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Mrs. B

This was an interesting read.....and I'm with your Mom, I would have been EXTREMELY nervous too! LOL ~Mrs. B~

The Happy Feminist

Oh, Mrs. B, I'm so glad you're still reading and commenting (esp. after yesterday)! Welcome, and please feel free to comment anytime, even if it is to disagree.

Mrs. B

Thank you VERY much for the welcome HF.....and I don't hold grudges....I said what I felt I needed to say and you all were very nice about it.

I've never been brave enough to comment until today but yesterday you suggested that I could and then I see that Zan does so I might start too. (o:

The Happy Homemaker

"Equal pay and equal leave provisions" is one thing, but my husband's co-worker, a female professional, is taking maternity leave 6 months early due to health conditions. This is leaving my husband and the other professionals on the job in quite a lurch. While she gets paid to convalesce for several months before the baby is even born, the others will work her hours with no additional hired help. (Consequently, Dh is putting in 10-12 hour days on the job.) The feminist movement has managed to demand many times MORE than equal work for equal pay and paid time off. The job force fears the repercussions of militant women who will go sue-crazy at the slightest hint of "sexual discrimination." Once again, men are left holding the miniscule bag of payment for the work they do in comparison to women.

Another note: At my husband's place of employment, my Dh and the other working men run around tending to customer needs while the women "coworkers" stand around gossiping and chit-chatting with each other. If one of the men calls them to task, he becomes the brunt of said gossip and feminist chastisement.

I suppose in a perfect world, men and women would mutually treat each other respectably and seek to relieve each other of undue burdens, but in this world, women demand way beyond equality. This intensely blights the feminist movement

The Happy Feminist

Hi Happy Homemaker! Thank you so much for commenting. I am especially glad to hear comments that may contradict some of the views on this site because I don't want to spend all my time preaching to the choir.

With regard to your husband's pregnant co-worker, wouldn't your husband's company also provide an equal amount of leave to a male employee who was ill or injured? If your husband were ill or injured, wouldn't you want his company to give him leave even if it meant that some of his co-workers had to pick up the slack? Why would this woman's leave be any different just because her illness happens to be pregnancy related? If your husband's company does not provide an equal amount of leave to an injured or ill male, then your husband's company is guilty of sex discrimination. It was feminists who fought for gender neutral parental leave laws -- because feminists DON'T want women to be discriminated against based on the assumption that they will need more time off than men for child care and pregnancy.

As for the problem of your husband and his male co-workers having to do the work for women co-workers who stand around chit chatting, I have a couple of observations, although obviously I don't know the specifics of your husband's situation. First, there may be some bad apples out there, but you don't throw out the notion of feminism just because some individual women behave poorly.

Second, it sounds as though your husband's company is guilty of poor management; whoever is in charge should be documenting these women's performance problems and disciplining them and firing them if necessary. I can't believe this company is just treating these women as though they are immune from having to do work merely because it fears a lawsuit. I would recommend that the company consult with an attorney as to how to remedy this situation; their fears of sue-happy women and the potential costs to the company may be overblown. (I should mention that I spent three years defending companies from discrimination claims, very few of which involved sex discrimination.)

Thirdly, I wonder whether your husband's perceptions of the problem may be mistaken. Is it really true that ALL the women are lazy and ALL the men have to do their work for them? There are NO women who pull their weight? The men NEVER take breaks when they shouldn't? Or is it possible that your husband notices it more when a woman is gossiping because that plays into a preconceived notion that women tend to gossip a lot?

Fourthly, if it really is true that your husband has to do more work that his female colleagues, HE may have a basis for a sex discrimination suit! If he would like some legal representation, let me know! :) (And again thanks for reading and commenting!)

Aisy

I like your response to happy homemaker. you made some good points. In regard to this post, I was discussing this idea in my gender and ethnicity class when I was doing my master's... that women should be supportive of whatever career path one chooses, whether that is in the home or out of the home. My professor brought up a point I had never thought about, being a white, middle class woman. She said "for many minorities, the idea of staying at home to raise their children is a luxury." We often talk about equality for women, but minority women are often lost in the fray.

The divisiveness between women is frustrating for me. I realize I was quite young when the women's movement was beginning to take place, but this lack of support on both sides of the fence (working in the home versus working out of the home) is really destructive. Like you said, it should be about equality and I think we should all support that, whether our own beliefs are that it is best for a woman to stay in the home.

Nellie

I am a mother and homemaker, and while I will be honest that I am not very familiar with the specifics of feminism, but I know that I support equal pay, equal opertunities, relaible birth control, etc. I also think that the uniqueness of women and men need to be recognized, and accomidated for example some women who work will have a complex pregnancy, and it should be ok to take a medical leave, etc.

That being said I typically would not say that I identify with the feminist community and it isn't because I feel judged. The reason I struggle to identify with feminism is because as a homemker I feel as though I should also have certain rights, rights that are ignored. In order for being a homemaker to truly be a choice, mothers or fathers who choose to say home should also have some support. As a SAHM, I am in big trouble if I leave my husband, I would have no healthcare or income. Now I'm not suggesting that any stay at home parent should be subsidized, but I think that if feminists want to help women and make sure women have true choices, they need to focus on the rights, needs, and job security of both working women and women who choose to stay home. Until that happens, homemakers will continue to feel alienated from feminists.

The Happy Feminist

You sound like a dyed-in-the-wool feminist to me!

mythago

Nellie, as a homemaker, you are in big trouble if your husband leaves you. Even if he is a completely trustworthy, stand-up guy, stuff happens.

Paul

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