I've been reading Peggy Orenstein's book "Flux". I was enjoying it, the intimate exploration of women's lives, their choices and doubts about career, marriage, children.
Right up until the chapter that focuses on Shay, an African-American woman in medical school. Momentarily exhausted, Shay wonders if she wouldn't be happier if she just became a nurse or a secretary or found some 9-5 job where she could support herself and still have "a life."
An understandable flight of fancy from a stressed out medical student.
But then the author speculates that as "an intellectually gifted woman", could Shay really be happy with those choices.
And that rankled me. Now, I don't claim to be any more intellectually gifted than the average American, but this is part of the problem that Orenstein seems to be trying to address: the choices that women in America make and how those choices impact their self-esteem and their lives.
And dragging out the old too stupid to be a doctor so became a nurse stereotype is not helpful to any woman. Whether doctor, nurse or patient.
Degrading secretarial work is also not helpful. Degrading any choice of profession that a woman enters in to is not helpful. Pointing to certain careers as "less than" so that some can feel "better than" is not helpful to the cause of women in America.
Thor sez: She said what?!