Just got this nice e-mail from reader Milton Trachtenburg, a therapist who spent his career helping abused women and who wrote a few books in that field. Tarchtenburg liked today's column about former state welfare department appointee Robert Patterson, who believes that the best-raised chldren are those with a stay-at-home mom.
Not that there's anything wrong with stay-at-home moms. A woman's choice is no one's business but her own. But what's with the vilification of working moms?
Anyway, with Milton's permission (and with my thanks), here is his Milton's personal perspective on having a wife who worked while their kids were growing up.
Hit it, Milton!
"Dear Ms. Polaneczky:
"I loved your skewering of Mr Patterson and his 14th Century views of motherhood, women's rights and sperm utility.
"I'm just contemplating where my wife and I would be today if it weren't for the contribution her teacher's pension makes to our overall financial welfare. It certainly wouldn't be in Miami Beach with a view of the ocean to stimulate us to live longer than the view from the hovel we would have been able to afford without it!
"Our son must have suffered the tribulations of Hell in a youth which "forced" him to learn how to cook, be a latchkey kid and make independent decisions from an early age---as his father also did in his misanthropic youth in a two-parent working family. Our son was so badly destroyed that he pursued his dream of becoming an entertainer and raising his daughter the same way so that she is now an independent 18-year old with her own band, Supercute!, which performs internationally.
"My wife, defined by a superlative professional work history, gave the two of us more to talk about than how many bon-bons she consumed watching soap operas. She never did need an antidepressant because her life was fulfilling at work and at home, as was mine. Now in early retirement, she got the itch to do more professionally so she opened a little tutoring practice and was asked to consider a part-time job in one of the elite private schools here in Florida. So much for the fulfilling life of a retiree. Volunteering or serving time in "women's" organizations with a bunch of former housefraus whose whole life is showing off pictures of their children and grandchildren or giving "organ recitals" about their latest medical incursions, are not her idea of a fulfilling life, even in retirement.
"She has taught three generations of children how to read and has worked successfully with some of the most difficult problems that no one else seemed able to solve as well as written one of the seminal articles in her field which has been quoted in dozens of textbooks as recently as one written in 2010. Before we moved to Florida in 2010, she constantly had adults approach her in restaurants or stores to thank her for what she did for them years earlier and still has dozens of teachers contacting her to help them resolve current problems.
"Had Mr Patterson had his way, this remarkable woman would have spent her life doing nothing of value. We managed to complete all the chores somehow amongst us and that is what they were---chores. I wish for Mr Patterson exactly the kind of wife he wished upon the rest of us men: Someone who demonstrates no brains, no confidence, no independent will and he can rot in the hell he created by doing so.
"Again, thanks for casting a light upon a particularly dark and ugly corner of our so-called civilized society."