For any gender, family, or business related lecture, we recommend “The Rhetoric and Reality of Opting Out” (Contexts, Fall 2007) which you can read here.
We’ve created discussion questions as well as an activity for you to use with this article in the classroom:
1) How does your generation view mothers who stay at home? How have these perceptions changed from your parents’ and grandparents’ generations? Is this change positive or problematic in your opinion?
2) According to Stone, what is the real culprit behind more and more mothers dropping out of the workforce? What are some underlying problems with many “family friendly” work arrangements?
ACTIVITY: Assume you’ve been given the task of re-designing your company’s workplace environment and scheduling norms so they are better suited for the types of working parents highlighted in this article. How could you change the work culture so mothers weren’t penalized for taking advantage of flexible work arrangements? Could any other problems result from your solutions?