Like many of you, I have recently viewed Kristen Bell’s satirical video on what she calls “Pinksourcing.” In the video, she satirizes the gender pay gap by stating that companies can save money by outsourcing to women, who they can pay for “77 cents on the dollar.” While I enjoyed the humor, and agree with the overall goal of the film, one jab at the very end hit me hard.
I was sure I had misunderstood. This is a women’s rights video, right? So wouldn’t they be supporting ALL women in ALL the roles they play? I rewatched the video 4 times to be sure I was hearing it right.
At the very end, Kristen says, “After all, women don’t even really want to be working anyway. They’d rather be home, taking care of the family, while their husband gets to make life choices and follow his dreams, and play fantasy football.” While she says this, the women next to her shake their heads and roll their eyes.
This came across as a direct insult on the concept of being a stay at home mom. Stay at home moms don’t get to “make life choices” or “follow [their] dreams.”
I have a dream. A sacred dream. One that I have dedicated my life to. One that I have sacrificed for. Labored for. And even, quite literally, borne. One that I get to pursue every day by being the “stay at home mom.”
My dream is to raise my children well. I hope to instill the values of responsibility, morality, confidence, and love within them.
I hope to teach them right from wrong. I hope to teach them how to work hard. I hope to teach them about fairness, and justice, and mercy.
I hope to teach them well, so when my two sons are grown, they will know that paying a woman less for doing the same work as her higher-paid male counterpart is wrong.
I hope to teach them well, so they will understand that when a woman decides to be the primary caretaker of her children, she is not taking the easy way out or giving up on her life’s dreams. She is not voiding her right to “make life choices.” She is taking on what C.S. Lewis calls “the ultimate career.” She is carving the future. She is shaping history. She is changing the world, one child at a time.
If we want to fight for women’s rights, we need to do so united. We cannot win if we are alienating one another based on our differences like deciding to work or not work. I’m a stay at home mom, but I still support equal pay. I still support mothers who choose to go to work. And in return, I hope that they support me likewise.
“Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee and we’ll ascend together.”