Local Woman Makes Television Debut
ALERT: Our own Ester Bloom is going to be on MSNBC at 11:25 this morning, talking to Tamron Hall about reclaiming the moniker “homemaker” for people who stay at home to take care of their kids. Twitter reports she is wearing her wedding underwear for good luck.
Ester wrote about trading in the dreaded “stay-at-home mom,” or “SAHM”, for a more gender neutral and baggage-free “homemaker” for Slate a few weeks ago:
Advocating for the term “homemaker” does not mean hoping for a return to housewives, women for whom maintaining appearances—apple-cheeked children and sparkling kitchen counters—was the highest priority. Instead, it means detaching ourselves from passé gender norms and broadening our idea of what it means to be the parent who steps out of the professional workforce. A homemaker is a parent who prioritizes the home rather than the house, and the family as a whole, rather than merely the children.
When we hear “stay-at-home-mom” we usually think of college-educated white women opting out of the work force and wearing headbands (hmm, maybe just me), but it’s not a very accurate stereotype:
The most surprising finding in that Pew report is that SAHMs aren’t actually the Opt Out types our culture has imagined them to be. As Jessica Grose wrote in Slate, “SAHMs are younger, less likely to be white, more likely to be foreign-born, less likely to be college educated, and more likely to live in poverty than working moms.” Most of these mothers aren’t choosing to stay home so that they can micromanage every aspect of their precious children’s upbringing. Many are home because they can’t find work, or at least can’t find work that pays more than the money they would have to shell out for child care. And yet, the stereotypical image of the SAHM persists. To correct the image, and advocate for policies based on who really needs them, we need to change the term.
ANYWAY, if you’re in front of a television at 11:25 EST, tune in! If not, send her some good vibes with me. ~~~~~* (that’s a good vibe)