Here’s my post today on Janice D’Arcy’s Washington Post “On Parenting” blog: she asked me to respond to Nona Aronowitz’s WashPo op-ed on second-generation later motherhood and the effects on grand-parenting and elder care (the fallout to the fact that 40 + 40 = 80).
As ever, my big interest is in the process that delay enables for getting women’s voices heard in business, government and society.Here’s the close:
“Not to ignore the pains of infertility or elder-care struggles or of not being able to consult with our moms about childrearing. Rather to use that pain and the portent of such pain to bring the upcoming generation of young women out in the street banging the drums for change — with the older generations by their sides singing the chorus.
“Time to stop punishing women for having kids and then blaming them when they don’t. All the later moms, all the contracepting boomer women, this is our moment to share the wealth we’ve enjoyed, a wealth not just of cash but of heretofore unknown opportunity, with the younger women. To hand down not just a new set of problems, but a new set of solutions.
And it is time for the younger women to use the new status we’ve earned to demand those solutions: Fair wages. Good affordable childcare for all. Equal representation. Equal education regardless of local property tax base. A national elder care network. Jobs engines all.
“Stop taking ‘unrealistic’ or ‘wait until we have a woman president’ for an answer, and make it so.
“We can do it! Just as our mothers and grandmothers did when called to action in decades past. We just have to know our own strength, and use it — collectively.“