Monday, September 01, 2008

It's About Choice

Surrounded by wonderful dancers and artists last night, I heard one of them discuss how they just had their baby and no longer want to work in their job unless they can bring him to work. In response to this predicament, the woman has chosen to quit her job and set up a business on her own that will be home based, but involve leaving the home on her terms. She can bring the child along on those short trips. The funny comment was when she said "I had August and instead of saying 'I gotta got o work and be adult woman', I thought not unless I can be with him. i want to be with him all of the time". I think that is awesome and is what feminism is all about: the opporunity to have the choice.

As my generation was the first to get sexual harassment training in grade school, multicultural sensitivity in middle school, and then everybody is a precious snowflake training in high school, I always enjoy hearing someone not toe the line that was shoved in our heads at school. You know that one that went "feminists fought for you to go get a job and remove the glass ceiling, don't you dare give that up to have a baby or get married". I dislike being told what to do, and especially dislike when the schools tell children that a certain way is the right way rather than let them find out what works in the real world. You end up with scores of people racing to 'make a career' yet feeling completely empty inside.

My mom and my eldest aunt were trailblazers in working in more male dominated lines of work with a family to also tend to. I have great respect for their balancing act between corporate america and raising kids before the age of family leave, flexible work hours, subsidized day care, on site day care, and bosses that are fired if they are not sensitive to your needs. One current coworker told me a story of her boss complimenting her ass right after she gave birth to her first born way back in 1979. We laughed about it, and I gave her the "you got my respect" talk. I was always surrounded by strong women growing up who played hardball. This is part why I have problems with young women my age complaining about things at work. It's easy now compared to what it was back when rude comments out loud were the norm, and sex on business trips was expected. That's why I find it a source of happiness that a woman is going to choose to go down a path that makes her happy rather than fit into the box of what her friends, peers, college classmates or coworkers expect.

(I know I am not alone with this line of thought).

1 comment:

"AG" said...

I submitted to Feminism for many years until I realized that it's all about not being submissive to any societal dictate that goes against one's soul.

Thanks for the link. :)