Category Archives: equality

Hold the Door

what tenuous freedoms did we have
that they hung on the balance
of one woman’s life?

we grew so complacent in our fight
resting in our ignorance
as she held the door.

her pertinacity kept us safe
while she held fast our freedoms
against all assaults

in the dark chasm of her absence
we stare down our oppressors
eye to hungry eye

victory curving their smacking lips
our rights over the abyss
they scent a weakness

we cannot let them tear asunder
all she fought for all those years
we must battle on.

wake your anger and drink it deeply
carry her spark into the night
keep holding the door.

mmorehead 2020

Interview with a woman in a position of power…

I had my lunch meeting yesterday and spent a very agreeable nigh two hours discussing law, politics, and gender bias over tamales and taco salad.

The woman I met with has a colorful reputation, and has many times been referred to in less than flattering terms. However, she is in a position of power in a field of law still dominated by men, and as such, I think she gets that lovely double whammy of the double standard. I mean seriously, how can you be tough on crime and feminine, it can’t happen, you must be a bitch to lay down the law. Of course, men can be completly tough and manage to appear “direct” or “authoratative” instead of prickish, but that is the way the cookie currently crumbles.

Happily, I might actually get to work for a woman who knows what I am talking about and isn’t afraid to discuss it. In fact, during our interview, she told me she was impressed that a woman my age was even aware we still had gender bias issues, as so many woman my age seem to think they are things of the past. (Don’t ask your male co-workers what they earn ladies, you won’t like the answer.) I explained to her that after nearly a decade in politics and legal education of one kind or another one would have to be an idiot not to see how differently our nation treats our female leaders and representatives from our male ones, the most recent election being an easy example.

Then she surprised me by telling me that she stopped wearing full fledged suits in court and acting unfeminine. She believes our legal system will never get used to seeing women in positions of authority if all we do when we get there is emulate men. She encouraged me to wear suits with flowing and feminine styles, lots of colors, jewelry, etc. She explained the jury will likely identify with me more too, if I look like a woman, instead of a woman trying to look like a man. Win/Win in my opinion. I would love to wear bright teal to work, and a fish hem looks heaps better on me than an a-line.

She encourages her attorneys to bring their children into the workplace, not minding if their offices contain cribs, so long as the babies don’t really distract other co-workers. She encouraged me to take work home so I can have dinner with my family and tuck my children into bed, you know, so I can actually have a work life balance.

It’s a dream within a dream, a chance to become an attorney with the experience that punches my union card without waving goodbye to my husband and kids for a decade. It’s a chance to work with a boss who gets the woman’s point of view, who understands how patronizing some people become when your suit happens to accomodate breasts and a uterus. It’s a chance to come home at the end of a frustrating day, filled with gender bias and condensencion, and know in my heart that none of it came from my boss. Not one little bit.

I am thrilled. It’s been an issue all my professional life, as an extremely generous cup size and an overabundance of natural blond hair has led to sexual harassment, improper suggestions, and emotions from dismissal to condesecion at almost every job I have ever had. I have been told to dress more conservatively than everyone else in my office, because when I put on something that other women wear, I really fill it out. I have asked to bed by bosses, and I have been treated like a child or an incompetant by older more experienced men.

Since having children it’s gotten worse, this assumption that my value is somehow lessened by their demands on my time and mind. A suggestion, by the way, that I find equally insulting to men, as it basically infers that they think nothing of their issue as they go about their day, caring only for their work. One of the reasons I began my own practice was because I was tired of being treated to the “mommy track” behaviors of potential employers. When I mentioned this at lunch, I was given a woman’s answer.

Of course it’s inconvenient when an employee goes on maternity leave, but it’s an inconvenience we, as a society, need to undertake.

I can’t wait to work for this woman.

(Another soapbox moment)

Don’t marry insecure, incompetent, and unintelligent men. A response to the article in Forbes.

So, I just read the article in Forbes entitled “Don’t marry career women.” Link Below.

http://agreatnotion.livejournal.com/553587.html

It is safe to say that the author of this article is one incredibly closed minded fool. He cites to several reasons for his urging against joining your life with that of a career woman, but the most precious in my mind is his examination of the “economic theory” of marriage. He says marriages are less happy when the woman is working because traditionally, men handled the necessary “Market” portion of the family economy, and women handled the “non-market” portion of the economy. He cautions that this non-market work must get done, implying that working women don’t do it, resulting in higher divorce rates. Umm… Okay…. hmmm….maybe more men should learn how to wield a broom, or wait, with your higly increased family income, hire a cleaning person!! That’s a great idea!! In a choice between keeping your 90k a year lawyer wife home with the kitchen earning no imcome, or spending a small portion of the family income on a housekeeper, I would rather have the extra 60-75k!!

Here’s an even better one!! He states that statistics show that marriage where both partners are working result in more divorces than marriage in which only one partner is working. Ok, sure, but…. why is the default, Man Works?? Why not have your career woman, marry a stay at home man!! YES! Extremely modern unthought of concept, I know! Two people working in a marriage causes the marriage to fail, maybe whoever makes more money should be the one to work. Not just the men.

My favorite, lovely comment of his: “When your spouse works outside the home, chances increase they’ll meet someone they like more than you.” Hmmm…. so men who work outside the home are more likely to meet someone they like more than their wives, but that’s okay. However, if women work, they are more likely to leave their husbands for a co-worker. This argument is based on the societal construct that a woman’s infidelity is more damaging/inappropriate than a man’s. Like a woman’s viriginity, her fidelity is more societally valued than a man’s is.

I will tell you what! If I were this man’s wife, and I had beyond a 6th grade education, I would leave him anyway. Obviously, he lacks the creativity necessary to make any worthwhile marriage work. Rather than seeking unusual or alternative solutions to the problems presented in a dual career family, he simply thinks women should go back to the kitchen (and the 1950’s) and stand by their men.

Thank you for listening to my rant.

Your highly educated, career oriented, happily married, Denver Woman.