Re: What did the Presidency really say?
- From: Colleen Kay Porter <ckpsdp@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 21:09:59 -0000
On 6/22/06 9:45 AM, in article 129l7okk6432q75@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "rich
hammett" <bubbarichau@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Minun olisi pit=E4nyt tiet=E4=E4, olisi pit=E4nyt tiet=E4=E4,by
olisi pit=E4nyt tiet=E4=E4 KUKA SIN=C4 OLET, Colleen Kay Porter:
But we don't just get upset with men over that. There is a new book out=
InLinda Hirshman called GET TO WORK: A MANIFESTO FOR WOMEN OF THE WORLD. =
e isit she argues that women are making a wrong decision if they choose to
nurture their children full-time, and are wasting their degrees. And sh=
just as bad at telling other women what to do.=20
I've had a chance to read a few reviews and interviews, so...
She's addressing a serious problem, but I don't think that
her solution is any more practical or desirable than the
solutions she decries. The problem is this: women remove themselves
from the public sphere when they become mommies, or even take mommy-track
jobs. And because of this, women are under-represented at every
decision-making level of society.
But let's be clear that MOST PEOPLE are not at "decision-making" levels of
society. So just following Hirshman's advice to have only one child and
continue working fulltime does not guarantee that a woman will rise to a
I also argue whether the unpaid work of a ward relief society president
really does matter so much less than the work of a CEO. The CEO may affect
more people overall, but the RS prez has an opportunity to make a huge
difference for good in the lives of the people she serves. If I had the
choice, I would rather be a ward RS president. And Hirshman would tell me
that I am wrong. =20
[...] But for people who
see that problem, what is a better solution?
I see at least two solutions, both of which were strongly influenced by my
time at BYU and talks in Women's Conference, etc.
First is for people to show respect for the work that fulltime homemakers o=
either gender do. One of the skills I need in my current job is to juggle =
lot of competing demands, and effectively triage the tasks. That was honed
during my years at home. Another skill I learned was being a self-starter;
my mentor from grad school said that after working with me, she would alway=
be willing to work with a mother returning to grad school a stint at home,
because I was so much easier than the typical grad student--I never had to
be nagged to meet deadlines, etc. I could go on through a list of other
managerial skills that I learned at home. Let's just say that getting six
busy moms to synchronize their schedules for a coop preschool meeting is no=
that much different from getting six faculty members to commit to a team
meeting. And my work as a wife involved skill with EndNote, something that
I introduced to my department after hiring, making many converts.
So the bottom line is that I was not penalized in my career development for
spending 9 years at home--I re-entered the workforce at the same level and
pay rate as where I would have been had I spent those 9 years working
outside the home.=20
I appreciate that is not possible in every field, since technical skills ma=
need to be re-learned (I was fortunate that the state-of-the-art computer
program I had used in my previous job had only been abandoned the year
before at the new place, so they were already learning a new thing and I
wasn't far behind). But it would be more possible for more re-entering
homemakers if prospective employers treated a parent's work at home as WORK=
perhaps in a different field. Hirshman would never agree to that
notion--she is very demeaning about what caregivers do.
The second thing I would like to see is for people to not discount part-tim=
work as "mommytrack"/less important. I am very serious about my work, I
just don't do it as many hours as some folks do. This year I was nominated
by my peers around the country to serve on the executive council of a
national professional organization. In 2004, I was one of only 80
researchers included in a prestigious invitation-only national methodology
conference. I was also given a statewide award for my work (David might
have heard of a Davis Productivity Award). I don't say this brag, but
simply to indicate that one can be part-time AND competent, and make a
difference in the field.
To be honest, my clients and colleagues don't care if I work full- or
part-time. They care about the quality of the work. I resent very much
when part-timers are dismissed as somehow being less accomplished or
I think there is a huge potential to restructure much of the USAmerican
workforce to allow meaningful part-time work for parents. Or grandparents,
or caregivers of elderly relatives, or whatever. By contrast, Hirshman
insists that full-time work is the only thing that matters.
People act with the unspoken assumption that this "daddy leaves
the home every day" is the age-old pattern, but it's not, and
the daddy's increasing absence even from what are considered
"good" homes (nearly every LDS father I know in several upper-
middle-class wards works 50+ hours/week) is a far bigger
danger that the Church doesn't see fit to address at all.
I can't agree that is true. There have been like a zillion general
conference talks about the importance of putting family first.
[...] Church keeps Bishops, who are already working
long hours away from their families, away from them for
a couple of dozen more hours every week. Why?
Perhaps because they need good men to serve as bishops? Shouldn't we have
our best there? =20
Rich, have you ever been a bishop? If not, what is your problem? The
reality is that many families of bishops find that the abundant blessings
that come with the calling more than make up for the lost hours. This is
something that is difficult to explain rationally, because it is a matter o=
faith, not logic. But it is nonetheless real in their lives.