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April 25 2013

Kelli Goff: Don't Waste that Ivy League Degree on Raising Kids

Charlotte Hays

You have an Ivy League degree.

You want to stay home and raise your children.

Are you a traitor to womankind?

Keli Goff, a blogger for the lefty U.K. Guardian newspaper, thinks that female Ivy League graduates have a duty to remain in the workforce:

I am not someone who believes that every woman should be made to feel as though they must choose between being committed to their children or committed to the sisterhood of women's advancement. But I do consider any Harvard Law School degree obtained by a woman who then chooses not to use it in any sort of professional capacity throughout most of her life a wasted opportunity. That degree could have gone to a woman who does want to spend her entire life using it to advance the cause of women – or others in need of advancement – not simply advancing the lives of her own family at home, which is a noble cause, but not one requiring an elite degree….

Perhaps instead of bickering over whether or not colleges and universities should ask us to check boxes declaring our racial identity, the next frontier of the admissions should revolve around asking people to declare what they actually plan to do with their degrees. There's nothing wrong with someone saying that her dream is to become a full-time mother by 30. That is an admirable goal. What is not admirable is for her to take a slot at Yale Law School that could have gone to a young woman whose dream is to be in the Senate by age 40 and in the White House by age 50.

A young woman whose dream is to be in the Senate by 40 and the White House by 50 is not necessarily entitled to a slot at Yale Law School. Nor should she be daunted if somebody else gets "her" slot. Ms. Goff’s blog reeks both of entitlement and narrowness.

Goff views education purely as vocational training. You know, getting ahead. The idea of educated mothers seems to baffle her. I hate to use a cliche such as "life of the mind," but leading an intellectually stimulating life is definitely something that should be tried at home.

I hope somebody will bring up Ms. Goff May 16, when IWF hosts an all-star panel inspired by the onslaught of advice, particularly in Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In, that women have received lately.  

James Taranto has a good piece on Ms. Goff today in the Wall Street Journal.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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