It’s the same as it’s always been:
Hersch uses a large database, the 2003 National Survey of College Graduates, that lets her identify 1,830 women who graduated from “tier 1” educational institutions — in effect, the Ivies and other high-prestige universities like Duke and Stanford — and compare them with women who graduated from less elite schools. When women with and without children of all ages are lumped together, the graduates of tier 1 schools are employed only slightly less often than their less privileged sisters. But as soon as Hersh separates out women with children from those without, it becomes obvious that women from tier 1 schools are significantly more likely to be home with the kids than the others — 68% of mothers from the tier 1 schools were employed, compared to 76% of those from the other schools.
A lot depends on the kind of degree that a married woman with children has obtained. If she is a physician, has a PhD, or has an MA in education (i.e., is probably a K-12 teacher), she is as likely to be employed as graduates from lower-tier schools. But those degrees involve only 24% of mothers who graduated from tier 1 schools. Those with law degrees are 9 percentage points less likely to be employed than graduates from lower-tier schools; those with MBAs are 16 percentage points less likely to be employed, and the largest single group, those with just a BA, are 13 percentage points less likely to be employed.
These numbers shouldn’t make sense. Who gets into tier 1 schools? Not just highly able women, but also women who are ambitious enough to want to be in those schools. It is plausible that they would be more likely, not less, to continue their careers after they have children than women who, on average, are surely less intellectually able and probably less intensely ambitious than the tier 1 women.
So, the constant push to get women out of the kitchen and into college and careers results in: the most desirable* women staying at home and raising kids. Poor women still work shitty jobs—assuming they aren’t able to completely get by on government benefits and charity. Fucking feminism.
So all those ladies who played feminism’s game and won are taking a victory lap…in the kitchen. It’s almost as if women were made to raise children and tend to domestic duties. How else to explain why presumably attractive and reasonably intelligent women are staying home and raising children? They can basically have whatever they want in this world, being both credentialed and presumably attractive, and yet they choose, of their own volition, to get married and have kids.
So in spite of feminism’s best efforts, the most desirable women are choosing the domestic life. Because that’s what women want, and that’s what women are made for. That is their sphere.
In the meantime, too many women, usually those who are just a cut below the most desirable tier, are stuck living out feminism’s nightmare, chasing a career when they’d rather be taking care of their family. They live in the pursuit of the trappings of status and power, without actually attaining either. In so doing, they perpetuate the self-sustaining cycle of low wages that make such a pursuit necessary in the first place.
It would be nice to end this cycle of misery by simply reverting to the (misogynistic) understanding that women are most happy when they live in the sphere of women, which is to say that women are happiest when they tend to child-rearing and domestic duties. The sloganeering of feminism is nothing more than pretty lies, since it is clear that most women, once given the choice, choose to stay home and raise children. Perhaps it’s time to admit that most everyone would be better off if they simply did what they really and truly wanted. Perhaps it’s time to stop “”””””””encouraging”””””””” women to pursue those things that they don’t really want to do.
* Desirable being defined as a woman’s desirability as a mate, roughly some combination of looks of competence.