Should people be treated equally in the workplace?
Yes, of course. Regardless of gender, ethnic background, religion, or any other part of one’s “profile”, people should be given equal opportunity. I would think most modern, educated people would agree with this.
Having said that, why do some people say that, yet really hold biases and double standards toward people for their career and employment choices?
A person I know took on a fair amount of business travel for her job. The thing is, she did this while also being the mother of young kids. The father doesn’t do much business traveling for his job. So, the kids have one parent that happens to travel periodically for work. Not unusual in this day and age, right?
Well, I have heard some comments (paraphrased) about how she “doesn’t really care to be a mother”, is “selfish”, “cares more about money than being a mom”, and so on.
Hmmm. So, because somebody works, does that make her selfish just for that reason alone? Sure, there could be plenty of other aspects of someone’s life that might conceivably paint a picture of misplaced priorities, but does being a working mom do that?
Here’s the thing: what if we switched roles here, and the mother worked but didn’t travel, and the father had to travel for his job. In other words, while assuming they have joint finances, he was the one who sacrificed time with his kids rather than the mother. Would that change how things are viewed?
I suspect that some people who would judge the woman negatively for being career-focused might have no issue with man doing the same thing. In other words, some people have double standards for working mothers.
These days, there are plenty of couples where the woman makes more money than the man. If a man makes less money than his wife – or doesn’t work - should he be negatively judged? Is he less of a man than another guy who is a sole provider for his family?
I’ve heard plenty of things in conversations with people where the concept of a man being financially provided for by his wife as a stay at home dad is seen as shameless behavior on the part of the guy (note – I’m not a stay at home Dad, but have no problem with it). This has been stated by both men and women. The men feeling like they would feel stupid if that was the case with them, and the women saying that it’s not something anyone would want. One woman mentioned (paraphrased) that “women need to feel taken care of”, and a guy making less or not working just “won’t be respected” if a woman is honest.
This also brings up a concept I’ve heard discussed once: if a woman stays home with kids, she’s a “stay-at-home-mom”. If a man stays at home with kids, he’s “unemployed”.
There is one that I probably still hold onto: who pays for the first date. I suppose that’s simply out of practicality and chances for a 2nd date for a guy :)
Other than that I would say this: If a woman wants to work 70 hours a week for her career, this doesn’t make her any more selfish than a guy doing this. Even more basic than that, if a woman simply chooses to work and have a career, it doesn’t make her less of a mother than somebody who stays at home with kids.
Also, if a man makes less money than his wife or financially depends on her, it doesn’t make her more selfish than a woman doing this with her spouse. Beyond that, if a man simply chooses to stay home or take the backseat to his wife’s career, it doesn’t make him less of a father than somebody who works long hours to bring home money.
My Questions for You
Honestly, what do you think of my assertions above?
I’d like to get your opinion on the subject. If you see it differently, I’d be curious as to why and would of course welcome alternate viewpoints!
Have you ever experienced or heard of any double standards like this?
Do you think that there are any situations where double standards are perfectly fair.