Sociologist Pam Stone has done all Moms a great service with her book Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home
which is currently my pick for the top motherhood book of 2007. When Stone began to wonder about the back stories of stay-at-home Moms who had formerly held high-powered jobs, she didn't rush to judgment. Instead she put in the hard work required to research the trends in Moms and employment. Her book is compassionate, intelligent and thorough. It has influenced my thought about "life choices" and reframed the issue. Stone understands why women like me would naturally embrace a narrative that we have "opted out." She tells women's stories with great compassion--and at the same time she blows the lid off the opt-out storyline and shows why it does us a disservice. Stone shows us that far from "opting out," many women are "pushed out" of their careers despite efforts to keep working. Instead of blaming women for their individual situations, Stone puts the focus back on employers and the workplace. I hope that over the next 5 to 10 years we can develop some win-win strategies that will address these issues on a society-wide level.
Pam was the headline guest on North Carolina Public Radio's program The State of Things
earlier this week, and you can access it here by podcast through WUNC's archives
(also available on iTunes--free in either case). We are blessed to have this uncommonly good show produced right here in our community, with a extraordinary host, Frank Stasio, so I recommend the show to you.
Pamela Stone will be visiting North Carolina in person next week, for a book reading and signing at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham.
She'll be appearing next Wednesday, October 3 at 7 pm.
If you can go, you should GO, even if you can only get out by yourself. I know it can be hard to mobilize a Moms' Night Out but this one is worth a serious effort. Unfortunately, I will be out of town, or else I would be there. The Triangle is full of incredible women who have important stories to share, so why not go, introduce yourself to the person next to you, and make a new friend.
Labels: opt-out narrative, Opting Out?, Pamela Stone, Regulator Bookshop, The State of Things, WUNC