So I’m sitting at who could potentially be my new boss’s office, and I experienced something I think may be common for many job seekers like me: discovering a boss who has a “philosophy”: how the world works, how the company moves along, what my career trajectory will look like, and, (in my case), why I should put off having kids if I work there.
Huh? Yeah, I know. Kind of an interesting twist there. I had asked if this job is family-friendly. She immediately narrowed her eyes and asked if I was pregnant, or trying to be.
“Um, no. But I’d like to know if colleagues here have kids, and if it’s a company that offers maternity leave.” I said. I was a little taken aback by her forward question, but figured it was a valid concern.
“So many young girls think as soon they start a new job they can pop out some kids, and most of them leave work and don’t come back. THEN they bitch and complain because they don’t get respect at the workplace, or they don’t make enough, or blah-de-blah-blah.” she replied. She went on.
“You wanna know why this feminist movement doesn’t work? Because too many women leave the workplace. They want equality, but then they all run back to their little squirrel houses. Do me a favor. Don’t have kids yet. Better yet, don’t have them. If you HAVE to, have one. That way, it’ll get everything it wants, and you get everything YOU want. Any other questions?”
“No.” I replied. I was too dumbfounded by her response, I, sadly, was sat speechless.
Was this a crazy response? I wasn’t sure at the time. I SO wanted to say: “Well, ma’am, the reason why you think this ‘feminist’ movement isn’t ‘working’, as you say, may not be about women leaving the workforce, but really about the lack of support women receive when they do leave and decided to return. We have it hard enough without women keeping other women down with their own frivolous disdain for home-moms.”
But, alas, I wouldn’t have gotten the job. And the truth was, I needed it.
A couple of posts ago, I discussed this topic in more detail. While there’s nothing wrong with tending to your children the way you want, there’s also an inherent disdain from working women of those who’d rather take time off to tend house. That, in essence, is not what the heart of feminism really is. It’s about SUPPORT for each other in whatever decisions we make. As we modern women have realized: it’s also a hard, thankless job being a stay-at-home mom. We have to give it to our mothers on that.
So, ladies, let’s not look down on one another for taking the seemingly ‘anti-feminist’ path away from work life. It’s about personal choice, and supporting other women. Let’s shop and do business with female-run companies. Let’s not thumb our noses at women who have a gap in their resumes because of motherhood. Let’s not treat maternity leave as a “privilege” but a right. Maybe then this boss might not have those beliefs, or that crazy hair!