International Women's Day (March 8-th) passed a long time ago, but I still want to share a few thoughts I had back then.
The fresh newspaper I unfolded that day contained a long, detailed article about the position of women at the job market. "It is disturbing," – it said, - "that women still earn so much less than men, and occupy fewer key positions." The author (a woman, by the way) later suggested an enforced "correction", so that there would be an 1:1 male-female balance at ALL occupations – especially those women tend to choose less often, like engineering. She finished by saying women should be encouraged to work longer hours, by keeping daycare open until late in the evening.
It was all written in the name of "women's rights".
I ran through it again. Did the author miss something?
Ah, yes. A minor detail. Freedom of choice.
Aren't we living in a society of equal rights for men and women? Don't women have access to high education and any kind of work? Of course! Then how come men and women tend to choose differently? That would be, I suppose, because we ARE different - biologically, psychologically and socially. Why on earth is it so difficult for some individuals to live with that simple fact?
The second point bothered me even more. Perhaps the author wants to work longer hours, but what about women who don't? What about women who choose to work less hours in order to spend more time with their family – or even – hold your breath! – choose to dedicate themselves to serving their husband, keeping a home and raising children?
The author didn't just ignore the women (and there are plenty) who would be more than happy to give up the dubious "right" to neglect their home, give their toddlers to daycare, bring home a salary, a large part of which is consumed by taxes and work-related expenses, and end up feeling exhausted, frustrated and torn apart;
She also ignored the financial (not to mention emotional and social) contribution of stay-at-home wives and mothers. She disregarded the fact that a stay-at-home wife - even if she doesn't have any sort of home business - means a major cut in a family's expenses: the need for a second vehicle is pretty much diminished, money spent on daycare, babysitting and other hired help is dramatically reduced, meals are cooked from scratch, shopping is planned more carefully, the home is more organized – all of which doesn't only save money directly, but also allows the husband to feel more confident and relaxed, and concentrate better on work. When he comes home, he doesn't meet a harassed, career-consumed, competitive woman. He has better support – and he earns more. It makes sense, and was proved statistically.
Dear author, I'm perfectly happy being a woman, thank you very much. I delight in the feminine arts. I don't need a fat paycheck to feel I'm worthy, or that my rights are taken care of.