Eek! Just when you thought the June Cleaver era was long gone, Gwyneth Paltrow is bringing it back again.
The Oscar-winning actress makes no apologies for the fact that she’s become a traditional wife and mom who’s putting husband Chris Martin’s career first, feminism be damned.
“Gloria Steinem may string me up by my toes,” she tells an interviewer in the new issue of Harper’s Bazaar, “but all I can do is my best, and I can do only what works for me and my family.”
And for Gwyneth, what works is putting her acting projects on hold so that Chris can go on tour with Coldplay while she raises daughter Apple, 7, and son Moses, 5.
“I have little kids in school,” she explains. “I want to maintain my marriage and my family, so I have to be here when he comes home.”
Although she keeps busy with other projects – notably her healthy-food cookbooks and her wellness website, Goop – Gwyneth prides herself in being the one to cook dinner for her children and give them their baths. (She actually gets into the tub with them, which is a subject for another blog.)
What’s more, she believes other women should be prepared to de-prioritize their own careers once they get married, too.
Witness the advice Gwyneth recently gave to a close girlfriend: “She is an actress and in a relationship with someone else with a big career, and I said this may not be feminist, but you have to compromise. It’s been all about you and you’re a big deal. And if you want what you’re saying you want – a family – you have to be a wife, and that is part of the equation.”
Way to re-ignite the will-it-never-end Mommy Wars debate, Gwynnie!
Let me make one thing clear: Being an at-home mom is great. Make no mistake about that. It’s a blessing to be there for your kids during the day, participate in their after-school activities and not feel guilty about putting in overtime at the office. It’s also a challenging job that’s not always as appreciated as it should be. More power to the SAHM sisterhood.
But having a career – be it a necessity or a life’s passion – is just as important and valid to the women who choose that path, and working wives don’t need a Hollywood holier-than-thou making them feel they’re shortchanging their marriages and families by not quitting their jobs the minute the pregnancy test turns pink.
Why do women have to be the only ones making the compromise in a relationship? Even Gwyneth’s husband himself is finding a balance in his newest tour, which will take him on the road in three-week stints and giving him 10 days at home in between. Shouldn’t each couple work out a lifestyle that works for them instead of feeling they have to follow a rigid standard? Is a husband’s career always more important?
Or does Gwyneth secretly prefer having the leisure to get facials, go for 90-minute sessions with her personal trainer and do lunch with Mario Batali? Sure, that’s a typical at-home mom’s life – if you’re a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills.
Ironically, the actress’s most famous (and Oscar-winning) role was Shakespeare in Love‘s Viola – a noblewoman who yearned to escape her marriage-and-family destiny and be an actress in an era when women were forbidden to go on stage. (Or, for that matter, to do much of anything else.)
If Viola could hear Gwyneth now, she might think this woman had goop between her ears.
[Photo: via Pacific Coast News]
Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.
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