Alumni Update: Ashley Lauren Samsa

An op-ed piece by Ashley Lauren Samsa (06) was published on the Huffington Post on November 3, and remains as of this writing the lead story on the  Women’s page.  In her piece, Ashley discusses the pressure to have children that she and other women face.  “The bottom line is that when we pressure women to have children, even if we are just innocently asking ‘when’ it will happen, what we are really saying is that women aren’t worth much without them,” she writes. “Men aren’t asked this question incessantly.” Noting that the human population has reached seven billion, Ashley continues, “I’d venture to say that the pressure is off.  Humankind will not end because you did not give birth.”

Writing to Professor Kathleen O’Gorman about her accomplishment, Ashley thanked her for being supportive.  “Knowing you believed I could do whatever I wanted…was invaluable.  Undergrad is such a tumultuous time,..and if you don’t have someone to back you up, you may never realize your full potential.”

Ashley teaches high school in the Chicago suburbs.  She has published in blogs such as The Mamafesto and the Ms. Magazine Blog and is a regular contributor to Gender Across Borders.

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