Monday, November 9, 2009

Career Woman

This weekend I had dinner with a girl friend of mine. We went with our spouses and another couple. She recently turned 51 and is a little reflective. She is asking herself the same question I ask myself.

What the heck am I doing? Why am I working so hard and not playing at all? Or playing enough? Sure both of us have great jobs and get paid for what we enjoy. Our other friends have retired or semi-retired, are free lancing etc. etc. We can't help but feel a little jealous. And in these times where jobs are scarce to find, should we even have doubts? But... 

For those of you who don't know, I was a stay at home mom for the longest time. And then the career bug bit me. Right in my dearrie. So I chased a career and here I am ten years later wearing suits, high heels, battling rush hour traffic and showing up to 8:00 AM meetings.

What was I thinking?

Meanwhile, our hubbies are smart enough and have chosen careers that allows them to work from home, flexible hours, ya da ya da.

You know what I think? The woman's equality revolution exploded in our faces. We wanted jobs and careers and we got it baby. We got it.

So I told my girlfriend, "Let's run away to Mexico. And open a nice cantina. Due to my nice bloggy friends, I already have a cook and a handy man who will work for food."

She laughed and said, "I wish."

I then told her, "Let's open a wine/liquor store. We'll drink as much as we can and sell the rest."

She burst out laughing.

So there you have it.

What are your thoughts? Did the woman's revolution explode in our faces?


Nan Patience said...

There does seem to be something amiss with regard to women and work. Some combination of naivity, lack of respect and awareness of the value of our own traditional women's work, impatience with injustice and chauvanism, dissatisfaction with limitations of traditional models? We propelled ourselves into careers, and it's not solving fundamental problems and it's creating new ones.

I don't know what the answer is, but it sounds like you've got the right answer for you!

Postcards from Wildwood said...

I agree with you both. We have achieved so much that our grandmothers and mothers didn't have. But most of us are the still the primary carer of our children and unlike women who run for President of the USA, etc, we don't have someone to delegate this to. Yes, the changes have brought a lot of good but they have created new problems. For me, now, the issue for women and careers has moved on to 'how do we achieve balance in our lives?'

BLOGitse said...

I agree.
women are not totally 'with it', not so eager to start their own businesses > you'd get concrete touch your in/outcome, working hours etc.
But it's not easy. Money. That talks everywhere and every decision.

Thank god I don't have small children anymore...
Have a nice week! :)

NicoleB said...

I thought that it did quite a while back.
All of a sudden, families are falling apart, more divorces than ever.
Women just doing the whole nine yards AND complaining their men don't. If they do, they are still whimps.
Men can never do it right for most women.
And women can never HAVE it right either.
I think sometimes, that we are some strange kind of breed ;)

For me, I never wanted a career, but neither did I want to have kids.

I am glad about the "revolution" for the most part, I am sad the many of us lost family values through it though.
Maybe that's part of the evolution.
Now we might have to remodel that part?

For the working & career part...
Why are most managers still men?

BLOGitse said...

'Why are most managers still men?'
Depends of the culture/country.
In Finland we have female president but traditional companies tend to have male managers.
For women it's hard to lead the family and to be a manager.
I know few, their life is busy, busy...24/7.
Only if you don't have children or they're on their own, woman is more free. That's a fact.
Lucky you Nicole,
lucky me too...

Full Measure said...

Yep. I work all day. When I get home, I start what I call the "2nd shift". The 2nd shift is all about driving tweens to their things, cooking, laundry, and housekeeping. At 10 pm I look at the work for the "3rd shift". This is the shift work that I am doing to keep freelance projects going in case I ever lose the 1st shift job. I am tired. I am exhausted. There is no one helping me. My Mom had it much better but she also didn't have options. I feel like at least I have options and more freedom. It is a catch 22.

Scriber's Web said...

Actually, I am a manager. LOL.

More later!

BLOGitse said...

Me too!
In our family LOL!
(+ I have a company at home but it's 'resting' while I'm not there)

mythopolis said...

I think it is still quite early in the revolution, but I do think it has been important that women have fought for more control over their lives, and from living in the shadows of a society that has a long history of patriarchy. Women in some countries are not only subservient to male rule, they are practically slaves! While it helps for any person to have freedom to make choices, the choices themselves are sometimes not that great. Sometimes, it is like an old riddle...Would you rather have a tiger eat you, or a lion? It wouldn't be so bad if one had the option to say, 'I'd rather have the tiger eat the lion.' Sometimes a big change within an overall limited system of options, isn't as big as one first thought.

Elizabeth said...

I tried the whole office thing, and I don't know if it is a 'me' thing or a generational thing, but I am so much happier running my own business. I don't have kids yet, but nothing thrills me more than waking up next to my husband and having the flexibility to travel when I need to. I might be spoiled, but it's been great, and I don't know that I would want to balance an office career with my future children, but then again, working for myself, from home, means that there is never a clear cut time to stop working!

Where is Darran? said...

beautiful flowers

Scriber's Web said...

Huge thanks to all for your very thought provoking comments. Very interesting and fun! Lots of different views and I love it!

Nan: Thanks for the comment. Something is amiss for sure.And you are right. We are not solving the fundamental problem. Just creating new ones. Also, if you think that I have the right answer for me, then I am doing a great job of faking it:)

Janice: Well said! I couldn't agree more. How do we achieve the balance?

Blogitse: Starting your own business unfortunately is not an option for many women. You need an investment. Plus health care is so expensive here that a lot of people work just for the benefits. Sigh.

Nicole: Great point. I feel bad for men too. Women give them mixed and confusing signals all the time. Not sure what the solution is.

Full Measure: I have seen how efficient you are and you are my hero girl! You rock!

Mythos: It is a strange world we live in. Here I am complaining about working but there are women on the other side of the planet who are not even allowed to get educated. Sigh.

Elizabeth: I think you are lucky and should enjoy it. I am happy for you! But I also know what you mean about clear cut work hours. My hubby has his own business. So while some days he can have a 4 hour work day, he mostly works very late at night and on weekends too. I can come home on a Friday night and forget all my unfinished tasks. He simply has to stay up and do them.

Darran: Nice Flowers? LOL. Oh "Mr. I will leave my cushy job to travel the world and have great adventures in Australia and make Scriber very very envious!" I guess you did not want to touch that one:) I don't blame you:) But thanks for the compliment.

Carol said...

We keep hearing about the "office of the future" where things will be paperless and everybody working from home. It seems like men have that-they tend to work from home in their PJ's while women are still showing up, getting dressed to the nines, doing the grind. Meanwhile, years go by and still no flying cars.

It seems to me like women are in the workplace, yes, but the same middle aged man is viewed as "experienced" while a women is viewed as "over the hill." The same is true for gray hair, right? On men, they look good, women, not so much. It's like society has allowed us to work but not really accepted women as an integral part of the workforce.

I hear a lot of resistance to the working from home thing by male executives. "Oh, I don't allow it because my employees will goof off," they tell us. Meanwhile, the male employees are still home in the PJ's working. It's very much like a double standard. Oddly enough, the same woman won't get paid the same as a man for the same job (still.) So, these companies are willing to pay men more to stay at home, while women kill themselves and actually get the work done.

At some point, women will revolt again, since we are slowly gaining the control. We're doing the work, right? At some point, if we stop, somebody somewhere is bound to notice.

I think it's only once that worm turns that we'll see a true shift in attitude, where women will gain more control (actually, just the control that we deserve really.)

Seems like we let women work, get educated and all that, but then we lost sight of the original "equal pay for equal work" credo that was the battle cry for the prior generation. Now we expect women to not only contribute half a household salary but also raise the kids, do the cleaning, laundry, etc.

In many ways, an empowered slave is worse than an ignorant one.

KalaMarie said...

After over two decades of wearing a suit, working 50 hr weeks, enduring a long commute, meeting last minute deadlines, etc., I left the corporate world in 2008. These days I am appreciating the moments and the little things & spending lots of time pursuing my passion for photography. How much time does any of us have to really enjoy life before it's over?

Scriber's Web said...

Carol: So well said! I think that the women are at an interesting cross roads at this point. I do hope that women evaluate their lives and make the right choices to achieve harmony in their lives.