Sunday, January 27, 2013

Women in the workplace

So I was going to write a book review today. And then this happened. It is hard to even know where to start with this. It is just stupid and offensive on so many levels. 

Hypocrisy. Let's start here. Why is this hypocritical? Because people who make these, "a woman's place is in the home, period" statements, are the same people who think that women who receive federal assistance (i.e., welfare) should "have the dignity to work." You know, as in outside of the home. BTW, those are Mitt Romney's words, not mine. Yes. When his wife stayed home with (and without) the kids, it was hard work (agree completely that staying home with kids is hard work); but when women who are uncomfortably close to the poverty level do it? That is not work. That is just undignified. Let's talk about the kids who really suffer when women are in the workplace, mmkay? It is women who are making poverty level wages, and are forced to find childcare (and you know, if they are lucky, maybe food, shelter, transportation  etc.) on their minimum wage job. Good luck, ladies. I'm sorry, but you cannot get quality child care in this country for that kind of money. Maybe in countries with better maternity leave and federally subsidized childcare. But here? Not so much. What you are more likely to get instead is something God awful and potentially dangerous.

Women blaming douchebaggary. When stuff goes wrong, let's immediately blame the women. In particular, the moms. That is super original of you, Matt. I've never heard of anybody else try such a novel approach. Oh, society. Sorry for the harm I'm inflicting upon you with my venturing into the workplace and all. Who knows what kind of long-term harm I'm doing to my kids? (um, psychologists/sociologists. and the answer is, none) And what about the men? Won't somebody think of the poor, rich, white men we are emasculating and job-stealing from?

I'm just so sick of this notion that women are hurting their kids by working. If that were true, does it suddenly/magically no longer "hurt" the kid because he turns five and starts school?? Or maybe, having a strong, supportive family and a quality, caring, daytime childcare (by a mom, OR DAD, or nanny, school, etc.) are more important to kids than chaining women to their kitchen sinks? Just a thought.

Farming out raising kids. Here's an interesting fact. When I go to work each morning, I don't send my parenting role to India or China. These are children, not technical support or factory work; and I am caring for my children no matter what I do outside the home or what you think about it. And that phrase is just offensive. I'm raising my own children, thank you very much; no matter where my kids are playing or learning or napping, I'm still their mom. It doesn't matter how much you work in/out of the home, you are still a full-time mom. You don't stop raising your kids because you put them in preschool or daycare or school or hire a nanny or a babysitter. And Matt, you and your working dad friends are outside of the home. Does that make you a harmful parent, too? Or is it just the moms? Or perhaps the real reason you are a harmful parent is because you are a narrow-minded asshat?

Conclusion. In a perfect world, moms would work where they most wanted to work. If a mom wanted to stay home? She could. If a mom wanted to continue to build her career and/or contribute to something outside of the home? She could do that too. This notion that a women "should" do anything often overlooks the fact that it usually isn't a choice for the majority of women. Some women are better off financially at home because their job wouldn't pay enough to cover quality childcare. Some women are better off financially at work because, you know, health insurance and stuff (not to mention, life is unpredictable. Our family would have been in serious trouble if I wasn't working and my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. But I'm sure that would be my fault too, for being so lazy; some might even say, undignified). No woman deserves judgment for doing what is best for her family. 

And for women who do make a choice to work? Good for you. The workplace needs more women. And these women need fewer people (ideally, none) assuming that they are just working because they can't manage a family budget, or that they don't love their kids enough. My girls need to have role models in every field. They need to know that being a woman doesn't mean there is anything they can't do. {And that includes staying home with their kids one day.}

I'm very blessed to have a job I really enjoy. For me personally, I think that in many ways, it makes me a better mom. When I'm having a rough morning with the kids, I get to go to a job where my work doesn't scream or cry or follow me to the bathroom when I have to pee. I respect my boss, my coworkers, and what we are working together to accomplish.  And when I have a bad day at the office? Or even just a regular day? I get to come home to the sweetest, silliest little girls I know. {would I love to have more flexibility? um YES. And one day, maybe I maybe when we get enough women in the workplace advocating for it...}

oh, and PS, Matt. Your, "be bold for Jesus, he was bold for you" line in your Twitter profile? It made me put off going back to church even longer. I'd really rather not be around, or be associated with, people like you. 

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