Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

January 2, 2009

Double Standard

I don't really want this to be a rant, but I have to share with you all: I find it incredibly frustrating the double standard placed on single people in the workforce.  Just because we don't have spouses and children of our own doesn't mean we have a duty to our family that must rank higher than our job.

My supervisors would have no problem canceling a meeting to attend their kids soccer game, or a teacher meeting at school.  They would work from home if their child was sick, and rightly so.  That kind of flexibility makes for a humane work environment, and I am happy to accommodate them.  But it is expected, because I am the single girl without a family of my own, that I be a slave to my work, and that any duties I have to my parents and siblings is secondary to my duties to the office. 

Obviously that expectation is completely false.  The duty I have to my family is spiritually binding, and prior to every other worldly duty, no matter how much I love my job and am dedicated to it.  Those expectations smack of a "working woman=secretary" sexism that I thought we've eliminated from this country.

But, and this is what really gets me, they make it really hard for a single woman to fulfill her larger vocation.  The only way I find the idea of being single bearable is that I know I can still serve, and give of myself and primarily to those closest to me.  I am only responsible for myself, so I have the freedom to serve my family, my community, my church, and--hopefully--serve through my job as well.  

But the family has got to go first.  One of my single girlfriends serves her family by paying for her niece's school.  Another serves her family by living and helping at home while working.  I am trying to serve my family by being home at a difficult time, while still working full hours from home for the office, and my boss chides me for it?

Oh, right.  I forgot.  Slave to my work.  Ok, then, I'll see you tomorrow for our meeting.  Meeting's off?  Oh...well have a great time at your kid's soccer game.

1 comment:

Julian said...

Oh my goodness, how I agree!! I can't write more because I'll get boiling mad.

Keep truckin'!


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