Three-time Olympic gold medalist, Kerri Walsh Jennings is receiving a hailstorm of critiques from angry feminists on social media for her comment that highlighted the pivotal role motherhood plays in her life.
The women's volleyball champion has competed in three previous Olympics, and is competing to earn her fourth gold medal in the Rio Olympics this year. During the previous Olympics in London, Walsh Jennings admits she knew she was five weeks pregnant with their "golden" daughter at the time of her competition.
Her comment has triggered multiple responses on social media from feminists alike. One feminist distinctly wrote, "Did you just see the piece about Kerri Walsh Jennings? "I was born to have babies..." What is @nbc doing to us?!"
Her personal beliefs triggered a storm of comments and questions. In wake of these questions, I would like to pose two of my very own to you.
Can a women be a successful mother and have a successful career at the same time?
Yes they can! Carmen Noble, senior editor of Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, said working moms have positive influences on their children's life and educational ambitions. Recent research suggests women whose mothers worked outside the home are more likely to have a job with high responsibility and higher wages than women who were raised by a stay-at-home mom.
The study's lead author, Kathleen L. McGinn described motherhood expectations by saying, "All of us grow up with a set of expectations about what we're supposed to do. Role modeling is a way of signaling what's appropriate in terms of how you behave, what you do, the activities you engage in, and what you believe."
Regardless of circumstances, women who work away or from home have the power to succeed in whatever they wish. Women who sacrifice and create a balance between their work and family will find success and also become a pivotal role model of hard work for their own children.
Equal respect of people's personal views
In response to Walsh Jennings' statement, Twitter has exploded with complaints that women should not have to be a mother to feel fulfilled in life. What happened to supporting all women? Most of the reactions seem to forget all women have the right to support motherhood and a career equally. You do not have to put one down to support the other.
Despite the flood of criticism, multiple users on social media accounts took the opportunity to defend the champion. Twitter user @Tyler_Nunez said, "'I was born to have babies and play volleyball.' - Kerri Walsh Jennings with the most hardcore quote I've ever heard. #Olympics."
Every family has different circumstances, and each family ultimately decides what is best for those involved. Each person deserves to be happy and allowed the opportunity to develop their talents and be celebrated in their achievements. Good news working moms, you really can have it all.