Inkwell reader M.K., who also blogs, said what I was trying to say about a New York Times article on women from top schools who opt for motherhood. M.K. writes:

“What I found most outrageous [about the New York Times piece] was this quote: ‘It really does raise this question for all of us and for the country: when we work so hard to open academics and other opportunities for women, what kind of return do we expect to get for that?’ said Marlyn McGrath Lewis, director of undergraduate admissions at Harvard, who served as dean for coeducation in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.’

“In response I wrote the following on my blog: ‘What is it with these numskulls? How about a generation of happy, well-adjusted children who know their mothers chose them over a career? For goodness sake, college isn’t just about getting a job, it’s about expanding your horizons. And since the students and their parents are paying for the education, why doesn’t she let them worry about the return on that investment? The disdain these people have for stay-at-home moms is palpable.’ I find it horrifying that they actually think they can dictate what a worthy career choice may be. After all these years of ‘opening academics and other opportunities’ at Harvard, does she really mean to suggest that it would be reasonable to question an applicant’s career aspirations to decide whether they’re worthy of placement there? And doesn’t her statement also suggest that because Harvard ‘made space’ for women that women really aren’t as good as men? Or are the women who want to be men the only ones that count? I also agree with you that women’s choices to step back from careers explains why there is a slight difference, if one exists at all, between salaries for men and women.

“I doubt that feminists have ever commissioned a study that compares salaries of men and women with the same majors and the same GPAs, much less adjusting the salaries to account for the time women take off to raise their children. Thank you for your insightful post.”