It used to be that your early 20s were an ideal time to have children. Newly married and generally expected to do little more than care for little nappy-clad economic stimulation packages, women's lives were often predetermined events.
They had "little more to do" than to care for their children. This is, obviously, a put-down of stay-at-home mothers.
Why would Alan Howe so undervalue the motherhood role of women? Perhaps, as someone imbued with commercial values, he believes that it's our participation in the economy which matters.
Or perhaps it's his commitment to liberal autonomy theory. His attachment to this theory is given away when he objects to women's lives being "predetermined events". According to liberal autonomy theory we are supposed to lead self-determined, rather than predetermined, lives. Motherhood fails this test as it's thought to be an unchosen "biological destiny" for women, in contrast to a self-chosen career path.
The problem for liberals like Howe is that marriage and motherhood continue to be central to women's lives. That's because autonomy is not the one good which outranks all other goods. Men and women still choose to marry and have kids even if this means giving up a certain amount of autonomy.
In other words, the fact that motherhood is "predetermined" doesn't make it any less significant in the lives of women.
There's a beautiful TV presenter in Australia called Suzie Wilks. She's sacrificed relationships for her career, but now says that she's been left feeling lonely and depressed.
If you read what she says, in an article about her quest for a husband and child, she portrays the motherhood role in much more significant terms than Alan Howe:
She says she hopes the relationship she has with her own children will mirror that with her beloved mum.
"We were best friends - incredibly close. All the love and support that I had came from her," she says. "I've never known a woman so capable of loving."
Wilks says she doesn't have any major career ambitions left. It is the prospect of love and having children that fire her these days.
"I've had to battle. Look where I've come from. Look what I've done," she says.
"Now I want the real things in life."
It's not just all about the economy. The love of mothers for their children matters - a great deal.
By the way, there's one other consequence of Alan Howe's prioritising of careers. He supports an increase in the retirement age not just from 65 to 67 but into the 70s:
The Rudd Government acted in last month's Budget ... just look at the publicity generated by the proposed incremental increase of the retiring age from 65 to 67.
Don't listen to the lies of politicians. That was just a start. Late baby boomers can put plans for retirement on the back burner.
Their pensionable age will start with a "7"
... we need to keep ourselves working productively for much longer than 65