We've got quite a combination of topics for Wednesday’s “DaySide.” A new book is just out called, "Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety." I'm just now starting it myself, but the publicity sheet says author Judith Warner (search) is writing about being "stunned by the state of motherhood in this country. Nearly all the young mothers she met suffered from ‘a choking cocktail of guilt and anxiety and resentment and regret.’ Well-educated women living in lovely home with loving husbands and healthy children — why were they so miserable?"
Wow. Those are strong words. To all of our women viewers out there, do you feel that way? Do we have a "hyper-competitive kind of 'winner-take-all parenting'"? Have women "lost themselves"? Is there really unprecedented depression and anxiety among American moms?
Personally, I'll admit to feeling stretched pretty thin between my job and changing poopy diapers. But I'm not choking on a cocktail of guilt. However, I will be the first to say I have a GREAT job with reasonable hours. So I'm not the best litmus test for Warner's theories. I'd rather hear from you. Do you agree with this book? Judith Warner will be on “DaySide” Wednesday, so e-mail your comments to me at: email@example.com.
'm also looking into this church pastor who handed out $14,000 to invest for seven weeks. At first I thought, "What?!?" But Pastor Steve Dyer (search) passed out the money to his flock to invest, after which they are to take the money and profits back to the church — to be used in missionary work. This idea came to mind as Pastor Dyer was preaching about the Parable of the Talents — he wants to challenge people to do something creative with this money. He's been invited on the show Wednesday.
And here's a good news story: an Army National Guardsman has returned from duty in Iraq — bringing an orphan boy with him. Capt. Scott Southworth (search) first visited an orphanage in Baghdad in 2003 on a general goodwill mission. When he got there, an 11-year old Iraqi with Cystic Fibrosis latched on to him and wouldn't go! Well, Capt. Southworth is now back home in Wisconsin with Ala'a. So many people in his state have offered help in so many ways, I couldn't resist doing this story. Scott and Ala'a will be with me on the show Wednesday.
Now, for feedback on today's “DaySide.” As for the sixth-graders who wrote nasty letters to a soldier in a class assignment, I got this email from a teacher:
Dear Linda, As a teacher, I am appalled that another teacher would let these poison pen letters be mailed to service personnel... A teacher always screens these kinds of letters, so I have to assume that the teacher agreed with the sentiments..."
— Linda Kleinschmidt, Cincinnati, OH
And as for Larry Summers' troubles at Harvard University (based on his comments about why there are fewer women in top positions in the sciences), many of you wrote in along the following theme:
Linda, Prof. Churchill of the University of Colorado makes the vilest comments about the victims of 9/11 and his colleagues treat him as a hero. His freedom of speech rights [are] defended. Yet when Mr. Summers wants to start an intellectual dialogue concerning differences in men and women, nobody defends his right to free speech...."
Sam, I personally don't think Summers should lose his job. Nor am I terribly offended by his suggestion that married women may not want to work as many hours as married men. I think that's legit. Where I do see a problem is Summers suggesting that men and women may have an "intrinsic difference in aptitude" in science. Where is there proof of this? If he doesn't have scientific research to back up his assertion, then he's shooting his mouth off and was basically walking right into a buzzsaw.
Another thing I'm wondering: What if he used a different word instead of "women" when he talked about aptitude? What if he had said "blacks?" What if he had said "Jews?" Or Hispanics? Or Catholics? Just curious.
See you on the air...
Watch "DaySide with Linda Vester" weekdays at 1 p.m. ET
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.