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Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 8, 2006
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is a polemic, not a sociological or historical analysis of the work/home issue like Judith Warner's _Perfect Madness_. _Get to Work_ challenges women and men to ask themselves the classic philosophical question, "what makes for a good life?" and challenges them to defend their choices, understanding that their choices have moral implications for themselves, their families, and the rest of the world.
The previous reviewer asks what she thinks is a rhetorical question: "Imagine the outrage if someone wrote a manifesto saying all women should be compelled to stay home and raise babies!" I think that book's been written, several times over, by Laura Schlessinger, James Dobson, Danielle Crittenden, Caitlyn Flanagan, Penelope Leach, T. Berry Brazelton, Phyllis Schlaffly, Rick Santorum, and dozens more reactionary celebrities who cling to essentialist ideas about gender because of their fear of American values, democracy, and modernity. We're so accustomed to hearing the "opt-out" decision framed as a moral choice that sanctifies wives and mothers who don't work for pay and demonizes women who do as grasping, unnatural, and selfish that it is a bracing shock to the system to read an argument that turns this so-called "morality" on its head.Read more ›
Overall, I found Ms. Hirshman's manifesto to be overly harsh and unbalanced. I do agree with some of her points -- women should be able to be financially independent, and it is important to get an education and pursue something you enjoy, and I also agree that changing diapers and some other "baby duties" can be a bit tedious (although for me personally, those things are far eclipsed by the joy I get from my children). I also agree that husbands need to pitch in, and do an equal share around the house and with the children. I also think that female attrition in the workplace does make it more difficult to get equal treatment.
However, that said, I miss my children terribly and I can certainly understand why a parent would want to be home with their kids or work part-time. Furthermore, I think it is absolutely ludicrous to expect a parent to sacrifice the happiness of their family "for the good of womanhood/society." It seems that searching for a way to align family and societal interests would be more productive.
I do think it is risky to quit working and be completely dependent on your spouse for income. Although my spouse and I trust each other completely, I have seen men take advantage when the balance of power (money) shifts in their favor -- so, I understand the concern. In my experience, the workplace seems to be accomodating to me as a parent, but less so for him (i.e. my employer tolerates my taking time-off for kid-related things much better than his).Read more ›
Even if you're the happiest housewife in the world, it's important to recognize the cost of your happiness: economic freedom, social prestige, and intellectual productivity. Even if -you- don't put much value on these, you must acknowledge that society does. And society will judge you by them.
Of course, at the end of the day, it is every woman's right to choose how she will live her life. But this book raises a point that is strangely ignored in this age of equality: this choice that each woman makes is the exact same choice as is made by each man.
The question of equality between men and women cannot be considered without an inquiry such as Hirshman's. And each woman's choice as to who she is relative her husband and children should not be made without considering the points Hirshman raises.
A negative in the book is that she fails to account for how children will be raised if everyone is working full time at more exciting and lucrative jobs. And the title may put some people off from the start, particularly those who collapse into bed every night after a day of taking care of children. We wouldn't tell a nanny or a day care provider to "get to work" but somehow people don't mind saying this to at-home mothers who work at least as hard (since they are usually also cooks, financial managers, house cleaners, etc.). However, the book is concise and to the point, and she is not trying to hide the fact that she is making a value judgment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is great for all women to read. It shows that true equality among men and women requires men you pull their share of the housework. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Chris
Ms. Hirshman phrases so succinctly what I've been thinking for years.
Get out there, Ladies! Start contributing to the tax base and the GDP, like the rest of us adults!
Every working woman should read this. And their significant others.Published 21 months ago by RobinJBR
As other positive reviews have mentioned, this book is about the reality of finances and economics for women and families and really identifies that in addition to societal... Read morePublished on October 15, 2013 by Amazon Customer
In "Get to Work," Linda Hirshman argues - in a tone that fluctuates between starkly sensible and harshly snarky - that stay-at-home motherhood "is not good for women and it's not... Read morePublished on April 15, 2013 by Ready Mommy
Hirshman seems to completely ignore the opt out generation of women who choose to stay home and take care of children. Read morePublished on February 14, 2013 by Tracey Miller
This is an inspiring book that I would highly recommend to any young woman. Yes, I am fully aware that it has gotten a lot of negative press, but I actually had the opportunity to... Read morePublished on November 13, 2011 by Giraffe
Every woman is about to get married and start a family needs to read this book. I bought it for a class but honestly, reading it really changed my views on family and gave me a... Read morePublished on August 4, 2011 by L. Butler