Leslie Bennetts in A Mother’s Day Kiss Off argues that the effects of gender inequality expressed through cultural pressures are leading to the anger in most women. In doing so, she establishes a clear tone directed at a specific audience but fails to appeal to the wide range of women that she could by limiting some of her point of views.
Bennetts initiates her discussion arguing that Mother’s Day is a culturally pleasing day and does not actually acknowledge the concerns had by many women. Among these great concerns is the pressure for women to uphold certain personal responsibilities that, more often than not, result in sacrifices in their time and career. Bennetts continues to warn that mothers that choose or are forced to quite their job put themselves and their children in a vulnerable situation that could easily lead to financial hardship. Not only this, but if this hardship occurs, it only perpetuates more anger and grief in the women. In this idea of scarification and its effects, the author roots the anger of most women. She then explains that this anger is not directed towards their companions but in fact other women in “Mommy Wars.” To provide a progressive step forward, Bennetts suggests that all the women expressing anger come together and redirect their anger into constructive energy towards new policies and movements. Although she admits that the women should alter the direction of their energy, she argues that cultural influences and ideals that push women towards sacrifices and anger will never change until men themselves are as equally responsible in parenting and the household as women currently are.
Through the application of specific tone and language, Bennetts defines her argument and audience clearly. She speaks of how women are the default partners in a relationship required to quit their jobs and take care of the children when work and home life cannot be balanced (Bennetts 42). When speaking about the tasks women are pressured into taking, Bennett constantly utilizes words such as “sacrifice”, “painful”, and “sad” to establish the woman as the victim in the situations. She further describes the situations themselves as “hostile” and “inflexible” to support the claim that women’s careers are usually the casualty in the fight between men and women for work and domestic stability. This overall sympathetic tone could certainly be effective in appealing to women readers especially if they are in a similar situation of feeling victimized by cultural pressures. Although this helps develop appeal from the group of women who have experienced these sacrifices, to other women not in that situation, the argument may appear slanted in favor of those affected.
Bennetts claims that women who give up their careers are angry, even if they enjoy a stable marriage that is financially secure (Bennetts 42). As an example, she speaks of a woman who has become angry over the years from being forced to give up her life-long dream of being a lawyer to tend to her children and growing household duties (Bennetts 42-43). With this example, Bennetts presents the idea that stay-at-home mothers are fixed to attending to certain “domestic responsibilities” that eliminate the possibility of having a successful career. This case provides a real life example of how cultural pressures have actually impacted a women’s career. In affect by adopting this perspective, she could appeal to women who have not yet been affected by showing them how they possibly could. This would thus strengthen her argument to several groups of women. Yes, she provides an example of a stay-at-home