Have you felt the pressure of the lies about wanting it all? One of the few things that makes me about half crazy frustrated at the mere mention of the subject is GENDER EQUALITY.
Now, bear in mind, I’m NOT talking about equal pay for equal work. I’m also not saying that there aren’t bad men out there who treat women as “less than.” But let’s stop complaining about it in America as if it still existed the way it used to. The data doesn’t lie: more and more women want OUT of the workplace than want to climb the corporate ladder. Check the research.
And just so you know, you should really read that research on women in the workplace. We typically get equal pay for equal work, but we are also more interested in cutting our hours, taking our kid to the doctor, and “being there” when they need us than advancement up the corporate ladder (so understand that a lot of us are NOT working equally – the men will stay late, the women will go to soccer practice or take their kid to the doctor). Yes, I think girls can do anything – and they should. But if they are moms, things look a little different. And as we heard from this executive recently, and this one, and check this article from research from people smarter than me at UC, who show why, as women, we simply don’t really “have it all” even when we DO have the high powered executive position. Something suffers – and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I know there are those that disagree – but they shouldn’t prescribe for us an attitude of “leaning in” any more than WE should say all women need to stay home.
And I want to go on record to say, IT IS OKAY to not work, work part time, or work full time.
It’s also okay to put your kids over your job. It’s okay to care less about climbing the corporate ladder and competing with others to be on the top spot than you do about how your kids are doing in school, and trying to be there for them when they need your help with homework. It’s okay to work while your kids are in school, and choose to be there when they need you. But don’t expect to be treated the same as the man who stayed three more hours while you went to basketball practice.
But there are those out there with an agenda, and feel like it is their job to tear down the American family in an effort to push women’s rights in the work place. And they have a few smart tactics, but their research is flawed and flat out wrong in some cases. Check this secular research on the basic differences in flirting behavior between men and women. From the first few days after birth, there are gender differences, even!
And then there’s about a bazillion people trying to prove that men and women are not different, using all sorts of studies on promiscuity, sexual desire, and other things. The truth is, as quickly as the groups trying to say boys and girls are the same are revealing research, so are those who show that it just isn’t true. There’s research now that shows there are brain and behavior differences between the genders across nations and even species.
That is NOT to say, however, that just because there are a ton of similarities between men and women (and THANK GOD that there are, or we wouldn’t be able to relate at all, probably – I mean, do you have a deep relationship with other species?) that there aren’t also differences. It’s okay to admit both things are true – we have similarities, and we have differences. Okay. Enough already.
As for me, as a woman, I’ve been a high-level manager in a male-dominated field, holding down a career I loved – and was never treated as unequal in – because I could speak the language of respect. I also got along great with the women I worked with. And I quit after I had my son to work part time because the job wasn’t as important to me as spending time with him was. It was also an uber-easy choice, one I don’t regret one bit. And this was over 20 years ago. 🙂
Please know I’m also NOT referring to women who have to work to make ends meet. I’m also NOT judging husbands or their wives who choose to have Dad at home with the kiddos. Unlike a recent well-known pastor, I do not consider these things “man fails.” If you and your husband are in agreement, go for it.
I’m not saying that there aren’t gender biases out there – there are. Just like there are women who say men are stupid – we’re not innocent here either.
Just like there are dictatorial leaders, bad bosses, and lousy employees, the way people treat other people always comes down to the condition of their heart – and isn’t always to be blamed on gender.
Let’s check the data and understand that the reason more women aren’t executives and board members is simple: We WANT to do something else – be with our kids. We realize we cannot have it all.
Gramma and Dale Carnegie were right when they said you could catch a whole lot more flies with honey than vinegar.
Check this awesome video from Joseph Grenny (he’s brilliant) that comes at what we teach in Daughters of Sarah and The Respect Dare in a different way:
Anyway, dare you today to stop taking everything so personally and blaming the way you are treated on other people and their supposed thoughts about you.
Instead, choose to take responsibility for your actions and if you don’t like your world, change it. But do it the right way.
Respectfully – regardless of whether you are dealing with a man, a woman, a teenager, or a five year old.
Ask a question instead of making an accusation like the guy in the video does with his kid.
Stop assuming you know what other people are thinking – like the story in Dare 39 from The Respect Dare, we think there’s just ONE way of looking at things – and we are wrong every single time. We’re not God. We don’t know. And we so very often have the wrong filters.
Aaaaannndd… I want to go on record today to say this:
It’s okay to stop “wanting it all” and hang out with your kids. Raise them. Invest in them. When you retire, these are the people you will want to spend time with. The questions then become, “Will they know you? Will you know them? Will you want to spend time together?”
Love to you,