Women: Having a Family May Be Sexism

I was actually not going to write this post because the post I’m going to briefly quote is just, well, ridiculous.

This has to do with Sam Harris’ defense of himself today I’m Not The Sexist Pig You’re Looking For.

Within the post, the blogger takes a few statements by Mr. Harris and then responds. I’m not going to link the blog, as I don’t believe I need to give this blogger any more clicks, but the one statement that caught my eye was this:

Harris: For instance, only 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies are run by women. How much of this is the result of sexism? How much is due to the disproportionate (and heroic) sacrifices women make in their 20’s or 30’s to have families?

Blogger: Good grief – can he really think those two are mutually exclusive? The fact that women have to make disproportionate sacrifices to have families is partly due to sexism. (emphasis mine)

So let me get this right: women that choose to place their careers on hold to have children do this, not out of their own choice, but due (at least partially) to sexism? Think about that statement for a moment and then think about those women you know (and maybe one of them is you) that made a decision to have one or more children.

I’ve been in the working world a long time; I’ve known and still know women that chose to not have children because they wanted a career in their chosen field. I’ve never known any of them to have experienced any sort of pressure or regrets.

I can say the same about women that chose to have both, career and family. I’ve never met one that had any regrets about that decision. In fact, everyone I know that made this particular decision is still a successful professional.

Finally, I know women that decided, on their own, no pressure or sexism involved, that gave up promising careers to become a full time parent. It was their choice. In at least one case I am very familiar with, the decision seriously impacted that families finances. Again, though, it was the woman’s decision in the final analysis and this family adjusted.

It should be insulting to every woman that made a decision to have a family for it to be referred in any way to sexism.

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