As a disclaimer, what follows is in no way a direct response to either of the gentlemen who submitted the “30 Seconds” posts that I will reference. A man from Smyrna submitted the following statement: “Just like the man from Smithville. Let a Woman do a mans job & she'll screw it up. I think Jeff should of retained rights to 30 seconds.” It's just the spark that prompted these thoughts.
First, what's a man's job or a woman's job? I suppose a “job” specifically for men would to provide the means necessary for procreation, and a “job” for a woman that a man couldn't do would be to carry a fetus. Other than those – which I wouldn't even consider jobs – it's pretty much an even playing field.
Sure, apparently women are paid 77 cents to a man's dollar, but I've yet to experience that first-hand, those are just statistics I've read (but I'm not saying it can't be the case). Both men and women can be CEOs, managers, entry level clerical workers, nurses, doctors, engineers, store clerks, bus drivers … you name it. Was this always the case? No, I get that.
It's not a woman’s rights issue for me. I don't need anyone to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in order for me to know that I am equal to a man. No extra legislation will change that for me. I was born with the same natural rights as anyone else; man, woman, or transgendered.
Yeah, I'm a woman. I can cook, I have a nail polish collection that is absolutely ridiculous, and I've seen every episode of The Golden Girls. But I can also swing a hammer, remove a spider from my ceiling – albeit reluctantly – and I can handle myself alone in the woods (equipped of course with a handy pocket knife and other necessary tools).
I don't take offense to the phrases “woman's job” or “man's job,” because it's all your prerogative, and I'm not one to easily become offended. It's just interesting how some folks see things that way.
What's also pretty interesting is how people believe extra legislation will help anything. I suppose here I'm referring to women who push for equal rights. You were born with them, ladies. If you aren't cognizant of who you are as a person, you're not going to get all that far. If you truly think the ratification of some sort of amendment is going to magically make you equal to a man, you're delusional.
Sure, men and women absolutely have varying strengths and weaknesses. I don't know how to fix a washing machine. If I wanted to learn, I'd rock it. I know plenty of men who can't cook – at least not well.
Reverting back to the post that prompted me to write about this – poor grammar aside – I disagree that there are man's jobs and woman's jobs. If I did adhere to this idea, however, I would agree with you. Give a woman a man's job, and she very well might screw it up. Royally. Give a man a woman's job and chances are he'll mess it up too.
The playing field is even. Plenty of female CEOs have run businesses into the ground, just like men have. That has nothing to do with gender, it probably has to do with making unwise business decisions.
A post shortly after that initial “30 seconds” submission was, “With so few good jobs in this area. Women need to know that their place is in the home. Men need these jobs to support their family.” Ha, now there's a good one. That first sentence is incomplete, but that's neither here nor there.
Maybe the person who wrote that was attempting sarcasm, maybe not. Either way, I got a giggle out of it. I'm only going to slightly open up this can of worms because I could go on forever. The claim that there are few good jobs in the area may be true, but there are jobs. Especially if there are few good jobs in the area, the woman absolutely does not belong in the home. She belongs in the private sector, working to help pay the bills – even if it's an entry level job.
Perhaps I'm alone in this, but I don't need a man to support me and if I ever choose to have a family, you better believe I will work full-time outside of the home and pull not only the weight of myself, but also the weight of whatever little kiddos I may have – I’m stubborn like that.
The economy is in rough shape, absolutely. The last thing I would ever suggest or recommend is for only one member of a two-parent household to work. Yeah, yeah … being a stay-at-home mom is a full-time job, I hear you. Daycare is expensive, I get it. It was your choice to have kids, it's your responsibility to provide for them, not mine. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and figure something out.
I know women who have children and work, and still struggle to make ends meet. You know what I do as a kind human? I voluntarily give them some of my money to help out. I choose to, because I'm a nice person. Then there are the folks who don't work because they don't want to miss the “precious moments” with their babies, and part of my tax money goes to help pay for the children you chose to have that you cannot support on your own … I don't dig that. If you can't afford to raise six babies, don't have six babies. If you can't afford to raise one baby, don't have one baby. I like to help out – but not when I'm forced. The use of force doesn't get too far with me.
I just don't think women need to remain in the home – unless what you're doing at home brings an income. If that's the case, fine by me. Otherwise, cut your expenses, get another (or a) job, and figure things out. Finding a job around here certainly isn't the easiest thing, but it can be done. Freelance photography, make and sell quilts, make handmade purses (I suggest someone do that and get a hold of me, that would be a purchase I'd be interested in, plus it'd help feed your family). It's not that hard.
There are food pantries in the area to help out when times are rough, too. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, Roots and Wings or various local churches offer a hand up from hard times.
But hey, I’m not a parent, so what do I know?
A woman doesn't need any sort of legislation to be equal to a man, not in the least. That's something innate; realize it and embrace it.
Men: you're no better than me just because of your gender. You may possess skills I don't have, but that isn't because you were born a male. Ladies: you don't need any government to say you deserve the same things as a man, show the world what you're capable of.
Man's job versus a woman's job? Both are equally capable of either succeeding for failing miserably at whatever they choose to do.
For the men who think women belong in the home: wake up, it's 2013. I know single mothers who work and raise children and don't lean anyone (not the government or a man) for help. Kudos to them. I know men who raise their children solo, work full-time, and do a terrific job without the help – or maybe hindrance – of a woman in the home.
If – and believe me, it's a big “if” - I ever choose to have children and a family, I most certainly will work full-time and if I have a fella along for the ride, he will too. And he can be a nurse if he wants.
We're all just protons, neutrons, and electrons, folks.