Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This might be a long one folks...

Over the years I've learned the way to get along in life without pulling out all of your own hair and trying to fashion a rope to hang yourself is to master the art of shrugging off stupidity. This allows you ignore all the parts of life that try to annoy you into submission. I'm highly annoyable, but I've also learned to pick my battles. One battle I have trouble turning away from occurs when a group that I'm a part of begins to misrepresent me. It's been a banner week for this on a small and large scale. It's only Wednesday you say? I hadn't noticed.

Today I attended a presentation by a female professional in my field. The topic, the challanges that face the modern female attorney. The conclusion, that law firms must face changing times and quit holding women to the same standards and career paths as men. The rationale, it is inadvisable (perhaps impossible) for a woman to balance family and a man's career. The message as I see it: employers are responsible for giving woman an alternative career path by virtue of their wombs. The basic idea is that women should be able to be available to their family and thier children in the traditional homemaker role and be as successful in their careers as if they had not done so.

Am I the only woman who doesn't want special treatment because I'm handicapped by a uterus? Here's how I would break it down. The only ACTUAL difference between the parenting roles of men and women is that women have to physically carry a child for 9 months. Usually a woman can carry on her normal activities for most of this period and employers do a pretty decent job of accomidating her for the part of that time when she cannot. After the baby is born it is equally the responsiblity of both parties, mother and father. The fact that mothers tend to take on the role as primary caregiver is not the fault of employers. If men and woman share in family responsiblities equally then why is the mother the only party who requires a specialized "mommy path." Why do we expect employers to accept and accomidate professional mothers when families are unwilling to change the balance of caregiving responsibilities?

The truth is that most women choose to take on the role as primary caregiver and most men do not. Employers should not be held responsible for they way in which individual's choose to prioritize thier lives. If we were having a conversation regarding the career challanges of parents versus non-parents it would be different. In my opinion, however, you can't have a conversation about the mommy path without eventually coming around to the conclusion that women are different than men in that they are more emotionally connected to their role as a mother than their career and that they should not be penalized for this. I find that ludacris and therefore I cannot entertain a discussion regarding the mommy path. Choices are choices and they usually have consequences.

The second group that I have a beef with this week: Christian leaders. Here we go again with the religious world taking the hard line on a issue that hasn't even been fully articulated yet. So we have the Tomb of Jesus movie and we have the filmakers engaging in discourse regarding the existence of compelling evidence and the need for further investigation regarding the validity of this possiblity. These guys come off looking intelligent, responsible and accomidating. On the other side we have religious leaders getting all worked up and dismissing years of work on the part of those involved in this project with distain and without a second look. They end up looking like asses.

I have no problem with the Christian world refusing to accept that Jesus was not ressurected. I personally refuse to accept this, but why do they have to be such jerks about it. Why for once can't religious leaders realize that thier superiority complex does little more than isolate the general population. Real believers aren't likely to be swayed in their religious convictions by one day of headlines and non-believers might appreciate a little consideration on the part of Christians. After all, if we have so much faith why should we be afraid of investigating the facts of this discovery?

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