I used to thoroughly enjoy listening to Dr. Laura's call-in radio show but now I've opted to sever all ties to her and her increasingly unhelpful advice.
See, I'm an unabashedly conservative chick who believes in small government, a flat tax, and personal responsibility. As such, Dr. Laura and her espousal of traditional values initially appealed to me.
However, Ive grown weary of women automatically being the culprit for their man going astray. She's adamant that all wives must somehow be abdicating their spousal duties by not putting out enough which in turn leads a husband to go looking for outside action. Or maybe the wife is too fat which is also, in her not-so-humble opinion, an egregious violation of the marital contract.
That's always been her mantra so I just tune out her woman-bashing diatribe when she's on an especially shrill holier-than-thou streak.
Lately though, Dr. Laura is on a roll consistently dispensing eyebrow-furrowing, nose-wrinkling, Whatchoo Talkin' Bout' Willis? counsel to some of her callers.
Case in point was the lady who's been a stay-at-home mom of four kids for the past 20 years. Her oldest is a college student who lives at home while the youngest is 8. Like a lot of familes across the nation, her husband doesn't earn the kind of money he used to and they find themselves struggling even after making big lifestyle cutbacks. She has the opportunity to work part-time while her kids are in school. This seems like a win-win solution to me.
Dr. Laura practically shrieked at this woman telling her "You're going to divert time and energy away from a family that needs you" and "You're undermining your husband. Working will make him feel like less of a man, like he can't provide for his family." She wasn't finished as she concluded her advice with a "You'll come home bitchy and stressed from work and take it out on your family."
Wow. Dr. Laura worked establishing her career the entire time her kid was in school. Hypocrite much? This lady wants to alleviate some of the burden on her husband's shoulders in a way that still allows her to care for her kids. Furthermore, she doesn't have babies or toddlers. I speak from personal experience that this recession is a good time to rally the family and let them know that cooperation is vital and everyone needs to help one another.
I work a couple days a week. Unlike a lot of their peers, my kids know how to do laundry, help their siblings with schoolwork, and get dinner ready. It's not a tragedy that somehow diminishes the quality of their childhood. It's working as a cohesive unit to preserve the family. Duh, Dr. Laura.
Another caller really resonated with me. She's a 30-something mom of 6 kids. I know, right, who's flippin' crazy enough to crank out 6 kids?!!? Anyway, her baby is starting Kindergarten and she wants to go back to school to finish her degree but she stipulated that it would only be during the hours her kids are at school. The lady tearfully said that everyone in her family has advanced degrees and the pursuit of education is important to her. She blurted out that she felt as though something was missing in her life.
Dr. Laura went into hysterical mode as though this woman said she wanted to trade in all her mom jeans for an Abercrombie & Fitch wardrobe and a wild campus co-ed lifestyle.
Dr. Laura's argument was the same as the previous caller I mentioned. She vociferously browbeat this poor lady telling her that her family would fall apart if she took a couple college courses because it would require way too much time and effort. Dr. Laura also said that she should take comfort in her kids and not go looking for outside accomplishments and validation. She then recommended that the caller "get some hobbies" and "read books" to occupy her time while her kids are at school.
Discouraging knowledge? Seriously? This is a major WTF? moment. This lady may need a degree in the future should the unthinkable happen. Aside from that, she wants something edifying outside of being a mommy and wife. As a career woman you'd think that Dr. Laura would understand.
Irritated and murmuring out loud, I hoped that these ladies would stand up and champion themselves against this counterproductive advice. But they didn't. Both women just meekly agreed with every word Dr. Laura bestowed upon them as though it was their personal gospel.
Why would a successful female like Dr. Laura openly discourage fellow females from achieving their own personal successes?
Naturally, she cites "Family First" at every opportunity but the slogan is as hollow as a waxy chocolate bunny from the dollar store when applied to the aforementioned situations where the family would surely benefit from the matriarch enriching her own life and in turn the lives of her family.
It's an easy formula. Trickle Down Mothering, dammit!
Trickle Down Mothering. I'm a genius. Just give me the talk radio contract to sign already.