I am on my equality soap box today – I keep seeing articles in the women’s glossies discussing the issue of when should we have babies – post or pre career and I gotta be honest even the question winds me up!
Maybe I am naïve; uneducated or missing the point but I thought our campaigning for equality was about NOT having to make such arbitrary choices? I was unaware that our biological clocks and reproductive systems (necessary for the human race to continue) have become an acceptable set back to our right to a career and equal footing with men? I get men might use this as a barrier to entry but I did not expect women to be spouting the same, inane nonsense too!! Have we surrendered our power here?
In one mag two women argue the case for either waiting till you are well into your thirties before getting pregnant versus having your kids young – ie ‘get them out of the way early’ as she so eloquently puts it!
The premise of all these articles is, if you want kids and a career, you are going to have to either fight your biological clock until your career is bedded in, or don’t bother getting on the ladder until you have reproduced, this way when you come back to work in your thirties, ready to rock and roll lots of your female peers will be dropping out of work to have kids and you will have the advantage. I find both options offensive, sad and hardly an advert for sisterhood.
Incidentally both these women consider themselves feminists, keen to empower their daughters with their choices. Not sure either opinion is going to empower young girls to even put one foot on the corporate ladder anytime soon? The whole concept of micro managing your biological clock turns me off and I have never even had kids. Maybe this is the issue? Maybe this is why I don’t get it? I am more than happy to concede this but I have to tell you, convincing the next generation of young women may not be so easy. If we are not creating a world of work where having a family is seen as normal, a joint responsibility and doable we may end up right back where we started with male dominated workforces and frustrated stay at home Mums!
So let’s not buy into the warped view that we need to control our biological clock and schedule baby making like a long term goal on our annual appraisal review. For many women waiting for the perfect moment can be heart breaking as conceiving in your late thirties is not always a walk in the park.
For me feminism stands for equal rights, to have the same opportunities for advancement as men. And until men evolve to give birth, the world has to accept that women will need time out of work to keep the population going! Caring for and taking responsibility for said children must be seen as a joint responsibility and this is the debate we should be having, NOT how do we stay obedient and create as little disruption to our work as possible so we can sneak away and give birth. All feels a tad too subservient for me!