Sunday, February 05, 2006

Steelers: 21-10

Bygones! Seattle fans. ETA: I edited that to reflect the actual score, not my predicition from yesterday, since it looked like I was posting that post-game.

First of all, an appreciation.

I think the very fact that the young women sitting with me at work said, "Who?" when I said that Betty Friedan died says it all. They never read "The Feminine Mystique," they never had to. They are twenty-something women who went to college to have a career, not find a husband. Like me, they grew up assuming they would work for a living, and lead an independent lifestyle. Thank you Betty, thank you for questioning if there was more to life than caring for a home and family. Thank you for pushing the envelope, and having the courage to write and speak out about what so many women of your generation were feeling but not able to express.

Those of you who enjoy Michael K's irreverent lambasting of D-list celebs as much as I do, his site mentioned he is doing a guest stint tonight on Red Bar Radio. The show looks very cool, and is available for iTunes podcast.

I also forgot to mention that the story I'm involved in was updated last week. Please check out the latest installment of Just Waking from the fabulous Leesa. I can't wait until it's my turn again!! :)

Ok, so I am very tired, because I did my pal A a huge favor and switched to day shift today, so he could get someone to fill in for him but cover the evening. This meant I had to come back here for 7:30AM after leaving here at 10:30PM last night. Ickiness, especially since I have almost an hour commute. (Double ickiness when you factor in I couldn't resisting watching some of Steve Martin on SNL because I lurve him sooooo much!) Anyway, the bonus is I get to be home for a good part of the football game tonight! I have an awesome big new HD TV too. I shall bring home some good foodstuff for me and hubby. I hope there is enough beer! *gasp* Then America gets to discover how great Grey's Anatomy is, as it follows the game. Needless to say I am having a coffee.

Tomorrow, my biggest one turns 11. (I turn way older next week, more ickiness.) Since I set precedent with his sister, I will wax poetically in homage to him tomorrow. Even though he puts crayons in his pockets.

29 comments:

MK said...

wow, 11.
With hd tv can you really see each blade of (fake) grass on the field?

Anonymous said...

I believe the crayon came from littlest one.

MyUtopia said...

All of these amazing women are passing this year. Parks, King and now Friedan! I long for my generation to have inspiring women like them to lead us further down the road and to resurect the women's movement.

Anonymous said...

Parks, King, and Friedman are definately inspiring women whose work changed the world. I'm not sure Friedmans idea was that women can have everything. People, men and women, are not superheros and need to choose a career. Be that a career in the home or with an outside employer.
You say the 20-somethings don't need to read the book. You write, "Like me, they grew up assuming they would work for a living, and lead an independent lifestyle". I would argue that they do need to read the book. To achieve such a goal as you describe requires concious choices to get to the desired outcome. You can't just go blindly through life and hope it works. If your goal is to work for a living and lead an independent lifestyle you need to start working toward that goal before making other choices which are in direct conflict to where you want your life to go.

Jamie: said...

I will argue that they don't need to read the book. Gen X-ers are the first generation to have been told their entire lives that they can have it all, do it all, juggle family and career, etc. It's overwhelming the amount of choices we have compared to our parents.

I do believe that one can have both, not because I'm a silly, naiive 29-year old, but because my parents did it. Both my parents always worked, and were always involved in my life, my extracurriculars, etc. You say you have to choose betweeen a career in the home or in the workplace. I disagree.

Screw the book. Make your own kind of music, as Cass Elliot said. Why should I read someone else's opinion on how to live MY life? They didn't have my life. I have my life and plan on doing everything I choose to do - work, have a family, or both.

Giovanna said...

I would argue that they do need to read the book. To achieve such a goal as you describe requires concious choices to get to the desired outcome.

True. I guess that was just a bit of hyperbole to illustrate that the whole notion they now have a choice, one that isn't looked upon as a radical and foreign notion is a testament to her work. And I agree, Friedan never meant to say that we could have it all, that much is evident by how she took a stance against radical "anti-man" feminism. Thanks for posting and starting a dialog!

J, you know how I love to on and on about this topic... :p It's great that your parents made it work. But to some extetent that involves career choice and planning. Unfortunately, many high powered jobs make that family committment hard, and something eventually has to give.

MyUtopia, I thought the same thing as well, that we still have challenges to face regarding equal pay, and work-life balance that it would be wonderful if a new voice would emerge to help organize women instead of us arguing over who's better, those who stay home, and those who work.

@ hubby: You think? It was all four and the menu folded up. (I forgot to mention that. :p)

MK, I got the announcement this weekend, that little man is so handsome. You and B are blessed. I wasn't looking at grass, I wasamazed by all the tattooed biceps. yikes.

Jamie: said...

It's such a class-ist thing to say people have to choose though. Some people, nay, the MAJORITY of people can't afford to raise kids in a single-income household. Those upper-middle class (and beyond) that do - great! But to say you have to choose is almost like saying if you can't afford to stay home then you shouldn't have kids... and I think that's bullocks.

I could go on and on about this too, and I'm certain most of your readers think I'm just a single 20-something and have no idea what I'm talking about, but I don't care. I stand by my opinion, even if it's only because I hate being told what to do, and will go to any lengths to prove 'em wrong. *WEG*

Giovanna said...

It's such a class-ist thing to say people have to choose though. Some people, nay, the MAJORITY of people can't afford to raise kids in a single-income household.

Criminey, of course! That is what I am talking about when it comes to we have a long way to go. Just the fact that the norm is no longer "find a husband to take care of you while you have his babies and live happily ever after", that Freidan broke the silence of so many women who found themselves depressed and wanting more... that is all I was getting at. There are so many facets and avenues the subject of women's issues can take and they are all inter-related and dependent on each other in so many ways it's hard to just talk about one basic thing without getting into it all.

Anonymous said...

My original post was to counter to the point of "Like me, they grew up assuming they would work for a living, and lead an independent lifestyle". It is impossible to achieve this goal of an independent lifestyle if you have previously chosen to create dependents.
As to your point on this being a class-ist thing, it is not my intention to address the socioeconomic issues related to this topic. One of the links in Giovanna’s blog includes the following criticism. “The book has been the subject of controversy for several reasons including the fact that the book does not address the lives of poor white women and women of color. Bell Hooks argues that the feminist movement, though claiming to speak for all women, is dominated by white, upper/middle class interests and perspectives. For instance, when Friedan and others argue that women need to leave the domestic sphere and get jobs, Bell Hooks points out that lower-class women have always had to work; domestic life is, for them, a luxury."
That my written response to a white middle class woman’s blog, which is read by white middle class women, is from a white middle class perspective should not be surprising.
Sadly it is often necessary for people to work outside the home when they would prefer to choose a career at home raising a family. If I may edit from my previous post… People, men and women, are not superheros and need to choose a PRIMARY career. Be that a career in the home or with an outside employer.

It is my observation, albeit anecdotal, that women who choose both paths eventually begin to feel like failures on one front or the other, or both. Choosing a primary career and a secondary career may alleviate some of that discontent. I will not opine as to which should be primary and which should be secondary because that would be a personal choice. But, to believe that one can commit 100% to both outside career and homemaker career is folly. They will need to keep their focus on which is the most important to them and allow themselves some forgiveness when they fall short, as they most likely will, on the secondary career lest they “will be seeking solution in tranquilizers and psychoanalysis” yet again.

MyUtopia said...

bell hooks points out that lower-class women have always had to work; domestic life is, for them, a luxury."--

Thank you for pointing this out. My parents both had to work and even when my mother was at home she did odds and ends jobs like cleaning peoples homes or running a daycare. By the time my sister was 4 and I was 10, she worked full time as an office manager. She was able to do this because we all pitched it and her work allowed for us to be there after school. I do think it is possible to do both. Tell me one mother whether she works outside of the house or stays home for work is happy with the either outcome. I feel that as women, we try to do it all and often fail in an exhausted heap. As a housewife I tried to make everything perfect, it was my job and I took it seriously. Though no matter how hard I worked at it I was never satisfied. Now working outside of the home I find I am the same way and am never satisfied.

An aside, bell hooks is like ee cummings, lower case.

Jamie: said...

Maybe my mother kept her full-time job/full-time single mom independent woman balance because she raised independent kids. I'm sorry I don't get your superhero comment, the original or the revised, but I don't think it's outside the realm of normalcy to do both. It's not FOLLY to everyone. And if women, and people in general, get too busy and feel like failures, well of course something has to give - we make those choices even without kids, but I don't think it's as drastic as all that. I don't think it's necessary to feel like a failure - just adjust and go on.

When I was putting myself through private university, and waiting tables 40 hours a week, doing work study 10 hours a week, plus all my classes, plus rehearsals (I was a theater major) - yes, something had to give, whether it be a play that I really wanted to do, or dropping a class that was so hard I didn't have the time to study and get the grade I needed for my scholarship. Them's the breaks. Life is full of disappointments, but even though I could have gone to public school for free, I wanted to where I went, and major in what I did, and even though I'm still paying for my education, 10 years later, I'm not sorry I did it. I believe the same to be true for any life choice - marriage, career, family, etc. People make time for what's important to them, and if all of the above is important to me, I intend to do all of the above. And it won't make me a bad employee, or a bad mother, but a juggler and a superhero, to use your term.

Giovanna said...

I've never had this much discussion before! Coolness.

Personally, we are preaching to the choir here. J, I don't think anon, Kelly, or I are trying to speak for you, or imply a bleak future for anyone who expects to "have it all." That said, anon's anectdotal evidence is real, from my experience, from the women I am friends with and talk with, and from the multitude of books and articles I have now digested on the "midlife" crossroads women in their 30's and 40's face. One of them, which I really think you and Gen should read is "Midlife Crisis at 30- How the Stakes Have Changed for a New Generation-And What to Do About It" by Lia Macko and Kerry Rubin. Though they too might tick you off with what they have to say.

Where anon is righ is that you have to be educated, armed, and prepared for what you decide to do, be it work, home, both... choice or need, or else yes, you stand to be disappointed or worse, falling off the horse unable to get back on. This is where you are right to stand to your convictions Jamie, if you indeed have the proper perspective, experience, and drive to make what you want happen.

I pose this question to you though, and I don't want you to answer really. I saw my mother through a *much* different pair of eyes after I found myself with three children and felt like a "failure" for not being able to "do it all". I actually talked to her at that stage, woman to woman, and heard about her struggles and doubts. Have you ever had such a conversation with her? (Lot's of wine helps, btw. LOL)

Anyway. Way to go girls. Be strong.

Jamie: said...

"Though they too might tick you off with what they have to say."

I think I'll pass. I don't like reading books that tick me off. I don't have time in my busy life, lol - same reason I don't watch the news. See? That's me giving up something 'cause I don't have time for it, even though I would probably learn a lot and better myself.

*wink*

Jamie: said...

ps> yes, I do always want the last word.

Btw, how stoked am I that we get to ruffle up NYC in a mere 3 weeks? Please say I can take you to Chumley's.

MyUtopia said...

I think we have just done what Betty would have wanted. She wanted women to talk about these issues that are personal and sometimes difficult to discuss. Very cool ladies! Annon...I am assuming you are a lady :)

Anonymous said...

I think Giovanna got my point in my original post which was that the twenty-somethings should read the book because they need to make choices in order to navigate their life to the ultimate goal they have chosen. The choices, what ever they may be, should be as informed as possible. They can change over time but each change should still be informed.

I never intended to indicate that I thought anyone would be a bad employee, or a bad mother if that person focused on a primary career and put less stress on the secondary and even a tertiary career. Set clear expectations for yourself, your family, your employer and anyone else involved and everyone will be happy.

If you throw 3 oranges in the air and you can focus on keeping all 3 there, you will be juggling. If you throw 3 in the air and drop one or two, will you still be juggling? Dropping a portion of your commitments after they’ve been made is much like dropping one of the oranges when it is in the air; it is not juggling. Juggling is to commit to several items and to understand where you need to focus your time and energy in order to keep everyone / everything happy at the same time or at least when it’s needed. Responsibility and maturity is the ability to choose carefully how many items you put in the air for your juggling act. But insight is the most important thing for happiness. Insight is knowing that you’re going to drop a lot of oranges over the years and that’s okay because it’s all part of the process.

Ladies, this has been cool and fun. Myutopia, actually I’m a 40-something man. Married with a wonderful wife and 3 kids. Although I am fortunate enough to make a sufficient amount of money my wife works part time and does a fabulous job. I deal with her dropped oranges and she deals with mine.

Giovanna, happy birthday to your biggest one and to you too.

Jamie: said...

I completely assumed you were a man.

It's not that I didn't get your point. I resent being told that I should read a book, or should choose between children or a career, or should do anything really. And also that choosing to juggle, even drop a couple of oranges, is misinformed or irresponsible or immature.

I am none of those things, and I will make my own choices, with my mate, and without the help of an outdated book written by someone who has never met me, or made my decisions.

G, I know you love the dialogue. And FWIW, I think you're a great juggler, and a great wife and mother. I hope I haven't offended anyone by stating my completey biased opinion. I'm not feeling all that diplomatic today, and I am weary of being told repeatedly (and not just by this post) that I couldn't possibly understand.

However, I have to get some work done now, so I must take leave of this distraction for now.

G, you're the best. See you soon! XOXOX

Giovanna said...

Well thank you! Come back and stir the pot anytime. Hee.

MyUtopia said...

Anon, to be honest you can never understand then this issue. Just as I can never understand what it is to be a man you can't say what it is like to be a woman facing these issues. You can only see and hear what your wife and other women in your life say and do. There is a big differance.

I think that the book is a good read in the sense that it is always important to one, be reminded of how far we have come and two, to be reminded that we do have options. That was Betty's whole point, that it is okay to think about ourselves and what makes us happy. If being a working mom makes you happy and more fulfilled then you should have that choice regardless of what society thinks.

Jamie I totally get you, I don't like being told to do things either! : )

Anonymous said...

"I am weary of being told repeatedly (and not just by this post) that I couldn't possibly understand."

Jamie, I never said that you couldn't possibly understand. I don't think I implied it either. If you perceived that in my writing I'm sorry.

Bee said...

I won't even get started on the Mexican-American women point of view!

I loved this discussion. Thank you.

Jobee said...

My problem with the reoccuring theme of "having it all" is 1) what is "all"; and 2) who says anyone is entitled to it all?

Life is getting harder each day and I think a lot of what makes it hard is the idea that everyone wants "more" or "better". Most of the people I know who are happy in life are giving, spiritual, generous and have a personal satisfaction in their everyday activities - happy in what they have accomplished and looking forward to what more they can do.

Some of the "wanting of it all" is selfishness, greed and inflated ego. Hopefully the 20-somethings will discover this through yoga and aromatherapy and seek what is truly important to them.

Giovanna said...

Most of the people I know who are happy in life are giving, spiritual, generous and have a personal satisfaction in their everyday activities - happy in what they have accomplished and looking forward to what more they can do.

And that my friend, will be the topic of a whole 'nother post. I heard a great "On Point" last week on happiness. :p

I can only speak for myself and the women I know, but in essence the "having it all" thing for us is a sense of happiness and fulfillment, not two SUV's in the driveway. Neither one thing or the other makes us completely satisfied. It's a catch 22.

Seriously, I am so glad I hit a subject that people cared so much about to put their 0.02 in. :)

*huggles*
G.

Jamie: said...

Wow, was I just called selfish, greedy, and egotistical all in one sentence? I'd better go get out my aromatherapy candle and yoga mat.

Daniel said...

Not sure if I should jump into the fray or not...

Or if there is even any fray left.

I had recently taken a writing course taught by a wonderful writer. She had grown up in the sixties and is an old school feminist. She told me that what is going to take the feminist movement to the next level is men.

I thought she was joking. But the more I thought about it, the more it started resonating with me.

I believe that woman are still under-payed. I believe that we have not achieved equal opportunity.

More importantly what is driving my fire in this is that I want to have it all too. I want to be part of my children's lives. I want to be a co-nurturer to them. I want to be there when they take their first steps, hit their first ball, ride their first bike. But in our household I make more than my wife does. She is degreed, I am not (well not yet.) She achieved the level of director. I am just a manager.

Yet her contributions were not paid at the same rate as mine so she chose to stay home. And I work. And yet I would trade places with her if I could. If we were paid equally. If her skills were as equally compensated as mine. If that were the case we could time share our lives, alternately working and staying home with the children.

But that is not the life I can have. It is not the choice I have made for myself. My wife is putting her career on hold for our children, it is a sacrifice for her, and not an easy choice for her. If circumstances were different I would have staid home. But we have to live with the terms of life in this generation.

And just so you know, we could both work, send the kids off to daycare, and have a net gain after that second mortgage (that is what daycare amounts to for two children) paid. But is that net gain worth it to have someone else spend more time with your children than you do? Our choice was to spend that time with our children. Others may choose differently.

So equal pay for women runs to the core for me. It means that my sons with their wives will be able to share equally in the burden of providing for their children, without being forced to choose.

My nickels worth...

:: jozjozjoz :: said...

I echo your sentiments.

The world has lost a treasure with the passing of Betty Friedan.

Anonymous said...

Wow, nice job G!

Joz, how fortunate for you that you had the opportunity to meet her.

Daniel, I agree wholehartedly. Most women don't realize that men are actually giving up a huge part of their lives by going to work. We miss a good portion of our children’s lives. But that's what's expected of us. Giovanna had no idea how I felt about the things I was missing until I told her. It was inconceivable that I, a man, would feel that way. And even though I’ve been taking care of the kids nights and weekends for 11 years she still thinks I don’t know how to do it (or that she does it better) because she’s the mother. .

At the time our first child was born she didn’t want to put him into daycare. She and I were making about the same $ on a full time basis but we knew what her max $ were and what my max $ were and that she could, in her field, work part time but I couldn't. So WE decided that I would continue to work full-time and she would go part-time.

I guess I need to return your birthday SUV

Bygones G

Jobee, This line is so great!!! “My problem with the reoccuring theme of "having it all" is 1) what is "all"; and 2) who says anyone is entitled to it all?” I think that in addition to aroma therapy and yoga, a lot of the enlightenment of which you speak will come with maturity and life experience. I look back on my life now and think about all the things I could have done differently had I been mature enough at the time.

Myutopia, it is a shame that your opinion toward Anonymous seems to have changed when he revealed that he was a man. His opinions were, from my male point of view, very objective and non-judgmental. And when you say “Tell me one mother whether she works outside of the house or stays home for work is happy with the either outcome.” As Daniel pointed out, this can be said for the man too.

Jamie, such anger **ducks**

Dave

Giovanna said...

I guess I need to return your birthday SUV

Just make sure you exchange it for diamond earrings then. ;-)

(I think I need to switch to haloscan for comments they have emotocons. LOL)

Jobee the insulting said...

"I can only speak for myself and the women I know, but in essence the "having it all" thing for us is a sense of happiness and fulfillment, not two SUV's in the driveway. Neither one thing or the other makes us completely satisfied. It's a catch 22."

G - this is what I don't get? What are the "one thing or the other" that does not give you a sense of happiness and fulfillment? Work and kids? Do you not like your work or your kids? (or is it work and married life?)but you have all and were free to could choose all, so what are you griping about? As far as I know, each child is healthy and has not committed major crime, nor have there been any mysterious deaths at your work, so why are you not satisified?

And I think it ironic that you were the first to mention HDTV, SUV and diamond earrings. Perhaps you need some time with the pantless monks?

Jamie - didn't mean all 20-somethings - if anything it's nice to see that this generation of young folk are more politically active, creative, culturally aware, etc - perhaps a benefit of the internet.