The article tries to play it up as a choice, saying that these women "don't want" carreers, but there really isn't much here to justify that. There are some quotations from some Yale sophomores, but they don't really sound like people who are all excited about giving up careers to be at home with the kids:
"My mother's always told me you can't be the best career woman and the best mother at the same time," Ms. Liu said matter-of-factly. "You always have to choose one over the other."
Ms. Ku added that she did not think it was a problem that women usually do most of the work raising kids.
'I accept things how they are,' she said. 'I don't mind the status quo. I don't see why I have to go against it.'
After all, she added, those roles got her where she is.
'It worked so well for me,' she said, 'and I don't see in my life why it wouldn't work.'"
This next one was particularly shocking:
Sarah Currie, a senior at Harvard, said many of the men in her American Family class last fall approved of women's plans to stay home with their children.
"A lot of the guys were like, 'I think that's really great,' " Ms. Currie said. "One of the guys was like, 'I think that's sexy.' Staying at home with your children isn't as polarizing of an issue as I envision it is for women who are in their 30's now."
Sure, it's not polarizing for men. It's NEVER been polarizing for men. It's been prestigious, convenient, and a boost to one's perceived masculinity to have a wife to take care of your kids and clean your house for fifty years now. I really have to wonder if Ms. Currie has ever read The Second Sex or The Feminine Mystique, books that started off second-wave feminism by challenging the premise that what women should want is what men like.
Of course, there's also some actual evidence that these young women are enthusiastic about their future as homemakers. Or, I should say, "evidence", because it doesn't actually support this claim in any way whatsoever.
While the changing attitudes are difficult to quantify, the shift emerges repeatedly in interviews with Ivy League students, including 138 freshman and senior females at Yale who replied to e-mail questions sent to members of two residential colleges over the last school year.
The interviews found that 85 of the students, or roughly 60 percent, said that when they had children, they planned to cut back on work or stop working entirely. About half of those women said they planned to work part time, and about half wanted to stop work for at least a few years.
Two of the women interviewed said they expected their husbands to stay home with the children while they pursued their careers. Two others said either they or their husbands would stay home, depending on whose career was furthest along.
Yes, a large percentage of the self-selected sample of 138 students said they expect to be stay-at-home moms. Also, many more women than men with advanced degrees ended up dropping out of the workforce. Hence, young women today don't want careers!
I think the way these women seem to just blithely accept the status quo is what annoys me most about this. Older feminists (meaning anyone over about 25 or 30, older than these college students) use "you can't have it all" as a rallying cry, adding on "but we should be able to!" and calling for a revolution in the form and assumptions of the white-collar career (which came about in a time when educated men were expected to leave the childcare and household management to their wives). See, for instance, Wifework, The Way We Never Were, and The Price of Motherhood. These young women just seem to shrug and pretend they don't care.