11 June 2009

Oh, HELL no

Wonder what's got me fired up this morning? Here's a little hint:

"Why Bosses are Right to Distrust Women Who Don't Want Children."

W. T. F.

Full Disclosure: I do not have children. At various points in my past - and for long intervals - it would have been entirely inappropriate for me to have had a child and so I actively avoided pregnancy. When all the stars did finally align and my life straightened out, it turned out I couldn't have children - probably was never able even when I was spending a freaking fortune on Pills. To all you Pfizer stockholders out there, You're Welcome.

I also never felt that deep maternal spark that drives women to crave, to absolutely need children. I understand that I am in the minority, that many - if not most - women who can't have children feel horribly cheated and go to great lengths, at great personal risk - financial, medical, emotional, marital, you name it - to have a traditional family. I totally get that. I don't share it, but I get it. The point is, Hub and I chose to accept that we would not have children and we're fine with it.

This woman's argument is that women who choose not to have children are less responsible at work, turning up late and hungover. Really? Because the majority of women I've worked with over the last year have been childless. And on the two occasions when someone has shown up wildly hung over? In both cases they were mothers. Clearly having passed a placenta does not render you immune to The Demon Rum.

The author of this article also profiles childless-by-choice women as less loyal, less organized, less able to deal with crises, selfish and less generous.

Really? Maybe things in her society are completely backward from the society in which I live, but around here childless women are no less likely to work late, come into the office early, work through lunch, fight fires, organize office get-togethers, and remain loyal to an employer. And, believe me, they are no more or less likely to participate in office bitch-fests.

The uncited "research" to which she refers states that in the workplace, the childless woman is seen as odd and cold.

Apparently it did not occur to anyone involved in the research that childless women are not odd, they are different from what the "researches" and author apparently are accustom to.

You probably don't know many Buddhists. Are they odd or can you just not relate to them because they're different from most people in this predominantly Christian country/context?

You probably don't know many people who play the bagpipes. Because they've taken a less traveled musical path (than the more common pianists and violinists) are they odd or are they able to hear beauty where you only hear noise?

You probably don't know many women who own their own businesses. Do they contribute less to society because they have bucked conventionality and struck out on their own?

If a woman gets to a certain age and thinks, "Oh, crap, I'd better have a baby now or I'll miss out." - what are the chances that she's going to be a really great mother? She's having a baby because she's afraid of missing the boat. So after 9 months is she automatically gifted with "an essential humanity" because she's given birth, even if she had a child for selfish reasons?

What about women who have kids because they just think they're supposed to? I know plenty of women who have had children because they fell in love, got married, and were told by society that the next step was a family.

So they did it because they were supposed to, not necessarily because they wanted to. Are they More Human than women who understand and accept that maybe they might not make a great parent and decide to remain childless? Which is more humane? Which is more compassionate?

My childless colleagues and I don't go around screaming, "Discrimination!" when we have to cover for someone with sick kids. It's life. My life is different from your life, which is different from the next readers life.

So here's MY question: Why does this person feel it necessary to publicly poke a sharp stick at childless women? What is her motivation? If anyone in this scenario is lacking an essential humanity, it is her.

18 comments:

Country Girl said...

WHY in the hell are you reading this shit? WHYWHYWHYWHY? Wait until I get my shoes on and I'll go beat this woman's ass. After I get my three kids to soccer/basketball/skating practice.

Why Mom Drinks Rum said...

What a stupid waste of time! Good grief.

In my vast (not really) experience the AGE of the person was a bigger factor in regards to hangovers. Actually, receptionist 2.0 (we are on 4.0 right now) actually came in still drunk once. It was most amusing.

Anyway...I didn't have that huge *MUST PROCREATE* thing either...but I knew I was going to have at least one if able. Turns out I was able. Twice. Sometimes I look at couples who don't have kids (either by choice or by circumstance)and think, "Huh. That would be fun too."

And yes. I love my kids. I even feed them. See..>GOOD MOM.

Thanks for visiting!
SITS

Mrs. Gamgee said...

I don't know where you found that article but it's obviously crap! There are 5 of us on our leadership team. Three have kids, two don't. The ones without kids have never shown up to work hungover, while two the ones with kids have. And out of the five of us, the least commited to the company would be the one with the oldest child... grrr... I hate it when people who have never walked another's road make crap statements like that. Have you burned that article yet?

Governor Jen said...

I'm with countrygirl. Why are you reading this crap? And giving it credence? It's almost as bad as the working mom vs stay-at-home mom "debates". Pointless.

Alicia said...

Wow, what a hag!! Her mom probably didn't want her! That's a bunch of poop...

Comet Girl said...

Jealousy? Inadequacy? I haven’t a clue as to this woman’s motivation or where she got her “random sample” from which she did her study. Speaking as a woman, who for the better part of my life, assumed, for very goods reasons, that I would NEVER be a mommy. Through the grace of God and a very faulty memory for taking pills, I did what I thought I would never do. I LOVE being a mother but I never longed for it. I have worked all but 4 years of my adult life childless. I’m here to tell you when you have no one to count on but yourself you have all the motivation you need to show up and be a productive member of the team. Many a day has been spent covering for some woman whose child was sick and not understanding why her husband couldn’t do it. Now as a mother I know, when your baby is sick no one can take better care of them than you. I’ve missed A LOT more work since having a child, albeit, not from hangovers. Given the first chance, I would be off like a prom dress from this oppressive job that keeps me from my baby everyday and become the best June Cleaver you’ve ever seen. So how’s that for loyalty and selflessness?

Laurel said...

Wow, that is an insulting load of BS. Also, totally not true, whatever the "research" claims. In my field - engineering - women with children are widely considered unreliable and are much less likely to be hired or put on critical projects because they *gasp* might have other priorities. It's just as unfair and ridiculous as this article. Regarding your question, the only answer I can come up with is self-justification because she is prejudiced herself.

melscolorfulmetaphors said...

My theory (fwiw)

The author of this article, along with Gloria Steinem and Martha Stewart, works for a secret three letter government agency whose sole responsibility is to keep women in this country so off balance so that we don't ever realize or take advantage of the power that we really have. WTF indeed.

And I have cookies for you. Need your address again.

Merisi said...

Oh dear, Carol seems to have one of those well-paid jobs from tabloid-hell! There must be a lot of money in it, though, otherwise why should a sane person want to write such frivolous articles? (Disclosure: I read the first paragraph only, then clicked on the list of her previous articles, all of the same caliber.)

I hope you did not really get angry over such silliness, we woman have better fish to fry!

Roxane said...

She is clearly the sperm that should have been swallowed! ...
I didn't know that being without a child meant having to be an alcoholic! What about those who want them but are infertile?! ugh... I hate people like that!

Indigo said...

I totally agree, absolutely pointless. I don't know why people feel the need to poke at childess women, it's so wrong. Not until I battled infertility did I realize just how many times people would ask "when we were having kids" without any real reason other than lack of conversation, and that perhaps we didn't have kids for a good reason and that it might have been hurtful to keep reminding me over and over again how childless we were.

hswilkinson said...

I quite enjoy being the fun aunt. I spoil my boys, THEN GIVE THEM BACK. I then go home and sleep. All night.

Mrs Zeee said...

I haven't read the article yet, but I am going to now. I definitely have a few thoughts:
1) Sounds like the author is an unhappy mommy who is justifying her own misery
2) As a working mother I feel that quite the opposite is true. BEFORE I had kids I would always be at work on time, stay late, check my blackberry, be "on" and focused all day at the office... Now that I've got a child to go home to, I am on a flexible schedule and less focused on my job. And I know that I am not alone because I see the same behavior in my female coworkers who have children.

I am surprised at the article's argument bc I was totally not expecting that angle.

Thanks for the post -- I always love a heated discussion. Now curiosity is killing me enough to read the piece ASAP.

Anonymous said...

I'll be perfectly honest. The reason my last three children were conceived was because I thought that for sure I was going to go to hell if I didn't do what the church said and have tons of children.

I LOVE my children and am very glad they are here, but I had the last 2 (the third one didn't make it) because I felt pressured by society. My first one was conceived because I was young, drunk and stupid. The only one that was planned for was my 2nd child, and there was still some of that "I have to do this or God will send me straight to hell". It's irrational. I don't hold it against the church (I actually hold it against my dad more). And I've made peace with the whole of it.

Let me restate, I do not regret having any of my children, but I did feel pressured to have them.

Kylie

Angel said...

I totally agree with you on this one. While I Would LOVE to have a child. Right now it is not a good time for me. My fiancee and I are in separate areas of the country. I am going to school and would not be home when the baby needed me. I also while I am not saying this about all people with kids the mothers at my job (There is really only two but) They are ALWAYS late to work, ALWAYS leaving early. They both TOTALLY take advantage of the mother card.

I HAVE NEVER come to work drunk, and according to that woman I should, and according to the surveys because I am in college that doubles it!

I think that perhaps she should have done a little more research first!

Anyways that's my two cents!

Angel

*Mingle*

Chicago Sarah said...

Yech. I'm not reading the article, because I'm already seeing red. I'm childless by choice, and it amazes me how stupid people are. A lot of people assume my husband & I can't have children, and we just don't bother to correct them. Maybe we can't. We haven't tried.

It's been my experience as a professional that without the "kids card" to pull, I work longer and am expected to do more to make up for the people enjoying the family-friendly workplace. ha, that's my research I guess. n=1 :)

Ginee Scabrough said...

I would say they don't like thier lives too. The grass is green and all that. I am a mom of 3 I could have been content to be a mom of none. I felt it was the right thing to do and yea, I am not the greatest mom, but it is good for me to be one and hopefully I am not ruining America's next generation. Yet I teach and I am doing better than a lot of my student's moms.

Cold Spaghetti said...

Wow, thanks Daily Mail UK and Carol Sarler!

'Cause that's what we really need! ANOTHER article by a woman trashing women! YEAH TEAM.