Does a womans choice to marry and motherhood limit….

 

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http://www.katherinescorner.com

 

Lynn Doyle, a talk show host for Comcast did a show for the 91st anniversary of ‘Women’s Equality Day.’  She posed the question, “Does a woman’s choice to marry and motherhood limit her chances to be equal?”

I have been pondering this question for years.  I’m still pondering.

Question Mark

I do not think that motherhood limited my choices. I would say it did however limit my time.  I was hired for every job I wanted. I received nearly every promotion I applied for (there were two I didn’t get and the reason shocked me but that is for another post)  and I started several businesses. Like most working mothers, I was full of guilt.

I was the first female assistant manager of a Pizza Hut Restaurant in Newport, Rhode Island in 1978.  I had to wear a red dress. The male management wore black pants, white shirts and red ties. It is so surreal to even write that, now.  The ‘manager’ was forever trying to get me to climb the ladder steps into the attic of the restaurant. I was so naïve I fell for it the first few times.  After that I just said no. That nasty manager would ‘try’ to get me to quit by calling me into work for imagined emergencies and I would have to scramble for a sitter.  I realized what he was doing and began to say no to him.  He was being teased by other managers because he had to work with a female assistant manager, the poor thing.

My husband was in the Navy and away ‘at sea’ at that time.  I was the mother of a three- year- old daughter and a 10 month- old- son.  The other Navy wives talked about me and gave me dirty looks because I left my kids with a babysitter while I worked.  Oh those were the days.

That manager was eventually fired for stealing money (which he tried to pathetically blame on me.)  Shortly after the new manager arrived I moved back to the Philadelphia area.  I was hired at a Pizza Hut there, soon found out I was expecting again and the manager was so kind.  He was a family man with a wife and children.  The rest of the employees were young adults and could not do enough for me. Believe it or not I had a portable crib in the back room and the baby came to work with me while I was breast feeding.

I went pretty far with that company and must say for a single mother (which I suddenly was) the benefits and salary were great.  Before I left the company, there were many women in leadership positions. The uniform changed to grey pants and white shirts for all management.

One thing I did notice about some of those other women was their meanness.  I had no idea what exactly made them so aggressive.  Where they bitter because of the climb (the one up the ladder in a dress) or did they simply think they had to be aggressive so men would not push them around.

When I went to work for my area’s largest newspaper as a specialty advertising rep I was a bit taken back by the ‘older’ newspaper men that clearly despised women in any leadership position.  I mainly ignored them but did have to push back pretty hard a few times.  Most of the women in management positions at this newspaper also seemed overly aggressive and just plain mean.  I ignored them for the most part as well but being as sensitive as I am it was difficult at times.

Newspaper photo

As an author, I have been surprised, no shocked at the support of other writers, especially other women writers.  For the first time in my life I am able to enjoy and share my ups and downs and not be made to feel like a cry-baby.  I cannot help but wonder if this is a shift in other industries as well. Oh there are still the ‘mean’ girls out there.   Now a day’s it is the moms that make the choice to stay home with or home school their children that get ridiculed by some mean working moms. They are too young to remember the days of climbing ladders, in dresses.

What remains the same is the guilt that mothers feel no matter what choice they make.

There are mean girls on both sides of the political aisle. There are still men on both sides of the political aisle that bully women in politics. The good news is women are being elected. The bullying could be stopped if women on both sides of the fence would just put their foot down and say enough.

My answer to Lynn’s question has to be no.  The choice to marry and/or have children does not limit a women’s chance to be equal. Women all over the world have successful careers, marriages and children.

There is more..

12 Responses to “Does a womans choice to marry and motherhood limit….”

  • The question really does arise from the idea that limitations on time limit the time available to be a workaholic. Who wants to be equal? I wanted to be BETTER. In a lot of cases, I think I succeeded, too. But I didn’t have children. I do think that anyone who has primary responsibility for kids can’t put in the same number of hours as someone who doesn’t have caregiver duties. It’s just the way things are. So if success is measure that way, it would be a limitation. But is that really the definition of success? I’m kind of thinking out loud here so maybe it doesn’t make sense. 😉

  • I wish I could stay home with my son, but that’s not an option. Fortunately, work in flexible. Too bad some people have to show their thoughts in mean ways. It’s so easy to be accepting and inclusive. A lot less stressful, too.

    Best,
    Silvia @
    SilviaWrites

  • I admire you for taking on a controversial topic. I made a choice to stay home with my children and because if it, I completely changed my career path. All I have to do is look at the adults they have become, and I have no regrets. It is about choices and what is best for you and your family…not about equality. That is a separate topic. Thanks for sharing on the Thursday Blog Hop.

  • I was a stay-at-home mom, making the choice to forgo a career to raise my kids. As much as some would think it was an old-fashioned and anti-feminist option, I felt empowered that I was there for my kids.

    I have also found the women writers community to be incredibly supportive!

    • I often wish that I made the choice to stay home. When I had 3 grandchildren born within six months (two daughters and
      daughter-in-law) I made the decision to leave my career to care for them during the day and take classes at night so
      I could change careers. Career wise it was an awful decision (that economy thing happened) but I am happier now in my new
      career choice.
      As far as my grandchildren they gave me the gift of so many firsts I didn’t experience with my own.

  • We have traveled such a similar path. I do feel as I do more of what I love I have less concern for what anybody thinks. The times have changed, but we’re still a long way from equal, in my opinion.
    Good post!
    b

    • Thank you Barbara. We sure have traveled similar paths. I am definitely less sensitive
      about what people think these days. A few bad reviews toughened me up:)
      I think we are equal as far as we can achieve whatever position we put our mind to but
      yes we have some catching up to do compensation wise in some fields.

  • Doreen,

    Excellent commentary. Glad you finally found an acceptance with the author community. I agree there are still a few mean girls out there, but for the most part we are a supportive bunch. Have you thought to make Mr Ladder Boss the villain in a future novel?

    Keep up the good work.

    Kathleen

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