Feminists and Choice

Feministsand Choice


Feministsand Choice

Today, a contentious issue surrounds whether professional women bowout of work by choice or are gender roles and unyielding workplacestoo much for the womanhood (Harrison, 2013 Finsterbusch &ampMcKenna, 2012). Delving into such a contentious issue is bound togenerate great discourse especially among professional women andresearch by leading feminists and sociologists reveals that the issuecontinues to widen up. Feminists argue that professional women havean alternative of bowing out in today’s civilization from elitejobs to concentrate more on nurturing their children, butsociologists tend to oppose such ideas and insist that outmodedgender roles and unyielding workplaces limit women (Finsterbusch &ampMcKenna, 2012). In this regards, the assessment of Linda Hirshman, afeminist, and Pamela Stone, a sociologist, articles will provideinsight into why professional women tend to leave eliteprofessionals.


In the article Homeward Bound, Linda Hirshman contends thatsuccessful and well competent tend to highlight parenting over workwhen their husbands’ earnings become sufficient for an opulentlifestyle. However, Pamela Stone argues that such women bow out ofwork due to the existence of traditional intuitions that definegender roles and the inflexibility of most workplaces. Hirshman(2005) intends fully to reignite the vanishing sparks of women`sliberation fire. Hirshman inflates her call for the womenfolk tocomprehend the epitome of economic liberation and self-determination.Throughout the article, Hirshman delves into numerous reasons whywomen should embrace economic independence. Scrutinizing the trend ofprosperous, accomplished women forsaking their professions forparenting, Hirshman asserts that the actual ceiling that bars womenfrom triumph in the workstation is in their individual homes. Thearticle asserts that it is wrong for women professional to assignthemselves or allow other people to assign them the unfulfilling jobsof housework and parenting. Hirshman (2005) condemns feminism choiceas a ploy to keep women attached to traditional set-roles. In fact,the author argues that women cannot flourish in their houses, but canonly do so in the public limelight. Hirshman (2005) calls on women toincrease their tolerance of dust and concentrate on careers ratherthan parenting.

On the other hand, Stone’s article delves into the issue of womenand work in a novel viewpoint. Rather than discover the knowledge ofpresent working mothers, she concentrates on the comparativelylesser, but substantial proportion of “high-achieving expert”women who have left fruitful and talented occupations to turn intostay-at-home mothers. These females had been entirely engrossed inthe paired act that exemplifies the contemporary American female’slife, altering exceedingly challenging specialized jobs withparenthood, when they “opted out” of their occupations todedicate themselves to parenting (Harrison, 2013 Stone, 2007). WhileHirshman argues that women depart from their occupations as a“choice,” a choice they make after realizing the inimitable worthof full-time parenting and growing success of their husbands, Stonetend to have a different point. At the bottom of Stone’s article isher inspection of the notch to which this choice is really the choiceof women.

The article follows through qualitative interviews with 54, chieflywhite women across the U.S with diverge professions, which cover themore conventionally male occupations to conventionally female ones,for instance financial analysts to educators. Stone assert that thedecision to opt out of work and stay at home tends to align to thecurrent gulf that subsists between American principles of genderequality and the obstinately tenacious means in which “home”rests as a feminized sphere and “work,” a masculinized sphere. Stone (2007) persuasively indicates that instead of the outcome of aliberally resolute choice, unyielding features of women’s jobs, thestresses of concentrated mothering prospects, and their spouses’correspondingly challenging career orientations push women out oftheir jobs.


Stone’s article is remarkably vibrant, appealingly written, andhighly organized. The article seems directed to a wider audience, onecomprising policy-makers and the public. However, the book delves toomuch into research and qualitative analysis and fails to have asubstantial discussion of the theoretical arguments. Stone supportsmuch of her evidence with data, but fails to include detailedarguments proposed elsewhere. As such, the use of too much researchand fail to include arguments that are more theoretical tend tocompromise the readability of the article. The novel influence ofStone’s examination is in her capability to display how theapparently democratic surfaces of these females’ matrimonies andthe apparently “family sociable” facades of their workstationsdisguise the deep assembly of gender philosophies. In

this regards, she appeals greatly to the reader by proposing herarguments through research, which is highly reliable since she hascollected the evidence first hand.

On the otherhand, Hirshman (2005) provides rather a judgmental article thatdelves much on outcome instead of analysis. Hirshman`s proposition isthat accomplished women are degenerating their time spendingexistences at home parenting. As such, she generally makes herexample in such an exasperating manner that is tough to approve,although she makes some tangible and valid points. Harrison (2013)opines that the lack of data or tangible research to delve into theissue in a paper makes the article too judgmental and opinionatedthus, readers may see it as a source of opinions rather than insight. Hirshman frames her proposition with the laser-sharp attention of anepitomized person and fails to grasp the real issues at hand.Although one cannot compare housework with professional careers,Hirshman makes a mistake in describing the job as crap. However, shedefines success and meaningful and provide a parallel intuition tohousework. Hirshman fails to utilize data, which makes her articleappear flawed and unconvincing unlike Stone’s article.


Stone’s article is an illuminating and significant read for anyresearcher concerned with work-family subjects in America,particularly for people intent in manipulating public strategiesand/or inspiring managers to be more receptive to the authenticitiesof employees’ non-work lives. However, the article is not appealingto undergraduate students or curious readers due to lack ofcommitment with more theoretic literature. However, the articleoffers perceptive and expressive observations about the gendered,social opportunities regarding qualified careers and childrearing inAmerica.

I find much of Hirshman premise as untrue or too judgment due to lackof data. Seriously, though, without proper data a proper discussioncannot take place. The objects that Hirshman quotes do not offer anytangible matter regarding the issue or the choice that women make.She has used articles with inappropriate methodologies,inconsistent judgment, and misapplication of data and she fails toapproach both sides of the argument with gathered data. This makesher article opinionated and lacking in merit thus, I discredit theevidence provided in the article. I come to an understanding that“having abundant independence to direct one’s life” issignificant, which makes Hirshman right regarding women makingchoices that makes sense but which later reduce their bargainingpower. However, I think the author is riotously off base ininterpreting “independence” exclusively in expressions ofaugmented earnings capacity.

Looking at the presented materials, I agree with Stone inherentlysince she provides evidence to her argument and support her argumentswith real data. In addition, her article is coherent than Hirshman’s. The society needs something truthfully radical — not just asynthesis or a reconfiguration of acknowledged philosophies, but athoughtful adaptation of how people think about males` and females`reproductive and economic roles. As such, people should concentratemore on justice, freedom, and equality rather than housekeeping andparenting.


Finsterbusch, K., &amp McKenna, G (2012). Taking Sides: ClashingViews on Controversial Social Issues. McGraw Hill Dushkin.

Harrison, B. (2013). Power and Society: An Introduction to theSocial Sciences. Cengage Learning.

Hirshman, L. (2005, November 21). Homeward Bound. The AmericanProspect. Retrieved August 3, 2014, fromhttp://prospect.org/article/homeward-bound-0

Stone, P. (2007, November 10). The rhetoric and reality of optingout. American Sociological Association. Retrieved August 3,2014, fromhttp://www.asanet.org/images/press/docs/pdf/Fall07CNTFeature.pdf