Hanna Rosin's article opens with the following introduction:
In certain overachieving circles, breast-feeding is no longer a choice—it’s
a no-exceptions requirement, the ultimate badge of responsible parenting. Yet
the actual health benefits of breast-feeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner
than most popular literature indicates. Is breast-feeding right for every
family? Or is it this generation’s vacuum cleaner—an instrument of misery that
mostly just keeps women down?
Three indecisive pages of babble can be broken down to these parts:
Being stuck at home breast-feeding as [her husband] walked out the door for workRisen can't just say that she wants and needs to work, that she doesn't care what choices her friends make, she'll just do what she wants. She obviously feels tremendous pressure to fit in with her breast-feeding friends and authorities but also wants to fit in with the business world, which is more personally and immediately rewarding. She does what so many people do--try to gain happiness through belonging to an ideological group and try to gain power through money instead of finding out what she wants to do and then doing it.
just made me unreasonably furious, at him and everyone else....So I was left
feeling trapped, like many women before me, in the middle-class mother’s
prison of vague discontent: surly but too privileged for pity, breast-feeding with one hand while answering the cell phone with the other, and barking at my older kids to get their own organic, 100 percent juice—the modern, multitasking mother’s version of Friedan’s “problem that has no name.”
We make many decisions in this life that have serious trade-offs. Sometimes we are forced into these decisions by circumstances and sometimes we choose them, but either way we must live with the consequences. These decisions are a choice that we deliberately make; even refusing to make a decision is a choice. Marrying, having children, working, breast-feeding--these are all choices. Nobody forces us to do them. Risen made the decision to have children, and by having three children she admits she has greatly lessened her chance to resume her career in a meaningful way. Therefore her husband will have all the power in the relationship; all the money, all the time, all the freedom, at least for quite a few years. It's a very difficult thing to do but becomes much easier if you admit that the situation exists, it must be endured, and after all it's only temporary.
But Risen couldn't admit this to herself. She didn't want to give up the money and power and she didn't want to give up her image of an earth mother. So she ends up unhappy all around, and vents her ire on something that has nothing to do with her real problem.