “their wits and their brains, [but rather] their . . . reproductive organs” - we have to examine Hirshman’s gender-neutral understanding of what it means to do important work and what it means to parent. Taking a decidedly pro-capitalist (as in, the market’s valuation reigns supreme), work-til’-you-drop stance for all, she declares that people who say “[they’ve n]ever met someone dying who wished they’d had more time at work” are foolish. Hirshman venerates big impact phenoms (e.g., Mozart, Bill Clinton, and anyone working in cancer research) while denigrating direct service providers (like music teachers, local politicians, or clinical physicians). In other words, she fixates on money, power, and prodigy to the exclusion of other indicators of “a good human life.” Hirshman also criticizes “[t]he new, hyperdomesticated family,” writing that those who work “sixty to seventy-five hour weeks” can parent just as well as those who don’t. After all, according to her, “[a]lthough child rearing, unlike housework, is important and can be difficult, it does not take well-developed political skills to rule over creatures smaller than you are, weaker than you are, and completely dependent upon you for survival and thriving.” To “rule over”? I guess not. To guide and educate? You betcha; stay-at-home mothering has required much sophisticated politicking as well as other newly acquired intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. Suffice it to say, Hirshman and I have different standards regarding both personal fulfillment and effective parenting. As for the specifics of her arguments, in my response to Valenti’s book (http://readymommy.wordpress.com/2013/...) I largely addressed Hirshman’s first point - that “a life of housework and child care does not meet . . . standards for a good human life” - with the response that it might not always, but it can. While some women may not be well-suited for childcare, others are “using [their] talents and capacities to the fullest and reaping the rewards of doing so” by staying at home with their children, thanks to the many different types of intelligence (Mozart’s great, but we need teachers too) and particularly if they ultimately return to the workforce (full-time childcare builds skills that reap reward in professional sectors). Moreover, what it means to be a stay-at-home parent is very different for some than others. On the home front, as Hirshman writes, “Men are not natural villains, but they will not make a fair deal . . . unless women stand up and ask for one.” More of us need to do that (see http://joiedeviv.wordpress.com/2011/0... for my thoughts on the topic). Even when only dealing with their fair share of housework and childcare, Hirshman is right to question whether too many stay-at-home mothers live a life of drudgery and solitude. I largely refuse to “perform[ housework] in isolation,” preferring to invite other parents over on laundry days so that I can fold while we chat or to involve my kids in laundry “games” that are both educational and fun (e.g., sock matching as an exercise in pattern recognition and spatial reasoning). I connect with the larger community in a multitude of ways (in person and in writing) that use my “capacities for speech and reason” and constitute “engaging in political life with other adults[,] having social . . . independence[, and] giving . . . to the society” (also described in my response to Valenti). I demand flexibility from my husband, budget, kids, and community to pursue my own interests so that I remain a fulfilled woman as well as a wife and mother. Many stay-at-home parents - myself included - can do more to get out of the house, help others, enlist assistance in return, and generally engage more broadly so as to lead flourishing lives. We can help them do so. Hirshman is correct that “women have squeezed as much out of their days as they can without more help.” Let’s get them more help. Hirshman rejects public child care, paid housework, and other suggestions meant to enable women to work happily outside the marketplace as solutions that “involve wishful thinking about changing a deeply conservative culture and politics.” Instead, her “strategic plan to get to work” includes the following: “Don’t study art. Use your education to prepare for a lifetime of work. Never quit a job until you have another one. Take work seriously. Never know when you’re out of milk. Bargain relentlessly for a just household. Consider a reproductive strike. Get the government you deserve. Stop electing governments that punish women’s work” (i.e., abolish “joint marital [tax] filing”). In other words, work in a highly paid profession and have fewer kids. Once again, I hear a feminist asking women to shoehorn their own values and desires into the glass slipper offered up by society. At the risk of drawing fire for misremembering my history, perhaps she is the Booker T. Washington - urging the oppressed to work and rise within the system - while the “opt-outers” are W.E.B. Du Bois saying we won’t take the seventy-five hour weeks (that keep us from interacting with our children as much as we’d like) or the woefully insufficient part-time options. Hirshman makes one argument regarding stay-at-home parents’ long-term happiness that gives me pause. It is one from economic independence: “your ‘choosing’ to shoulder the household at the expense of your market employment means you will be disempowered at divorce.” I personally put my faith in my husband and the law (a.k.a., both varieties of spousal support). I refuse to live my life preparing for a doomsday scenario where both abandon me. I’m also comforted by my desire to return to the workforce no later than when my youngest begins kindergarten. Each stay-at-home parent ought to mull over her/his own degree of economic dependence and plan accordingly, and policymakers should monitor the development of the law to ensure that a non-working parent's contributions over the course of a marriage are fully valued and remunerated upon divorce. Finally, there’s the contention that strikes the deepest chord with me: even if an individual stay-at-home mother lives a fulfilling life, she is morally irresponsible. According to Hirshman, only working women “giv[e] more to the society than they take.” Those “who drop out of the public world demonstrate a singular indifference to the larger society . . . . [W]hen the[y] . . . do some volunteer work, it [i]s almost always at their children’s schools or at churches . . . . [T]he social good is concentrated only in a narrow, familial world.” I happen to believe that we should get more stay-at-home moms involved in volunteering and provide institutional support for the community strengthening they already do. Let’s also work on social and economic integration so that volunteering close to home doesn’t mean only serving those who look, act, and live like ourselves. But how anyone can discount the power and importance of grassroots efforts after Obama’s election is beyond me. As for the second prong of the moral responsibility argument, Hirshman writes: “The abandonment of the public world by women at the top means the ruling class is overwhelmingly male. . . . The stay-at-home behavior also . . . tarnishes every female with the knowledge that she is almost certainly not going to be a ruler.” In other words, it’s less the brain-drain that’s the problem and more the sex-specificity of it. If I believe that stay-at-home parenthood is a personally and societally beneficial institution that fits some personalities and skill-sets better than others and can be improved with institutional and communal support, how do we get more men to do it? Get more SAHM’s to serve as examples of market “rulers”? After mulling it over briefly, I find myself turning to one of those ideas that “involve[s] wishful thinking about changing a deeply conservative culture and politics.” Hirshman says that women like myself who plan to parent full-time as a sabbatical of sorts and think they can then return to professional life and achieve great things are kidding themselves; they’ll never go back, and those who do will have lost too much ground to get the “ruler” positions. Here we have a bit of a cart and horse problem. If we alter the marketplace so that opt-outers returning to work can ultimately assume positions of power, maybe more of them will do so. If we count days or years at home as job development (something like a stint at the local DA’s office would be for a big firm lawyer or a year writing in the countryside would be for an English professor) and give both mothers and fathers who have worked “in-house” for a few years a fighting chance, practically and culturally, maybe more men will choose it. Once again, Hirshman has a fair point - though not one that should be wielded at women like a cattle prod, herding us back to the market. In “Get to Work,” Hirshman is right to ask probing questions about the institution of stay-at-home motherhood, and I am grateful for the opportunity to think deeply about my chosen occupation. What I don’t appreciate is (1) her wholesale rejection of the institution and the women who choose it, rather than a willingness to look at reform, and (2) the current of judgmental nastiness (like calling Naomi Wolf a “so-called feminist”) that underlies much of her book. We do need to “get to work”; we need to get to work on the twin necessities of cultural and institutional change that will address Hirshman’s valid concerns - and to pay no heed to the rest of what she says.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rylie

    I checked this out on a spur of the moment at my library, looking for some feminist literature that I haven’t already read yet. I liked the overall feel of the concept of the book, but I really made a mistake by judging this one by its cover. Linda Hirshman, fortunately, gets right to the point which allowed me to put the book down after the first few chapters because I was, unfortunately, disgusted. I guess it was my mistake for not reading the inside coverlet. This book does almost nothing but I checked this out on a spur of the moment at my library, looking for some feminist literature that I haven’t already read yet. I liked the overall feel of the concept of the book, but I really made a mistake by judging this one by its cover. Linda Hirshman, fortunately, gets right to the point which allowed me to put the book down after the first few chapters because I was, unfortunately, disgusted. I guess it was my mistake for not reading the inside coverlet. This book does almost nothing but slam women and even men who choose a Stay-At-Home-Parent lifestyle. Hirshman’s opinion on feminism in regards to women’s potential can be summarized in one sentence from her book: “The most disheartening part about women’s deciding to stay at home is that they say doing so is their choice.”–This is as if to say that women don’t really mean to choose motherhood or the Stay-At-Home-Parent lifestyle. Hirshman goes on to explain how it would be “beneficial” to women to have their choices narrowed down so that motherhood is less of an option. There is even this sickening tone of shame drenched all over the passages: “What do you need to live a good life in the real world? Among other things, a real job–and changing diapers isn’t one.” Sentences such as this are littered like garbage all over the book making it obvious that, according to Hirshman, being a mother is not a respectable thing for a woman to be and she should not choose it. I was very frustrated reading this book. Her ideas are very wild. As a feminist and a woman who will be choosing motherhood one day, I found it offensive to women and I think this book gives the wrong message to young feminists who are beginning to experiment with life choices. Books like this insinuate the wrong idea–that women don’t have a choice even in feminism, and this is simply not true nor is it any way to open the minds of women. After reading this book, I can see how a young girl, new to feminism, would get a sense of shame toward herself because, before opening this book, she had desired a family of her own one day. AS IF US GIRLS NEEDED ANY MORE SHAME IN OUR LIVES!! I gladly give this book 1 star and I am glad I haven’t seen it on many Top Ten lists of feminist literature.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    This short manifesto made me re-evaluate how I think. One of the points from the "strategic plan to get to work" that the book laid out seemed meant for me - "Never know when you are out of milk." I feel that my husband I have a pretty 50/50 relationship when it comes to household duties. Still I always feel some how that I am doing more around the house. This book helped me realize perhaps why I feel that way. Overall a quick interesting read that I would recommend to anybody.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christine S

    3.5 - feminist theory - flawed - fascinating - a tiny bit validating, a tiny bit of a scolding

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mike Degen

    Found this argument absurd as the author argues against women making their own choices. In other words she is arguing against choice feminism.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle Trenbath

    This is a small book with big ideas. Linda R. Hirshman makes many excellent points but based around the Western notion of what constitutes “a good life” - using your talents and capabilities to the fullest and being rewarded for it. Her reason against the relegation of talented and educated women to the domestic sphere is that it makes them dependant on men for money (those who make the most money wheel the most power) and it deprives society of skilled and gifted individuals. I love how she chall This is a small book with big ideas. Linda R. Hirshman makes many excellent points but based around the Western notion of what constitutes “a good life” - using your talents and capabilities to the fullest and being rewarded for it. Her reason against the relegation of talented and educated women to the domestic sphere is that it makes them dependant on men for money (those who make the most money wheel the most power) and it deprives society of skilled and gifted individuals. I love how she challenges those who “choose” to stay at home with their children with the argument that the choice that these women make are from a narrow set of choices as their husbands or partners aren’t exactly going to give up work (income, opportunities to maintain & develop human capital and the chance to use talents) to stay at home. She is slightly baffled how the most empowered women are often not able to see how narrow their options are at the moment of choice; that there is little discussion about who will opt out of public life to care for a child equally created by two people. As if to justify their choice, many women cry out that it was “my choice”, but was it really? While I write this I can hear the voice of conservative and socially regressive women shouting that women monopolize the ability to look after the children, meaning that it is somehow in their DNA to be primarily responsible for the domestic duties. Shopping, cleaning and childcare have to be done so why not share the responsibility equally?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I did read this whole book, but not extraordinarily closely because I was reviewing it for--guess what?--work. It's definitely got a tone, and it definitely provides examples to support the claims, but you know what? It's all anecdote and outrage. Far too many examples come from the blogosphere, and (frankly) the worst kind of group blogging sites there could possibly be. You know those sites that choose an experience a bunch of people have and invite all the yahoos in the world to blog there? P I did read this whole book, but not extraordinarily closely because I was reviewing it for--guess what?--work. It's definitely got a tone, and it definitely provides examples to support the claims, but you know what? It's all anecdote and outrage. Far too many examples come from the blogosphere, and (frankly) the worst kind of group blogging sites there could possibly be. You know those sites that choose an experience a bunch of people have and invite all the yahoos in the world to blog there? Places along the lines of blog.sheltielovers.com? (I just made that up.) These are generic comments from generic people on generic topics. I don't think that quoting people from "bloggingbaby.com" and "mothersmovement.org" counts as research. Nor does reading the engagement pages of the New York Times. But hell. It's a manifesto. Whatever. I guess the term manifesto means you get to set your own standards for making your own points. But it's so not even relevant to the "women of the world" that it drops into the realm of silly. I mean, she mentions some women on welfare in England in 1979. Just about everyone else ruining their lives is some law-degree holding up and comer now reduced to fighting over who empties the dishwasher. It's also silly to make up the word "workingwomen," as if "working women" was somehow unclear or misrepresentative. I mean, she could have made some interesting points but she wrote a fairly forgettable book instead.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Eric Hall

    Provactive and compelling Every college-aged male should read this before getting married. Hirschman explains what aware progressives have always intuited about the working world: that women don't draw from the same set of choices as men do, and therefore their "choice" to conform to gender ideology is suspect.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World (Hardcover) by Linda R. Hirshman ordered ILL Dec 17 2017 http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/... http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/1... can you get this article? if not print the abstract for the library http://prospect.org/article/homeward-... https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/... Title: Midlife crisis at 30 : how the stakes have changed for a new generation--and what to do about it / [ill ordered] Author: Macko, Lia.; Rubin, Kerry. Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World (Hardcover) by Linda R. Hirshman ordered ILL Dec 17 2017 http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/... http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/1... can you get this article? if not print the abstract for the library http://prospect.org/article/homeward-... https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/... Title: Midlife crisis at 30 : how the stakes have changed for a new generation--and what to do about it / [ill ordered] Author: Macko, Lia.; Rubin, Kerry.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dinda

    I mostly agreed with what the author is trying to say here, just few thoughts: - This book is specifically about middle and upper-class women in US who go to university, graduated, get married, then give up all their career ambitions to be a stay-at-home mother, despite all opportunities given to them. We would argue differently on how to discuss about stay-at-home mothers in low-income class in developing nations. - Agreed that women should work in order to have a fulfilling life & that giving up I mostly agreed with what the author is trying to say here, just few thoughts: - This book is specifically about middle and upper-class women in US who go to university, graduated, get married, then give up all their career ambitions to be a stay-at-home mother, despite all opportunities given to them. We would argue differently on how to discuss about stay-at-home mothers in low-income class in developing nations. - Agreed that women should work in order to have a fulfilling life & that giving up your career ambitions for domestic life is kind of sad. Women should work in politics, research think-tank, private sector, etc if we really want to eradicare the assumption that women don't belong in these industries. But the challenges remain: we should make affordable child-care more accessible to working women (just to name one). - I don't think women choosing to study art is less important than other subjects. I agree that art industry is not the best career choice objectively speaking as there is probably only 1 in 100.000 ratio of people making it big with their art. But if women knew the consequences before studying it, we should let them do it. Another one that might be a bit off topic: - The beautiful thing about democracy is books like this exist, and as people have pointed out before, the tone could be a bit condescending to stay-at-home mothers. But this book is just a book, throwing ideas, without forcing anyone to read or believe in it. This is something we shouldn't take for granted, as many live in this world with values forced upon them. At the end, you can do whatever you want as a woman or man, but reading this book is important.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lilly

    Not sure I agree with the premise, but an interesting side of feminism.

  23. 4 out of 5

    C Solis-Sublette

    This is an important book because this argument is not entertained enough in today's society. As women, it is considered very poor form to question a career woman's decision to give up that career for child-raising. Yes, salary is forgone. But so is career furtherance, retirement savings; independence is exchanged for dependence, in so many ways. And returning to the workforce isn't always so easy. The fact that it is, more and more, middle and upper class college educated women who leave career This is an important book because this argument is not entertained enough in today's society. As women, it is considered very poor form to question a career woman's decision to give up that career for child-raising. Yes, salary is forgone. But so is career furtherance, retirement savings; independence is exchanged for dependence, in so many ways. And returning to the workforce isn't always so easy. The fact that it is, more and more, middle and upper class college educated women who leave careers for mothering is more troubling as these are the women most needed in male-dominated professions. The fact that SAHMism is a badge of masculinity for the men that support these women (and children) and a status symbol for some women who do not have to work speaks volumes about how our culture views womens' roles and mens'. Is it any surprise, then, that employer coverage of contraception continues to remain a sticky point for many conservatives when lack of contraception could very well lead to less women in the profession and the continuation of a society where men hold the pursestrings? For me, this book was most influential. It convinced me to secure my career and to take it seriously, to not just sign away on slipshoddy pension funds and weak pay packages. It reminded me of the value of my college education and gave me the courage to stay in the profession and trust my children to the care of my mom and quality day care providers so that I could continue to support them and myself, financially. Staying in the workforce, after reviewing my retirement statement, was the best decision I made for the whole of my family.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Hirshman makes a good argument that feminists are failing the movement by dropping out of the career world to stay home with their children. She provides a lot of anecdotal and blogosphere evidence that the female elite -- women who worked hard and excelled at Ivy League schools, got graduate degrees, and worked their way up the corporate ladder -- have a responsibility to advance the status of women in the workplace by sticking it out after they become mothers, and that their education and ambi Hirshman makes a good argument that feminists are failing the movement by dropping out of the career world to stay home with their children. She provides a lot of anecdotal and blogosphere evidence that the female elite -- women who worked hard and excelled at Ivy League schools, got graduate degrees, and worked their way up the corporate ladder -- have a responsibility to advance the status of women in the workplace by sticking it out after they become mothers, and that their education and ambition is being wasted by baking cookies and going to playgroups. My complaints about this book are twofold: first, it does seem pretty narrowly restricted to upper- and middle-class white women. There are plenty of women who work because they have to, who can't afford a nanny, and who aren't considering the feminist implications of their juggling schedules. I would have liked a little more consideration of their circumstances. Secondly, I don't feel that Hirshman considers the feelings of most workers (men and women) that WORK SUCKS and everyone would gladly drop out or cut back if something provided them with an excuse to do so. But it's a good, short, quick read, with interesting ideas (a reproductive strike? don't major in art?) and the ability to make you feel empowered about taking only 6 weeks of maternity leave.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Novem

    I recommend this book even though I was slightly put off by the author's tone. I agree with many of the points made in this book: 1) Women who quit their jobs put themselves into a financially precarious position where they are dependent on a spouse who could leave or get laid off or die; 2) the idea that it's in line with feminism for women to "choose" to leave their jobs ignores some of the social, political, and institutional issues that may be influencing that choice; and 3) on average, wome I recommend this book even though I was slightly put off by the author's tone. I agree with many of the points made in this book: 1) Women who quit their jobs put themselves into a financially precarious position where they are dependent on a spouse who could leave or get laid off or die; 2) the idea that it's in line with feminism for women to "choose" to leave their jobs ignores some of the social, political, and institutional issues that may be influencing that choice; and 3) on average, women seem to lose out financially and professionally after marriage, which in many ways reduces their power to make important decisions (e.g., where they live because they often move to where their husbands can find work). I was put off by some of the sweeping generalization made (e.g., men with stay-at-home wives are happy about the situation, a stay-at-home mom’s life is similar to that of a toddler’s) and the somewhat defensive and condescending tone at some points in the book. She references some of the backlash she's received, which explains where she's coming from, but I don't think it completely justifies her argument that women who choose to stay at home are delusional/uninformed.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I was a bit disappointed in this book. The book was definitely thought provoking and the author made some great points. However, As someone who has recently been struggling with the balance of career and mommyhood, I was looking for more. The author was heavily focused on women being forced to stay home with their children (whether they realize it or not) because their husbands are not helpful at home or because its what their husbands want for the family. In my situation my husband is completel I was a bit disappointed in this book. The book was definitely thought provoking and the author made some great points. However, As someone who has recently been struggling with the balance of career and mommyhood, I was looking for more. The author was heavily focused on women being forced to stay home with their children (whether they realize it or not) because their husbands are not helpful at home or because its what their husbands want for the family. In my situation my husband is completely supportive of either decision I should make - to stay at home part-time or continue to work full-time. For me its a true desire to spend more time with my child and to be more involved in her day-to-day activities and development. However, I also have a successful career and struggle with giving that up or potentially hindering my progress. I didn't feel that the book addressed this struggle that many women may be facing

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    You know, when I first read this book, I wasn't a big fan...but it has really grown on me over the years. Today someone posted this story, and a second person replied asking about how childcare fits into "hours worked," and I got unintentionally snippy - You're either not supposed to have them, or you're supposed to have an unemployed gold-digger* at home with them 24/7. * You aren't supposed to call them that until the divorce, of course, when they start getting uppity and wanting stuff like "th You know, when I first read this book, I wasn't a big fan...but it has really grown on me over the years. Today someone posted this story, and a second person replied asking about how childcare fits into "hours worked," and I got unintentionally snippy - You're either not supposed to have them, or you're supposed to have an unemployed gold-digger* at home with them 24/7. * You aren't supposed to call them that until the divorce, of course, when they start getting uppity and wanting stuff like "the ability to retire" and so forth. It's work (that you don't want to do) until suddenly it's not work (because you don't want to have to pay for it). ...Aaaand I didn't realize quite how much of an effect this book had on me! So yeah. Read this book. ESPECIALLY if you think you'll disagree with it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    This book takes the left end of the spectrum, asserting that working is the morally right choice for intelligent, educated women. Although I don't entirely agree with everything Hirshman claims, I found the change of mindset refreshing. It will make you think about whether the choice to leave the workforce would be the same if the scales weren't so heavily weighted against women. It will make you think about the value of work beyond monetary rewards. It will make you think about the power balanc This book takes the left end of the spectrum, asserting that working is the morally right choice for intelligent, educated women. Although I don't entirely agree with everything Hirshman claims, I found the change of mindset refreshing. It will make you think about whether the choice to leave the workforce would be the same if the scales weren't so heavily weighted against women. It will make you think about the value of work beyond monetary rewards. It will make you think about the power balance within your house and how your contributions are valued. The book is meant to be somewhat inflammatory, and the tone she takes against stay at home moms made me a bit uncomfortable. But having grown up completely surrounded by the opposite framework, I appreciated her setting a stake in the ground at the other end of the spectrum.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    This book talks about how woman should be in the workplace because their skills are being wasted at the home. Hirshman talks about how well-educated woman fall into the trap of raising children and giving up their careers. Hirshman writes in a very blunt manner and this book has been received by the public with much controversy. Yet, although many of her opinions are very harsh, many of them are also very true. There is a huge double standard that exists still today between male and female profe This book talks about how woman should be in the workplace because their skills are being wasted at the home. Hirshman talks about how well-educated woman fall into the trap of raising children and giving up their careers. Hirshman writes in a very blunt manner and this book has been received by the public with much controversy. Yet, although many of her opinions are very harsh, many of them are also very true. There is a huge double standard that exists still today between male and female professionals, i.e. 50% of woman attend law school but only about 5% are actually partners in law firms.

  30. 5 out of 5

    ēva

    you'd think i would have liked this more, since the premise is something that i advocate as a basic tenet of, like, living and stuff. but it seemed too much like preaching to the choir, and thin in terms of substantive research, logical argument, or useful advice. i can't imagine that this would help convince anyone who didn't already agree - if anything, its snarkiness would probably influence them in the opposite direction. on the other hand, it was refreshing and sorta inspiring to read hirshm you'd think i would have liked this more, since the premise is something that i advocate as a basic tenet of, like, living and stuff. but it seemed too much like preaching to the choir, and thin in terms of substantive research, logical argument, or useful advice. i can't imagine that this would help convince anyone who didn't already agree - if anything, its snarkiness would probably influence them in the opposite direction. on the other hand, it was refreshing and sorta inspiring to read hirshman's railing against what she calls "choice feminism." as a manifesto, then, it's not so bad.

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