I read recently in Geraldine Ferraro’s obituary about her wish to become a lawyer. She was one of only two women in her class of 179 at Fordham Law School. She felt that professors resented her for being there, for “taking a man’s rightful place.” After graduation, she took the bar exam and married two days later. Her husband didn’t want his wife to work, so she helped him out with his business and did some pro bono work. Thirteen years later, she went to work full time as an assistant district attorney.
I also read recently Virginia Postrel’s comments in her Wall Street Journal column remembering the “mommy track.” She recalled Felice Schwartz’s 1989 article in Harvard Business Review suggesting that women, leaving the corporate world to raise children, be given flexibility and part-time positions. Postrel noted that the idea was scoffed at, at the time, but two decides later millions of American women are combining “motherhood not just with jobs but careers.”