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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:02 am 
Nooch of Earl
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At that stage, what I really wanted was somebody who didn't mind my talking their ears off about stuff that is excruciatingly boring to anyone who isn't pregnant. So maybe just give her a call and be patient when she talks for 3 hours about what kind of baby wipes to buy!


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:26 am 
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Ditto to both the above. :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:05 pm 
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I swear, depending on the other parents/caregivers I'm around I either feel like the most lackadaisical deadbeat ever or like an uptight jerk. Today was a deadbeat day. After Inez's soccer lesson we went to a nearby park with a couple other kids. The one girl was with her grandma who watches her and the grandma was offering around K's snack* to everyone, which prompted a discussion of who doesn't eat what and allergies and yada yada yada. So everyone's going on about how they haven't given their 2-year olds peanut butter or strawberries and whatever else yet and how they only eat organic and "natural" and take separate food to restaurants because they don't want the kids to accidentally ingest something non-organic and I'm just not chiming in because arrrrrgggghhh. And then the grandma said something about how some of the moms she meets will say "oh, s/he eats everything!" and her reaction is "they're barely two years old! what are you doing?! it's irresponsible!" So I said I think everyone just has to decide for themselves what they feel is safe (within the generally agreed upon guidelines for this stuff). She rolled her eyes at me!

Then when the kids were playing I felt like everyone was annoyed with me because Inez was climbing on things and like going up this little hill and (horrors!) touching things and then the other kids wanted to, too. But apparently those are not approved playground activities. Blah.

*cookies, btw.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:10 pm 
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Dude. Take your kid to a restaurant, but only you can eat the food? *gigglesnort*


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:32 pm 
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Oi, this maybe should go in the relationships thread, but well I'm here now. We just got a letter from our letting agent asking us about our plans to move/renew because they want to do some significant redecorating, etc. between tenants and are trying to schedule things. Our lease isn't up until the end of July, so this took us a bit by surprise. Now though, the conversation we've been putting on hold is sorta at the forefront again. We're ready to leave the UK, but can't decide where to go next and we're both afraid that we'll just stall and stay here. I miss my sisters, we both miss our friends in our respective countries. I miss the water, he misses the mountains. His mom is not too well, my dad is not too well (old age stuff for both of them). US is cheaper, but social services are better in Norway. Then we get into things like how easy it is to be vegan or if we'd have to have a car, etc. etc. Karl suggested we need to make a sort of balance sheet, listing our highest priorities, but the thing is (he agrees) that so much of the criteria is subjective. Any tips on how to decide where to live?


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:32 pm 
Nooch of Earl
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Well, what's worked for me the last bits has been:

- Pick the place you really want to go, and find a job there (well, in my case, find the husband a job)
- Start learning the local language, look at real estate/rental listings
- Wait for the Navy to send you somewhere else entirely, like DC. Mostly DC.


More seriously, are you looking to settle somewhere for a long time or could you do a few years in each place? What would be best for Freya? How would the practical matters work? FWIW, it seemed to me like settling in Europe had a much higher startup cost than any of our moves in the US, but I also didn't have visa issues/immigration to consider. That isn't counting movers, of course, who were not paid by us.

Could you agree to live in one country and take a long trip to the other each year? My SIL is from Turkey and she & BIL basically take all their vacation - a monthlong block each summer - to go over there. (It helps that her family has a couple of vacation homes) I'm sure that's hard to swing with work schedules, but they both have demanding jobs and seem to make it work, and are planning on taking their little boy (not far from Freya's age) with them this year. Annoying for my husband, who misses his brother, but it works for them.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:14 am 
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refinnej,
There's water AND mountains where we live! Come and be our neighbour. ;D

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:48 pm 
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refinnej, I haven't been in exactly your situation before since Mr. Scandi and I are both American, but here's my thoughts. It was hardest for both of us trying to decide whether or not to move to Denmark in the first place, with the plan to go back to the States 2 years later. When we had to decide last year whether to stay or move back (job offers in both countries), that was much easier.

To me the biggest things to think about would be jobs and specific place-ness. Meaning you might want to go back to the US, but maybe you'd hate it if it were, say, Kansas and not California. Or whatever. Is there any way you can start looking around for jobs in both countries now, and get a discussion going on which cities seem promising?

Also, it's totally a valid choice to stay in the UK--which is sort of neutral, nobody "wins" ground for you guys, right? If you decide that you like it there, have jobs you like, friends, a good place to live, etc, then you are not chickening out or avoiding change, you're making a decision based on what's best for all of you.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:39 pm 
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Scandina, thanks for that. It really has been feeling that, if we can't decide, then we are just really lame. :)

annak, taking a long summer vacation in Norway, while being based in the States is what I am proposing (also going there for Christmas, which is a way bigger deal in K's family than mine). The problem is finding a job that has sufficient vacation (or even unpaid time off) to do this. We're a bit spoiled with our European 5 weeks holiday, right from the start (plus a week at Christmas many places, and a few days at Easter if we lived in Norway).

A big part of the trouble for me is that if we choose Norway, we're not going to be living anywhere near his parents, because of his job considerations. He wants to be near them in case of ill health, etc. but we'd still be a plane ride away, whereas in the States, we could live a few minutes' away from my sisters/bil's and a couple of hours from my parents.

I don't know...it's just meh.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:51 pm 
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In other, less serious news..Freya's word for the day yesterday....."tofu". As I was getting dinner ready, she walked over to the recycling bin and took out the box that the tofu comes in, then walks back over to me and says "this. this". I say that I have some for her and show her the plate I"m making and clear as a bell "tofu..tofu". I think we caught it on video last night too. I don't know why this pleases me so, but it does. :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:32 pm 
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So vegan! We have onion and olive now, which is great :) She has her own word for smoothie, which is pretty much yelling Nana Nana and making whirring blender sounds ("vrrrroooooommmmm!")

As far as the move, it sounds like you really want to be in the US, near friends and family and are a bit homesick for the support system you have there. I hope you can work something out that lets you get those needs met. Good luck - it is really hard negotiating issues like that, because sometimes it feels like there isn't a win-win option. I hope you are able to find one with Karl :) Just wanted to say that I really really really feel for you <3 and am sending oodles of good thoughts.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:55 am 
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So I just spent 8 hours working on a project that's due in a week and a half (that I've been working on for six weeks already, but which I had serious cause to think I wouldn't finish by the due date). The Magician was asleep when I started and slept happily on the couch for about the first 4 hours, then he just wanted to be physically touching me. So I put him in the Ergo and have spent the past 4 hours working with him asleep up there.

When people say things like "people who have kids just don't take their (in this case, academic) careers as seriously as non-parents!", I think they are really failing to imagine people like me.

(Also, I swear this baby has some sort of parent-trying-to-work detector. He'll sleep happily on the couch by himself for countless hours if I'm doing nothing important. But the moment I'm like, let's do something I need to be doing, hey!)

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:47 am 
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Yay C&S!

coldandsleepy wrote:
When people say things like "people who have kids just don't take their (in this case, academic) careers as seriously as non-parents!", I think they are really failing to imagine people like me.


I hear you! I know so many women who are mothers and work full time, and that whole idea that they don't take their careers as seriously is really harmful, because it creates expectations that mothers will be less good employees. And often those expectations become self-fulfilling - you're not staffed on the bigger deals, not given the same opportunities, etc. And they aren't just limited to women who are actually mothers, but often extend to anyone who may be perceived as someone who may choose to be a mother one day - why invest in someone if you think they aren't going to end up taking their careers as seriously?

I was reading the New Yorker piece on Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who is amazing and a complete bad-ass, and I had had no idea just how incredible she was), and it mentions that Sandra Day O'Connor and RBG both raised families are were incredible jurists as well. In part that was because they were born in a time when women really did *have* to get married and had to be pretty exceptional to even get into law school (both of them were top of their classes but neither received any job offers on graduation - RBG had a professor who basically forced a judge to take her on as a clerk). But both of them seem to have also really enjoyed their families and having children. The article mentions that Justices Kagan and Soto Mayor don't have children.

It would be really sad if people thought that having children or a successful, challenging, academic or professional career was an either or choice for women, where it clearly is not one for men.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:57 am 
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OMG, i need to vent about the mothers and work issue here... this has been on my mind for a few days now.

so, i had an interview at my current job for an opening that will be available when i come back from maternity leave in the new school year. i purposely cut my mat leave short so that i'll be back for the beginning of the school year, and i've been saying SINCE i got hired that i want more hours and more teaching responsibilities.

anyway, my demo is over, i'm in the office chatting with my two bosses, and my boss asks me what i'm hoping for next year. i reiterate that full-time teaching hours is my goal and say a little about my mid and long term career goals.

the following are some highlights from the rest of the conversation in which i mostly tried to keep my jaw from hitting the floor:


she asks me if i'm SURE that's what i want, after all, i'll have two young children to look after and won't it be an awful lot on my plate?

she asks if i'm sure i won't need a lot of time off next year for sick kids (one of the positions is very hard to cover)? when i said that actually, i have a parenting partner who is more than capable of taking time off work as well, the other woman said "oh, wow! women's lib,eh!"

she tells me, oh don't stress about not getting this position, after all, i'm still very young and there's lots of time for my career (i'm 30).

i was truly flabbergasted. i assume this was all lead up to me NOT getting the position. this is a very well respected and generally professional private school. i mean, it's a small work place and so everyone knows a lot about everyone's personal lives, but i've never heard anyone in a leadership position make those kinds of comments.

i was talking to a couple friends from work about it afterwards. hilariously, one is one of the 3 male teachers at the school and expecting his 2nd child in the summer. he's got more experience than me anyway, and more teaching hours on the schedule (been at the school the same length of time), but i asked him if anyone had asked him if HE was going to be able to handle a full time schedule with a toddler and a newborn... well, i think you know the answer to that.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:30 pm 
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Ugh LB, that is just horrible. Is there anyone in HR or a local authority that can help you?

I just can't even. Its all the same "soft bigotry of low expectations" (to quote GWBII) that leads to the glass elevator, where people make decisions for you about what you can and cannot handle, and deny you opportunities, without letting the choice be on you to make those opportunities work. And then, people turn around and say "there isn't really discrimination against women, its that women value other things, like flexibility, over money, challenging work and prestige."

The whole Sheryl Sandberg thing, where she says that women can have everything if they just "lean in" and worker harder, because the problem is the "leadership ambition gap" ie that women don't want it enough, is making me feel all stabby at the moment.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... an-in.html
http://www.npr.org/series/140244738/parenting
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2 ... fails.html

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:37 pm 
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I'm sorry you had that experience LB :( I hope they rethink thier preconceived ideas.

I had a pretty shocking interview experience - I applied for a job as a physician assistant and was interviewed by two male physicians and a female office manager. After discussing my qualifications and long-term professional goals they started "casually chatting" which I discovered was actually ferretting out whether I was married or not, did I have kids, was I married to a military man (ie would I be moving away in the next few years), etc. When they didn't indirectly get the information they wanted the office manager asked me point blank if I was planning to have children, and if I did have them would I be planning on going part time/who would stay with them when they were sick.
Against my better judgement I actually took that job - when they hired their next PA I sat in on the interview and they never once asked this PA (a male) any questions like that. Then when they were going to hire a third the following year I heard the office manager discussing that she had put all the male candidates on the top of the pile AND had put a pink sticky at the beginning of the female candidates resumes so they could quit reading there if they had found someone they liked in the first bunch!!!! It was just so ugly.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:49 pm 
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Ew ew ew. On one hand, my job situation is not ideally suited to parenting - insane hours, being "on call," very little maternity leave. But on the other hand, when they hired me five months pregnant and I told them I was pregnant, they said, well, we figured you'd have kids eventually, so mazel tov! I worked until my water broke and there was never any suggestion that I was being less effective or serious about my work, either right before the birth or when I came back.

I do understand the "lean in" thing, though. LB had a choice not to apply for a more challenging job, C&S had a choice not to go into a challenging graduate program, I had a choice to find part time work or to take off a year before long for work. If none of us took those choices, the world would have seen that as totally acceptable. I have so many female colleagues who have received the same serious education as our male colleagues and are similarly qualified to kick asparagus in the field and instead they lean back, take off tons of time to have babies or think about the idea of having babies (seriously you do not need to be unemployed to ponder the idea of having children and that's god knows how long working time down the drain). I have friends who've planned their entire careers around their future children (I'll teach science instead of being a scientist because then I will have a shorter work day and summers off) even when that career didn't meet their true ambitions. Some of them, now 10-15 years later, still don't have children! So what was the point of that choice? They are literally leaning back and they sure as shiitake don't have to. There are structural issues at work that prevent many working women from succeeding at the highest levels, but if you don't behave with ambition, you don't even give the system an opportunity to step up.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:13 pm 
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yes, i see what you mean about that, ariann.

the funny thing is, some of you may remember that i took a previous employer to court for firing me because i was pregnant, but my current employers don't know that about me. i don't WANT to make a legal issue out of it, but it sure as shiitake was illegal to make those comments to me during an interview. if she hadn't said anything and i hadn't got the position, it wouldn't have been a big deal because there are legitimate reasons to give it to other people (i am one of the more junior and inexperienced teachers at the school) and lots of people are trying to get more hours.

if i don't get it, i want to go talk to her about it, but i'm not sure how to word it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:16 pm 
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Oi, I can't believe (well, I can I suppose) that this was said in an interview! Are there further positions coming available at the school? If you think you'll be in this situation again in say a year, then it's worth a bit of kerfuffle about what's appropriate criteria, I think.

Randomness:
Trying to entice Freya into saying tofu a couple of nights ago, not knowing that I'd also given her a hair to eat. :p
http://www.flickr.com/photos/iamjen/8553063756/

and using the carpet sweeper (while wearing cat ears and a necklace made of shower curtain hooks, next to an inflatable pool stuck under the sofa, cuz we're posh like that):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/iamjen/8553063042/


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:16 pm 
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That is a fair point, A, and the book does say "hey don't let the voices in your head hold you back" which is great and her corporate advice is certainly useful.

Ariann wrote:
I have friends who've planned their entire careers around their future children (I'll teach science instead of being a scientist because then I will have a shorter work day and summers off) even when that career didn't meet their true ambitions. Some of them, now 10-15 years later, still don't have children! So what was the point of that choice? They are literally leaning back and they sure as shiitake don't have to. There are structural issues at work that prevent many working women from succeeding at the highest levels, but if you don't behave with ambition, you don't even give the system an opportunity to step up.


I don't know your friends' situations, but I really liked the third link I posted - that no matter how much you "lean in" there are only 24 hours in the day, and each of us has to make decisions as to what to prioritize. I don't think there is anything wrong with choosing something that might allow you to spend summers at home or give you more flexibility. And perhaps that is a way in which the system needs to step up - to allow a work life balance for all of us, including men. I really liked the Atlantic article "Why Women Still Can't Have It All"for making that point. As long as child care is seen as a mother's role, then women are going to be discriminate against, as LB and annasrobie describe. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... ll/309020/ Sandberg makes that point as well - if you are going to marry a man, marry one who takes over half the childcare. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/0 ... 09061.html

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:28 pm 
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Absolutely, except that we also make choices to accept that status quo (we participate actively in maintaining the patriarchy, sometimes by freer choice, sometimes by more forced choice) by not marrying men who will take half the load (and being totally aware of that upfront and accepting it), by making career choices that make it more "reasonable" for us to take on the extra load, etc. At this point I think men and women have to work tougher to move the goalposts. Women have to step up to translate our successes in education to success in the workplace, men have to step up to assume responsibility for parenting and relationships in the ways that women are already forced to.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:47 pm 
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First, women are stepping up to translate their successes in education to success in the workplace and often finding that the workplace isn't cooperating. The onus shouldn't just be on women to step up and fix the system. And that is part of the weakness of Sandberg's book - it ignores that for every workplace like yours that will hire a pregnant rabbi, there are many who wouldn't and if they did, wouldn't support her in being successful both as a parent and an employee.

And then there is the individual and the general. Yes, generally women should be making strides so that we have much higher representation in the ranks of CEOs, lawyers, scientists etc, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me to tell individual women that they *have* to make choices that don't call to them. If your friends want to have summers off, and that makes them happy, why isn't having that and being happy also a measure of workplace success? I don't feel like it helps any of us to judge others for their individual choices but I do think it makes sense to say "don't let your own fears hold you back" and that we need to work on structural impediments to people making those individual choices and achieving careers that are meaningful for them.

That said, we may be getting off-topic for the thread!

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:02 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
First, women are stepping up to translate their successes in education to success in the workplace and often finding that the workplace isn't cooperating. The onus shouldn't just be on women to step up and fix the system. And that is part of the weakness of Sandberg's book - it ignores that for every workplace like yours that will hire a pregnant rabbi, there are many who wouldn't and if they did, wouldn't support her in being successful both as a parent and an employee.


I haven't read Sandberg's book (did you? I don't think we should take critiques at face value without seeing the evidence ourselves, critics have agendas, too), so I have no idea whether or not she takes those issues into account, but I'm not arguing that they don't exist and I don't think anybody else here would argue that either and LB's story is a great example of what you rub up against sometimes when you push yourself. (I know Sandberg's ideas from interviews and from listening to her TED talk a couple years ago - I nodded my head through the whole thing.) I acknowledged that pretty explicitly up above. And clearly, even though I was applying for a job in a place I knew was liberal, that I knew would value a worker with children over a worker without children (because of the values promulgated by the institution and the religion in general and general expectations of rabbis' lives), I still hid my pregnancy (with great difficulty) for five months during the interview process! I still worried about the effect it would have either conscious or unconscious on my interviewers! I was pretty pleasantly surprised by the result in the end, but I can't say for sure that would've been the result had I not been careful about hiding the pregnancy.

Even with all that said, though, it is really and truly a fact that many women with the same education and similar self-description of their ambition don't go for the most challenging, highest paying, highest power, highest recognition jobs (and in fact - I considered not going for it either! I was extremely close to taking off half a year and waiting till after Malka was born before looking for work, even though there was no impediment to my working right up until she was born). And that even in the workplace, women are too often either ill-equipped or unwilling to demand the recognition they deserve (see various studies on how men and women ask for raises and then whether or not they receive them - obviously women would still have to face structural inequality and personal sexism even if they asked "perfectly," but they shouldn't compound the problem by not asking perfectly). I have now worked in two male-dominated fields and there is just no question in my mind that a) there are messages to women that they should shoot for lower-paying, lower-responsibility work within those fields and that it's super okay to take years out of the workforce, even when there is no pressing concern for their time outside of the workforce and b) that women internalize and don't fight against those messages very, very often, thus missing out on tons of work opportunities and advancement opportunities. I'd be interested in the stats from your field - now that women make up the majority of law school graduates, what are the rates at which women apply for high-powered lawyer jobs?

Quote:
And then there is the individual and the general. Yes, generally women should be making strides so that we have much higher representation in the ranks of CEOs, lawyers, scientists etc, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me to tell individual women that they *have* to make choices that don't call to them. If your friends want to have summers off, and that makes them happy, why isn't having that and being happy also a measure of workplace success? I don't feel like it helps any of us to judge others for their individual choices but I do think it makes sense to say "don't let your own fears hold you back" and that we need to work on structural impediments to people making those individual choices and achieving careers that are meaningful for them.


It's not a matter of judging individuals, but that the general is made up of individuals and those individuals have to make choices so we have to talk to actual individuals and encourage them to make choices that benefit them and other women (and that the personal is political - the choices I make affect other women's opportunities and I shouldn't pretend they don't; maybe that shouldn't curtail my choices, but it should be something I think about when making them***). I think a) that in the training programs for male dominated fields that mentors should specifically speak to individual women and encourage them to apply for and fight for high responsibility work and should also coach them when they see them engaging in behavior that weakens their chances of getting that work (letting men dominate conversations, not fighting to have your name put first on a paper, etc.), b) that women working in those fields should take special notice of other women coming up the ladder and coach them on ways to be more authoritative and aggressive within their work as well as ways to ask for raises and promotions that shows they recognize their own value, and c) friends shouldn't let friends give up on their ambitions. If you're making a career choice not based on your ambitions but based on some perceived future benefit and the current ease of slipping into this less-desirable career, then all of the time between now and when the future benefit comes to pass is wasted if you change your mind. It's easy to move from industry to teaching. It's really hard to move in the other direction.

And the corollary to the "lean in" argument is also that men who prioritize raising families should also "lean back" - they should ask for flex time, for part-time, for on-site daycare, etc., even though it might hurt their earning potential and perceived power in the workplace. It seems like a bit of a chicken and egg argument - employers can't employ more women if women don't apply, they can't have more male and female employees sharing work and home responsibilities if men don't ask and then take advantage of the opportunities to do so. Even the structural is, in the end, made up of individuals making choices and those choices leading to the culture of the institution.

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That said, we may be getting off-topic for the thread!


Dude, it's the randomness thread!

***This is a whole different discussion about "choice feminism" and why perhaps there's a high profile backlash against it from high-powered women at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:04 pm 
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As far as law school graduates applying for employment, most of them do. Hey, you really can't incur $100,000 of debt for law school (never mind undergrad) and not apply for jobs. I don't know what you mean by "high powered" though. At least in NYC, every legal job I looked at (including not for profit) was very time-intensive. No one was working 40 hour weeks. Other legal markets may be different. My friends in Paris, London, HK etc all work pretty similar hours but they are all in banking/finance law. The big place where women's participation drops isn't after graduation, it is a few years after law school (3 to 5 years out) - the retention gap.

As far as

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friends shouldn't let friends give up on their ambitions. If you're making a career choice not based on your ambitions but based on some perceived future benefit and the current ease of slipping into this less-desirable career, then all of the time between now and when the future benefit comes to pass is wasted if you change your mind.


What is wrong with making choices that work for your whole life, not just your career? I have friends who went into corporate contracts work or employment law because they thought it would be better for their lives. They don't all have kids, but they have time to do yoga, travel, etc, and that is valuable too. I did international restructuring and got to travel all over the world, restructuring government debt for big financial institutions and that was so fun, but there isn't a lot of call for my skills outside a large law firm, and at this point, I am having a hard time translating my skills to a job that would involve less travel, less of a commute and fewer hours. Sometimes I do wish I'd just done corporate work so I could be in-house at a large corporation, like many of my friends. And I do wish that I'd had the career support that you talk about. I worked on the White Paper for Women in the Legal Profession when I was at Goldman, and definitely think that mentoring and flexible hours and better support for working women would go a long way to remedying the retention gap.

I have a double law degree, I speak three languages, I have 12+ years of international banking and finance restructuring work under my belt, and its very hard to lose the benefits of all that I have worked hard to build. Does me dropping out of the work world affect other women? Hopefully it sends a message to employers that to retain qualified people you have to be willing to support them in their life choices as well and find ways to encourage more flexibility with work hours etc. And absolutely I agree that structures need to shift, men need to be more involved, we need universal day care and better healthcare and more respect for women and familes etc. But at the end of the day, the real choice for me is how can I spend some real time with Leela at this moment in time, when none of those structural changes have occurred. I really liked the article I posted above http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2 ... fails.html that sometimes even with the best of intentions, you are faced with a situation where the 24 hours a day 7 days a week just aren't enough to do everything the way you want to.

I would never judge anyone who has to work or chooses to, but I would also like that same respect. I would hate to think that my friends are talking about me, like you do about yours, as someone who sold out her career and is hurting other women by not choosing to have a "high power" career. I have some friends who have two nannies because they work so much and others who stay at home with no help and the gamut between. And all our kids are going to be just fine, because they have great care, lots of love etc. I would never say one choice is better than the other, but I would say that it is my choice to do what makes me happy, and I would hope that my friends would be happy for me, no matter what I chose.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:25 pm 
***LIES!!!***
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I am happy when my friends are happy. When I have friends who are complaining (loudly, constantly) about how unfulfilling their work is, how they miss the challenges of their expected career choice, how things didn't work out in their domestic lives the way they thought they would so now they regret making choices to make way for that fantasy life, etc., it's not just about choosing the career that makes the most sense for your whole life. (And you are such an awesome example of exactly what I was talking about - you went for something huge, richly varied and interesting and it was the fact that you did all that that made it possible for you to prioritize being home now because of the financial safety net you could create for yourself. It's unfortunate that all of that experience doesn't have the right job to match it now. Perhaps the NYC market is different from all others, but my husband's colleagues who are mostly in the south and midwest have worked a variety of reasonable hours all along, they didn't all go into 80 hour a week jobs and there are probably many fewer of those kinds of jobs to be had outside of giant markets.) If it were just about that, I could (maybe) leave it at that. But it's not. And I think that's a point worth making, even if we can be happy for women and men who choose all different paths to their own fulfillment.


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