Synopses & Reviews
What do you need to live a good life in the real world? Among other things, a real job and changing diapers isn't one. "Opting out" is a trade-off that is almost guaranteed to blow up in your face, sooner or later. Linda Hirshman's Get to Work
a clarion call for stay-at-home moms to blast out of the house is a rocket-propelled grenade aimed directly at the mommy wars, and offers a bold plan for all women to find and be able to pay for the kinds of satisfying lives that a grown-up should want to lead.
The women's movement has been accused of failing because it was too radical. Nope, says Hirshman it wasn't radical enough. It changed the workplace for women (sort of), but did nothing to realign the home. Starting with the trend of educated women abandoning their careers to raise children, Hirshman shows that the real glass ceiling barring women from success in the workplace is in their own homes. Why, forty years after The Feminine Mystique, do men and women still assign the physical, repetitious and unremunerated jobs of housekeeping and child rearing almost entirely to women? What is the loss to society when its most accomplished women, or ones with the potential to be so, flee their jobs to mind the kids? What is keeping all women from having equal access to the rewarding adult world that men live in? Who "chose" that deal?
The time is ripe for a new feminist revolution based on values and quality of life, not on some false promise of "choice." With Hirshman's strategic plan, Get to Work should spark a new revolution and help women rediscover that their place is not necessarily in the kitchen.
"Hirshman adds intelligent and much-needed dialogue to an important and emotional debate." Publishers Weekly
"It's when Hirshman is at her most radical when she sets aside the language of personal fulfillment in favor of injunctions about the collective good that she is at her most valuable. I would never write this book, but I'm glad somebody did." Meghan O'Rourke, Slate
Argues that in order to live up to their potential and feel fulfilled, women need to remain in the workplace rather than stay at home with their children.
When Linda R. Hirshman published an article called Homeward Bound in last Decembers American Prospect
, she fully intended to reignite the dying embers of feminisms fire. But the ensuing maelstrom of criticism and applause from national op-ed columnists like David Brooks in The New York Times
to mothersstay-at-home and working mothers alike surprised even her. Suddenly, the retired professor of philosophy and womens studies is at the center of an increasingly hot debate on sexual politics. With Get to Work
, Hirshman expands her now-infamous call for all women to realize the ideal of economic independence and self-determination.
Examining the trend of affluent, educated women abandoning their careers in order to raise children, Hirshman has concluded that the real glass ceiling thats barring women from success in the workplace is in their own homes. Why, forty years after The Feminine Mystique, do men and women assign the low-level and generally unrewarding jobs of housekeeping and child rearing to women? The time is ripe for a new feminist revolution based on values and quality of life, not some false promise of choice. Get to Work will lead the national discussion as Hirshman lays out a strategic plan to help women rediscover that their place is not necessarily in the kitchen.
Examining the trend of affluent, educated women abandoning their careers to raise their children, Hirshman argues that the time is ripe for a new feminist revolution based on values and quality of life, rather than on the false promise of "choice."
Read Linda Hirshman's posts on the Penguin Blog.
Does changing a toddler ’s diapers count as a fulfilling job? Is the glass ceiling that keeps women from advancing in their careers actually located in the home? In Get to Work, a book that instantly ignited a firestorm of debate, Hirshman cogently argues that “opting out” of the workplace is a form of self-betrayal. Combining a hard-hitting critique of traditional feminism with practical advice to help stay-at-home moms find satisfying, well-paying work, this book will be as era-defining as The Feminine Mystique.
About the Author
Linda R. Hirshman is retired from her position as the Allen/Berenson Distinguished Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies at Brandeis University, where she taught courses on Western political philosophy and the regulation of sex and violence. She is the author of Hard Bargains: The Politics of Sex
and A Woman's Guide to Law School
. Hirshman also taught and practiced law in Chicago for many years, including three cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Hirshman's article "Homeward Bound," on why women are trapped in the domestic world and how to get out, appeared in the December 2005 American Prospect. She has appeared on 60 Minutes and Good Morning America, speaking on the subject of women quitting their jobs to stay home. She is, proudly, number 77 in Bernard Goldberg's 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America.