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    “NO” is an extremely powerful choice option

    “NO” is an extremely powerful choice option

    Recently, I have been reflecting on the power of choice.

    As a citizen activist, I work to ensure that Americans make fully informed voting choices.  This attitude carries over to my selection of post topics.

    For example, when one disgraceful businesswoman attempts to persuade college students to become cheaply paid porn interns, I offer an entirely different take on the adult film industry.

    I want young men and women elevating themselves, as their video antics can have long-term repercussions on quality relationships and careers.   They need to be told the other side of the story.

    Recently, I took a look at one Princeton mother’s advice to young women.  She had the audacity to suggest that perhaps finding a spouse was at least as worthy as finding a career.

    And while I may not completely agree with her reasoning, I did like the essence of her take: Marriage and family is a valid choice for young women to make.

    However,  Keli Goff (a special correspondent for wants to limit a woman’s choice: Goff says that female Ivy League graduates have a duty to stay in the workforce:

    Perhaps instead of bickering over whether or not colleges and universities should ask us to check boxes declaring our racial identity, the next frontier of the admissions should revolve around asking people to declare what they actually plan to do with their degrees. There’s nothing wrong with someone saying that her dream is to become a full-time mother by 30. That is an admirable goal. What is not admirable is for her to take a slot at Yale Law School that could have gone to a young woman whose dream is to be in the Senate by age 40 and in the White House by age 50.

    There are so many powerful counters to Goff’s assertions, including the fact most college graduates work in areas entirely different than their degree focus. However, Professor Glenn Reynolds offers the best refudiation:

    It’s worth pointing out that this is precisely the argument that used to be employed for excluding women entirely from jobs and educational opportunities — she’ll just go have kids, whereas a man with that credential would be using it to support a family. Ah, how feminism has turned.


    After 40 years of gender-feminist experimentation, many highly educated women are also coming to the conclusion that a balanced approach to life is best. The Washington Post column by Elsa Walsh beautifully details her reasons for “Why women should embrace a ‘good enough’ life”. In it, she advises young women:

    … make time for herself. Unplug from the grid. Carve out space for solitude. Search for work you love that allows flexibility if you want to have children. And if you do, have them when you’re older, after you’ve reached that point in your career when you are good enough at what you do that you will feel comfortable dialing back for a while. Don’t wait until it’s too late to start planning, because no one else is going to do it for you. And don’t quit completely because, as wonderful as parenthood is, it cannot and will not be your whole life. Learn how to manage conflict, because the greater the level you can tolerate, the more freedom you will retain. Making compromises is a healthy approach to living.

    For a woman to say she is searching for a “good enough” life is not failure — it is maturity and self-knowledge.

    I’d also tell her, if she marries, to work hard on her relationship. It’s not only much easier than getting divorced, it’s more rewarding and more fun. Love. Full stop. That’s what matters.

    Her last sentence is profound: Motherhood is not a job. It is a joy.

    When people die, they usually spend their last moments reflecting on the special relationships they have had — not how amazing their career has been. When making life-choice decisions, our sons and daughters need to be told it is OK to make high-quality, personal relationships a priority.

    No is a powerful choice.

    Weight Watchers co-founder Jean Nidetch once said, “It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny.”

    I ask only that the choice be a fully informed one.


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    David R. Graham | April 28, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Snobbery, prudery, are acids eating through everything. Essentially, that’s what this “ruling class” is: snobs, prudes.

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