What's Wrong with Being an Alpha Wife?
by Leslie Morgan Steiner
Lisa Belkin’s 2003 New York Times Magazine article “Abandoning the Climb and Heading Home” pissed me off.
It still ticks me off seven years later.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Lisa Belkin and her work. She raises lots of important mom-issues in her blog, The Motherlode, on a mainstream newspaper website read by millions every day. Yahoo.
But back in 2003, I failed to see how one journalist’s interpretation of eight women who graduated from Princeton in the late 1980s could possibly capture the complicated, chaotic, joyful and perplexing reality facing the 80 million moms in America today. The subtext to Belkins’ piece infuriated me: “See – all those feminists and hard-working, ambitious women were wrong---when a woman truly has a choice, she naturally chooses to be home mining the joys of diapers, playdates, laundry and cooking homemade organic vegetable stew, because a woman’s place really is in the home.”
Why don't women run the world? Belkin wrote.
Maybe it's because they don't want to.
“No!” I’ve been screaming in my head since the day I read that. “I – and so many of the incredibly smart moms I know -- DO want to run the world! We haven’t abandoned any of our career ambitions! We’ve got tons of killer ideas about how to make our world safer and more equitable and kinder. And the education and skills to make them reality. We’d just like to be able to pick our kids up from school while changing the world!”