I was listening to NPR this morning when they featured a segment about women in the workplace trying to negotiate between family and career. I have heard this conversation SO much lately from my girlfriends with kids. Several of the folks on the NPR panel were shaming corporate America for the lack of “sameness” with which they treat women and men. Others were discussing loop holes, compromises, and historical data.
I tend to be pretty pragmatic. I just turned down a full-time job so that I could stay home with my kid more often. Would I have done that if I didn’t have Abe? Heck no! I would have taken it in a heartbeat! It was a dream job! But it just didn’t work for me right now. I don’t think that means my choice should have to be everyone’s choice. I know plenty of women who love working full-time. I also know women who don’t work at all and spend all of their time with kids. Why should we be generalizing what’s right?
Men and women are not the same. I’m sorry, but they’re not. Women make the babies. We are the ones who are biologically attuned to our children with a force that can’t be reckoned. I don’t care how plugged in your husband is (and mine is in the top 1%), a man does not have the same connection with infants and toddlers that moms do for the first couple years. So if we’re not the same, we can’t be treated the same. And sometimes that means we’re not treated “fairly”. We don’t get the jobs because we have the babies, we make less money because we have the babies, but you know what we get out of it all? WE GET TO HAVE THE BABIES! By the end of the NPR segment I had to wonder why no one was talking about honoring women for mothering the future while having careers. Maybe if women felt appreciated for all that they do, the “glass ceiling” wouldn’t feel so frustrating.
This is me on a high-horse about my opinion but I’m open to other opinions. What do you think about women and careers? Kind of confusing, right?!