I found Hollingworth’s article very interesting. She compares women to soldiers in the sense that “it is necessary for tribal or national existence; it means great sacrifice of personal advantage; it involves danger and suffering, and, in a certain percentage of cases, the actual loss of life”. This quote struck me because I had never compared these two roles before, however this description fits both titles. People must reproduce in order for human life to continue, yet offspring puts significant strain on the family. In a different sociology class, I learned that married couples are more satisfied with their marriage if they do not have kids. I don’t think the strain or sacrifice of having children acknowledged by many people. However, just as Hollingworth stated, “normal” women should want to and do reproduce. Another quote from this article that stood out to me is “Normally woman lives through her children; man lives through his work”. This was quoted from the New York Times on September 15, 1915. Although this quote is from almost 100 years ago, it still made me wonder if people still feel this way. I feel that there are many more working moms nowadays than in the past, however I do think that if women go back to work too quickly after giving birth and leave their new born with care takers that there is a sense of guilt thrown at them. Yet, if men do not take paternity leave, they are not scorned for it. So, this quote could still have some truth to it even though there are more working moms out there.
I really enjoyed reading Walzer’s article because I found it so applicable to many of my own personal experiences. First off, it made me think of my mother. When my mom had me, she had a nanny all lined up to take care of me after her maternity leave ended so she could continue her career. She was very motivated and successful, however, after two days of returning to work she decided to quit. She told me she felt the worst guilt and selfishly wanted to be with me. It is such a sacrifice for her and many other women to make. Just like Walzer said, women worry more than men about their children, which is considered normal. Men actually considered spending time with their children as a waste and unproductive. This is most likely due to the fact that men are more focused on the economic burden of the family rather than child rearing. Another point that I found very interesting was how Walzer pointed out that women are the delegators in the family. Although most women admit that their husbands are very willing to help, they must be prompted by the woman in order to help. The men seem to be unaware of the baby’s routine and constant needs. This burden is also placed on the women. This reminded me of a family of four that I babysit for. Usually when I first get to their house, the father is making dinner for the kids while the mother is getting ready. While making dinner, he always asks me to check with his wife about how much food to give each child, which utensils they should use, and how much milk they each get. It is obvious that dinner preparations are not usually his duty when he is at home. I find this particularly surprising because both parents have full time jobs, yet the mother is so much more in charge and aware of her children’s needs instead of the father.