Peter Heck, a social studies teacher at Eastern High School in Indiana, said the following during the commencement speech he delivered:
I challenge you to devote yourself to your families and your children. If you choose to have a career, God’s blessings upon you. But I challenge you to recognize what the world scoffs at, that your greatest role in your life will be that of wife and mother. The greatest impact you could ever contribute to our world is a loving investment in the lives of your precious children. To solve the problems plaguing our society, we don’t need more women CEOs. We need more women as invested mothers.
He singles out female students, as male students can’t “choose to have a career,” unless they are independently wealthy. He also seems to imply — in the sense that he outright says as much — that a working mother cannot be an invested mother.
I think mothers are swell. I even had one for 34 years. However, young men are steered toward dreams that they can achieve through their own force of will. When young women are steered toward motherhood as their greatest achievement, they lose a degree of agency over their goals. There are obvious physical limitations (some women can’t bear children), but they also need a partner. This results in otherwise successful women in their mid-to-late 30s who feel as if they’ve failed because they haven’t met the father of their future children. That’s nonsense. And yes, I understand that women can have children without a significant other, but something tells me that Mr. Heck does not think much of such arrangements. He’s also the one who somehow linked the Aurora shooting to feminism:
In a blog post from July 2012 in the wake of the Aurora shooting, Heck described the present day as “an age where we too often yield to the idiotic sniveling of modern feminism that suggests there is no place in our enlightened society for men to act as ‘protectors’ of women — – indeed, they suggest that it is insulting and demeaning for [men] to do so.”
By the way, there are fewer than two dozen female CEOs running America’s largest companies (4% of the overall total), so Heck might want to relax and focus on a more looming issues, such as the recent explosion in the unicorn population. Maybe next year, Eastern High School should just hire a comedian to give its commencement address… well, at least someone who’s trying to be funny.