Is It Sexist To Ask A Woman How She Juggles Her Career With Being A Parent?Monica Bielanko
Alex Crawford was the first TV journalist to enter Tripoli with the rebels during the Libyan conflict.
The 49-year-old mother of four admits she thought she was going to be killed when she became trapped in a mosque surrounded by Gaddafi’s troops.
Crawford became a foreign correspondent six years ago after her husband left his job to help look after their children. Recently she was asked whether a woman could be a good mother as well as a front-line war correspondent.
Crawford’s answer was nice enough. She said: “It’s a dilemma for many single working mothers. I hope I’m a role model for my daughters, although my children say ‘Why can’t you be a dinner lady at school?’ ”
So here is the question. Is it sexist to ask Crawford about juggling motherhood and her career? There is no way anyone would ask a man about his childcare arrangements. Her husband is at home full-time with the children yet we expect that she should be the one consumed by their daily needs while she’s reporting from the middle of a war zone?
Is it a natural question that working women should expect in this day and age when stay-at-home moms still outnumber stay-at-home dads? Are we the ones making the question sexist?
My husband’s take: It’s not sexist at all. Women are more maternal than men, generally speaking and I think they’re drawn to time with their children and bringing up their children and are seeking that on a day to day basis more than men so sexism doesn’t occur to me when I hear that question. The answer would be beneficial to other women seeking to balance their careers with motherhood.
My take: Totally sexist. You wouldn’t ask Geraldo how he balances fatherhood with his globetrotting, reporting career so why ask Crawford? Even though her husband is at home full-time with the children, society still assumes she’s got to be the one in charge of the children’s upbringing? Also, she probably feels guilty enough about being away from her children without a sexist question highlighting the fact that society still doesn’t see men and women as equal at home or in the workplace.
What about you? What do you think?
Watch your words: 10 Things Never to Say to a Mom!