In an interview with LA City Beat (reprinted on Alternet), retired professor Linda Hirshmann expands on the analysis in her book Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World. When asked about “the non-threatening behaviors women are socialized to adopt,” she concluded her comments by saying that she finds “Ph.D.s who are wiping butts” horrifying. “I’m sort of surprised I’m the first person to get out there and say this is immoral.”
As a PhD who has chosen to wipe my own children’s butts, I’m appalled not only by such a strident view of what it means to be an educated woman but by the blatant claim that to care for one’s own children is immoral. The so-called moral high ground she claims has no relation to the world I live in, where parenting is itself a political act. Wiping butts is also an act of love whether for our children, our parents, or anyone else who is so vulnerable as to need such care.
My doctoral training highlights the political nature of social and personal choices even when they don’t fit the molds demanded by authority figures, whether those authority figures be retired professors or global corporations. I am proud to have wiped my own children’s butts.
Let me encourage you, as activists and advocates for cloth diapers despite prevailing corporate wisdom, to speak truth to power.
–Lori Taylor, President and Founder, Real Diaper Association