Why Women Need to End the Work Debate

By Anna Keizer April 30, 2012 09:00 AM
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Why Women Need to End the Work Debate

It began a few weeks ago when CNN contributor Hilary Rosen claimed that Ann Romney was unqualified to advise her husband on women’s economic issues because she “never worked a day in her life.” Naturally the backlash came fast and furious with numerous individuals, including the first lady herself, condemning Rosen’s remarks. Just as predictable was Rosen’s apology for those remarks.

Now I don’t know how Rosen intended her statement. I can’t read the woman’s mind, and I won’t try to. Maybe she was simply trying to make a point about Romney’s lack of workplace experience and chose the wrong words to illustrate that point. Maybe she knew exactly what she was saying and how it would be perceived, but she just didn’t care. After all, any publicity is good publicity, right?

About a week later, I then started to notice a steady stream of articles talking about how many would-be working women are forced to stay at home because daycare is too expensive. Call me crazy, but I thought there might be a connection between these two circumstances. It was as if someone out there was trying to explain away why some women decide to be homemakers while others prefer to be dealmakers. Though to my mind, no explanation is needed.

Perhaps I’m a rarity regarding my group of friends. About a third are stay-at-home mothers. Another third are brand new moms straddling both a job and a baby. The final third are women who have no interest in having kids today or any day for that matter. From what I can observe, they all have demanding lives. So why do we keep judging each other? Can’t we all just get along?

Pardon the kumbaya sentiment, but I mean it. I don’t understand why this is still an issue in 2012. No matter your professional status, whether you’re a full-time CEO, part-time grocery store cashier or all-the-time mother, a woman’s work is never done. I get why preparing a presentation that may or may not land your company a multi-million dollar deal could be stressful. I can see why you might get a migraine after hours of checking out cranky customers who insist on using expired coupons… or else they want to speak to the manager. And after staying up all night with a colicky baby who refuses to sleep, I can understand why a new mom might be exhausted. Ladies, we all work. We work pushing papers. We work swiping groceries. We work changing diapers. Really, it’s all just different sh*t on the same day.

Moreover, why would we want to do the same thing? Why should we all be in the workplace or all be in the home? The world’s a pretty big place and there’s enough space in it for each of us to find our niche. For all you “working women” out there, don’t get high and mighty because some of your fellow XX chromosome cronies have decided to be homemakers. If they didn’t, there would be much less room on that corporate ladder for you to climb. Likewise, all you stay-at-home moms should thank your lucky stars that some of us have chosen to work outside the house. Otherwise, we’d all be forced to have male gynecologists. Plus, don’t tell me you don’t get a little weirded out when you see a salesman at Victoria’s Secret. No dude should be allowed to work with thongs for a living. Creepy.

So instead of beating up on each other for our lifestyle choices, let’s band together. It’s what we do best anyway. Then we can focus our attention on what really counts: getting the men folk to appreciate everything we do for them. I mean, seriously… not even a thank you for the delicious dinner that took two hours to make? And do you think those sheets and towels just magically clean themselves? Sheesh.