Employee decisions that preference family over job come with a price. Employers have no duty to accommodate their employees' children or child-care needs other than the unpaid leave required by the Family Medical Leave Act.
Judge Preska quoted Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, as saying: "There's no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences."
The judge wrote that Welch's view reflects, "the free-market employment system we embrace in the United States," and the law "does not require companies to ignore employees' work-family tradeoffs -- and they are tradeoffs -- when deciding about employee pay and promotions."
How to balance work and family is the number-one topic in women's magazines today. Article after article tries to present a plan for balance between baby and job, plus advice to help the mother not feel guilty when the baby gets the short end of the stick.
However, the articles sound hypocritical because for years, the feminist movement has carried on a strenuous campaign to move all homemakers out of the home ("a comfortable concentration camp," in Betty Friedan's words) and into the workplace. Feminists argue that caring for babies is not a worthy occupation for an educated woman. They have even propagated the myth that for expecting mothers to care for their own babies is an example of the oppression of women by the patriarchy.
Some women have combined a successful career with the role of wife and mother. Margaret Thatcher is a prime example. But that kind of success usually requires a cooperative husband, who the feminists usually lack.
Gloria Steinem noted this in a bitter comment this month when she launched a documentary about her life. Sneering at the two women she apparently hates the most, she attempted to demean Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann as women "only a man could love." That's right; men do love the non-feminists.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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