Career Obsessed Banshees

Today I was fortunate enough to be able to call out of work so I could spend the day with my she-devil daughter who believes she can leap tall buildings in a single bound. Oh, when I say fortunate, I mean, I had the time to call out of work sick so I could spend the day with her in the emergency room where she needed fluids as she recovered from the flu. Not because she is weaker than a man, but because it has been a really bad flu season.

 

While we were in the ER, I came across some ridiculous piece written by this man who is running for office. At first, I laughed at the idiocy. Then I read again and handed the phone to my daughter who looked like she’d rather be doing anything than reading such nonsense. She read it, looked at me, and then we both laughed. I wish I could say that it was over after that. It wasn’t. Because we both realized that there are still sad people in this world who think that there are reasons that men and women are not equal.

 

Courtland Sykes is not alone in his stupid thoughts.

 

Ok, so it is a little scary to think that he is running for office, but it is scarier to think that there are people in this country who will vote for him.

 

My daughter’s father did not call out of work to take his daughter to the ER despite the fact that he has triple the sick time that I have. No, that’s not a dig at him. It is just a fact of life. Whether we had been divorced or not, I would have been the one to take her to the doctor. I would have been the one to call out sick. I would have been the one to take care of her, just as I would then have been the one to make her soup, dinner, or whatever it was that she needed. I would also have been the one to make dinner or order dinner for our other children.

 

I have never asked for a pat on the back for being the sole caregiver of my children, but Courtland Sykes made me think about the fact that I am many of the things he wants for his daughters. I have intelligence, dignity, my own workspace. I have built a career even if I don’t share my home with a man.  I love what I do for a living, but I’m hardly career obsessed, and I certainly did not forego a home life, children, or the happiness of my family. And no, I don’t believe men are suppressing me, well, not most men, just silly ones like Courtland Sykes.

 

I had a father who told me I could be whoever I wanted to be. I have brothers who are raising daughters to be whoever they want to be. I have a brother-in-law who is raising my nieces, well, those girls are getting ready to own the world.

A man like Courtland Sykes who tells you he supports women’s rights but then goes into some silly diatribe calling for women, his daughters, to be home cooking dinner for their men, well men like that aren’t for women’s rights, and I don’t have to tell you that.

I have the best of both worlds. I get to go enjoy a career that I love, actually two careers that I love. I also get to be the one home with my kids. I am the one to cook for them, order take-out if I don’t feel like cooking, and the one to still be there to go sit on their beds at night and hear about their day.

Some days its tough and I wish that I had help. Some days I’m grateful that its all mine, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

There is not one day I ever wish I had a Courtland Sykes as a partner or in the Senate representing me.

I want to say that the Courtland Sykes of this world don’t matter, but they do. He is running for United States Senate. He was bold enough to post a statement calling women banshees simply for believing they deserve equal rights. People will vote for him. I wouldn’t. Maybe you wouldn’t. But there are people who will.

Maybe me calling out from work today to care for my daughter was because I am a woman, but it was not weakness. I love my child and I have a career, two actually. But I made a choice, a choice I would hope a man would make, and that choice was to be there to nurture my child.

Taking my daughter to the ER today was never a choice between being a mother or a career woman. There was no decision to be a radical feminist or a mother.

I was able to be both. I was able to be the feminist who showed my daughter that while she can be ill and still be a student, I could be a mother and still have a career.

So suck it Courtland Sykes.

 

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For My Daughter on International Women’s Day

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Today is International Women’s Day and I want to give you the rah rah women speech, but I’m going to give you a different one. I feel sorry for you. No. I’m not going to give the I walked to school uphill in snow both ways speech. I didn’t do that. Nor am I going to give you the street light was my curfew crap that you see all over social media from idiots with a revisionist history of a perfect world that never really existed. I feel sorry for you because despite today being International Women’s Day, we still have so far to go.

There are wars being fought every day. On social media. Women are killing one another. Stay at home moms fighting with working moms over who has it tougher, as if there could really ever be a clear winner there. Mothers taking their kids to the park face criticism if they answer their cell phone or, eek, scroll Facebook as their kids navigate the monkey bars. Those moms answering their phones are robbing their kids of something. What? I don’t know.

Then there’s the constant drama in the media. Do Madonna and Lady GaGa hate each other? Did Taylor Swift write a song about Katy Perry? Why is nobody wondering why Brad Pitt didn’t attend George Clooney’s wedding. God how we still hear about how Angelina and Jen barely missed one another at some event but we never hear about the man fights, and trust me, men fight too. Seriously, why wasn’t Brad at George’s wedding? Did they have a fight? Are they still besties?

So much is heard about teen cyber-bullying but there are a million websites, and even mainstream news, with stories showing “them” without makeup or “guess which celebrity this is” with close-ups of cellulite. Cindy Crawford is a gorgeous woman but also a brilliant businesswoman, wife and mom. Why was there such an uproar over pictures of her that didn’t show a perfect stomach when she is 49 and the mother of two kids? Where is the close-up of John Travolta’s stomach?

I  feel sorry for you because I believe it’s a tough time to be a woman, even with all of the advantages we’ve earned. And yes, we’ve earned them. That’s the part that kills me in all of this. Women banded together to fight for rights, for equality. I don’t know why we stood together only to tear one another apart when it comes to all the other stuff.

The world is your oyster. Despite all the crap, I do believe that. I believe you can do anything you want and be anything you want. If you get anything out of International Women’s Day, I’d hope it would be to be a kindler gentler woman.  Don’t engage in the tearing down of other women. Surround yourself with women who will build you up, woman that will support you. There are good women out there, a lot of good women. We can be friends. We can be the best friends.