In the spirit of “keeping track of the good stuff” that this blog represents, here are my girlfriends’ responses to the following (great) article:
Is it a post-Hillary DC thing, or have you guys been hearing a lot about “new” feminism? The attached article is kind of old–I’m just getting through my reading stack–but interesting. I like how they attack SATC “feminism”; if that’s unrealistically outdated, then we’re in post-post-feminism. If you have time to read, what do you think of this?
nice article. my account director just came back from taking a few years off to raise her daughter, so i’ve been watching her flail around to manage the kid while she’s trying to work. what really shocked me was while trying plan a date for a client dinner, she said if we scheduled on a certain day, she would have to miss it because she had to pick up her kid from afterschool care…meanwhile, i’m like woa, woa, WOA, priorities? husband? mother-in-law? babysitter call list?
i definitely see a lot of different approaches to motherhood in the workforce here, though. part-time or flextime moms are not unusual, but i find myself tending to judge the women who don’t pop the kid out, hire a 20-something/immigrant nanny and get the hell back to work so they can climb the ladder/have power and give their kid voice lessons and such when the time comes. i wonder how the women with financial/recession-victim husbands are dealing right now.
the “occupational elite” phrase is interesting– i think it makes me feel better about my could-be-higher salary to think about the people who don’t like going to work, or commuting…i like my brisk walk across 28th St. in the mornings…seeing the FIT students’ trendy versions of slumming it, seeing the plants and flowers that temporarily line the sidewalks of the flower district, getting street coffee from a guy who knows what size cup i want, and how i take my coffee. It’s like the only thing I can count on being the same every day. but in the end, if feminism is about being free, i guess we ought to chill out and let people do whatever (they think) will make them happy…
As a working woman, I think work is highly overrated. I would much rather be climbing trees, laughing and reading books. I don’t care if it allows someone to equate me with a toddler. Everyone’s values are different and everyone requires different things to be happy (duh). Life is too short to simply seek to prove your superior intellect to the world. I could care less if the world knew that I know how to spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious correctly. However, I would care if my children thought I did not have the capacity to be an adequate parent…or if they didn’t know how to make a tent out of bed sheets by the time they were 8…or simply know the importance of curiosity as a child.
I truly believe it is important to do something that makes a difference in the world but we all have different standards for what that may be. Personally, I can’t imagine a greater difference one could make than being an amazing parent. I think the women of the 1950’s didn’t have it ALL wrong. Sure they may have spent a little too much time washing the floor but I think they knew a thing or two about being an available parent. If women AND men put more energy into raising healthy, well-rounded and informed children, we would all be better off.
Consider my job as an example. The Crisis Center employs over 200 people; however, only 3 are men. That is right. THREE. I work in a building full of mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters, who choose to go to work everyday…instead of staying home to help take care of their families. We pat ourselves on the back and congratulate each other for doing good things for strangers…only to leave the responsibility of caring for our own families to someone else. We spend our time helping victims of crime, families in financial need, people suffering from various mental health/substance abuse problems and elderly/disabled people confined to their homes. 99% of the people we help are those without strong families or are seeking help because they were victimized by someone without a clue of what family means. What does that say about our society???
It says we are simply passing the buck. We have someone else talk to Uncle Ted about his “moods.” We pay a caretaker to help grandpa out because we don’t have time. Cousin Beth loses her job, gets evicted and goes to a shelter because no one wants to be inconveniced by her sleeping in the guest room for a month. You name it. We have heard it and worse, many of us have done it.
There would not be as high of a demand in many fields if society was not so willing to cut families ties and up the supply of the workforce. I realize that does not follow basic economics in any way whatsoever… but family and human dynamics cannot be easily factored into anything quantifiable.
Stronger families=less crime=less laws being broken=less need for attorneys
Stronger families=more comunication, less isolation, less feelings of inadequacy/lack of control= less need to talk to someone outside the family unit= less need for therapists/counselors
Stronger families=more family time=less exposure to some media sources= less need for supply of advertising/telecommunications
(This one is a bit of a stretch…I know…but you see where I am going)
Sure, we have greater gender equality…but how much do we want to pay for our very own cubicle?
I wouldn’t pay more than one day of climbing trees.