Should it be illegal to be a stay-at-home mom?

Should It Be Illegal To Be A Stay-At-Home-Mom? One Columnist Thinks So

For many women (and their children) the role of stay-at-home mom is invaluable; however, at least according to one Australian editor-in-chief, the workforce may be better off if being a stay-at-home mom were to become illegal. Yes, you read that right: illegal, according to Fox News. According to Sarrah Le Marquand, editor-in-chief of Stellar, it should be illegal for moms to stay at home after their kids reach school age.

Whoa.

In a column written for the Daily Telegraph, the Marquand makes the controversial argument that being a stay-at-home mom should be illegal in Australia in response to a recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD). According to that report, Australia is losing out economically because so many stay-at-home moms never return to the workforce, depriving the nation of their skills.

What’s more? According to the OECD report and Marquand’s article, stay-at-home moms are contributing to the very serious economic issue of Australia continuing “to languish in the bottom third of OECD member states when it comes to female employment.”

Hearkening back to French feminist Simone de Beauvoir, who was famously quoted speaking along the same lines, Marquand blames mothers who choose to mother rather than work for Australian’s economic woes.

“No woman should be authorized to stay home to raise her children. Women should not have that choice, because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”

According to Marquand’s article about stay-at-home moms and their obligations to the economy of their nation, there should be no legal option for eschewing gainful employment once children go to school. It is worth noting that some children in Australia begin school as young as age 4 (pre-kindergarten), with compulsory education beginning at age six and a half.

“Rather than wail about the supposed liberation in a woman’s right to choose to shun paid employment, we should make it a legal requirement that all parents of children of school-age or older are gainfully employed.”

In her article about stay-at-home moms and the potential damage their life choices are doing to Australia’s economy, Sarrah Le Marquand admits that stay-at-home moms and their supporters would (and did) become hysterical at the thought that non-working moms could be the problem behind Australia’s lack of female employment. However, the columnist and editor in chief claims that it’s time that her nation attack the stay-at-home mom “problem” in a way that people “cannot afford to ignore.”

While conceding that the importance of parenting infants and toddlers is “beyond dispute,” and adding that she once supported a parental leave initiative that would guarantee all female employees their regular salary for six months after having a child, Marquand says she is now seeking a different tactic to bring women back into the workforce after leaving to become stay-at-home moms.

According to her op-ed piece, it is time to end the “double standards” in the Australian welfare system, a system that favors stay-at-home moms above childless young people. Marquand and her supporters believe that it’s time to end the “kid-glove approach” when it comes to women, to hold them equally accountable for their “employment responsibilities.”

“Only when the female half of the population is expected to hold down a job and earn money to pay the bills in the same way that men are routinely expected to do will we see things change for the better for either gender.”

While Marquand shares her apparent frustration with stay-at-home moms in her piece, going so far as to desire to make their life choices illegal, not all agree with her version of feminism. Even other self-proclaimed feminists. Many have taken to social media to criticize the concept of making it illegal to be a stay-at-home mom.

As Fox News opines, the reason that Marquand and her ilk are frustrated is that, without the participation of all women, including the current crop of stay-at-home moms, they will never achieve their “feminist utopia.”

“Feminist ideology has never dealt honestly with the role of the mother in human life.”

What do you think? Is it somehow anti-feminist to be a stay-at-home mom? Should Australia (or any government) have the authority to make it illegal to be a stay-at-home mom? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

[Featured Image by Halfpoint/Shutterstock]

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