Regarding comments on my recent letter in the PWN. In that letter, I briefly acknowledged the presence of progressive women role models in Port by noting their presence at March's community forum. I didn't dwell on them, because I had another point to make. I'm not alone in those thoughts.
The term "mommy wars" has been around for years, but it went mainstream in 2006 with Leslie Morgan Steiner's book Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families. When I searched for Mommy Wars I had 627,000 hits. The few pages that I took time to look at seemed substantial. To be unaware of that debate is a sign of cultural isolation.
Ms. Sturman's idea that every parent works may be politically convenient for PTA presidents, but it is fundamentally dishonest. Any valid measure of work has to recognize the difference between working on a trading floor or at the customer service desk of a Wal-Mart and sitting outside a school selling flowers for a PTA fundraiser. The formers are work and the latter is leisure. Many people have to work for one person to have that type of leisure time.
I love to spend time reading to my kids, taking them to museums and doing arts and crafts projects with them. That's what I do in my leisure time.
As a feminist trying to raise my daughter to be a fully adult citizen, it troubles me having leisure-class, female role models lurking around the schools all the time. It sends children regressive messages about the role of women in society. For my part, I'd like to see more male teachers at the elementary school level. Boys need them as role models. Contrary to Sturman's and Effron's viewpoints, I'm inclined to concur with women like Rita Kramer who, in her 2/24/06 Wall Street Journal article, Losing the "P" in PTA, described how PTAs across the USA became lobbying groups of teachers unions.
I'm willing to weigh the extent to which these social dynamics influence school politics in Port, but to deny them is absurd.
In closing I'll note that Ms. Sturman's description of Daly's HSA sounds ideal. I'll consider moving into the Daly zone if I have another child.
Robert T. Schill