“Cupp is right about one thing: “Why shouldn’t women also feel compelled to consider how their future husbands will take care of them?” I dislike the phrasing of the sentence — “takes care of them” — because it’s my view that a partnership takes care of each other, regardless of who is the financial breadwinner. However, Cupp’s question is nevertheless a question that I explored myself a few years ago. With a heapful of Hilary Rosen-esque ineloquency, I wrote about how I want to become a SAHM for at least a portion of my future children’s youth and therefore I logically need to consider a partner’s earning potential when I shack up and make babies. (Get outraged here! And here!)
I fully understand why using as “man as a financial plan” is ill-advised for anyone but Donald Trump’s wives. It it ridiculous for anyone to suggest the 99 percent could solve all their problems if, duh, they had only thought to marry up! First of all, there aren’t that many rich folks to go around. Second of all, refer to my previous point about the unreliableness of the breadwinner’s paycheck.
At the same time, it’s just realistic to acknowledge that if you are not independently wealthy (hey, what’s up!) and you truly desire to be a stay-at-home parent with every fiber of your being, you need to marry/partner with someone who can financially support the family unit. That’s just accounting, folks. Of course, it takes an enormous amount of class privilege to be able to have that choice. Yet I’m uncomfortable with the tone that sometimes arises during this discussion, including from my fellow feminists, that anyone who aspires for this future partnership-and-parenthood setup in some way is a “goldigger” or entitled sell-out.
I got torn a new asshole when I wrote about wanting to partner/procreate with someone who is down with my SAHM aspirations, specifically from feminist blogger Jill Filipovic, who suggested on Feministe that I had an “immature” “princess fantasy.” That stung, in part, because I think planning parenthood is actually admirably mature. One of the things to take into account when planning parenthood is how are you going to feed, clothe and shelter the freakin’ kid. Yet it seems to me to be this thing that feminists aren’t supposed to talk about because it perhaps wades too deep into class issues that people are afraid of being perceived as being “on the wrong side of.” (Which I also find weird because intersectionality on issues is usually a big thing for most feminists, and one can be a SAHM but also support things like paid maternity leave, pay equity, and other gender/labor issues. I certainly do.) People should be able to have honest conversations about their family/parenting ideals — even if they are only in the realm of fantasy for some — and not to be judgey-wudgey about people’s personal choices that affect no one other than themselves. It is to our detriment to ignore or shame the desire to be a SAHM (or SAHD, for that reason) because the desire does exist. It may not be a choice everyone would choose. It certainly isn’t a choice everyone can choose. But if someone wants to choose it, it should be treated with respect.”