Low Blow…and Not in the Good Way

I really hate to admit when someone gets under my skin…especially if it’s someone who is unimportant to me in the grand scheme of things.  But after a Facebook “conversation” that devolved rapidly into mud slinging, I got to thinking about it, and discussing it with friends, I decided to write a little bit about it.

Aside from being irritated and disappointed by the fact that it seems many people are no longer capable of having a conversation with anyone who does not agree with or validate their own point of view, I am so fucking tired of people judging me based on my life choices.

Tyler Durden said it best: “You are not your job.”

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I guess some people do identify with their jobs, especially if their line of work is a career, rather than just a “job…”   And especially if their career is one that corresponds with their hobbies or pleasures.  For instance, writers likely internalize their career as a part of their personality; cashiers likely do not.

At this time in my life I have found myself in role I hadn’t necessarily foreseen when I was growing up.  I am a stay at home mom.  That’s right.  I said it.  I have a double degree from a University college and I stay home and watch my kid.  And I think it’s awesome!  Sure, I have put off my own career for a bit (however, I am considering going back to school soon.)

What really galls me though is the ever-widening gulf between “women like me” and the opposite extreme of career women.  Aside from the backhanded “advice” I have received from a few of my friends and family about how I “have a degree but haven’t done anything with it,” there often seems to be a sort of implicit judgment that because I do not work outside the home right now, I can’t possibly find my life fulfilling, let alone be a productive member of society.  Today, I regret to say someone I once considered a friend (in high school) attacked me personally when I dared to weigh in on the subject of women in the work place.  Flat out told me to come back to the conversation when I got out in the real world.

What I want to know is…what makes her world more real than mine?

What about the fact that I have a family (and a child with whom I am lucky enough to be able to stay home, during the precious and  formative years of her life) makes me less qualified to have an opinion?

What about the fact that she is single and has a career makes her superior to me, or more informed than me?  I have worked.  I don’t live in a hole in the ground.  I even happen to be a woman.  (Imagine that.)

This world takes all sorts to go around.  Not everyone can be a high-powered business executive.  Not everyone wants to.  Furthermore, projecting your own bitterness or insecurity about your life onto someone innocent is not cool.

Basically, my message for today is two-fold:

1) Think before you type speak.  Even if you think your words are benign or you “mean well,” that does not give you license to judge someone else for their life’s choices, especially when they don’t impact you.  If you really care about and respect the person to which you are speaking, you don’t want to hurt their feelings or insult them.   Even if you don’t know them (ie: random people or mutual friends on social media,) how about remembering some basic fucking manners???

2) If you are one of those people who does believe you are somehow superior to someone else because of your life choices (or theirs,) please do them a favor and take their name out of your phone.  Take them off your Facebook “friends” list.  Don’t mail them any Christmas cards.  They don’t need you in their life, and, since you clearly have your life “together” enough to judge your friend’s, you don’t need them in yours either.  

I think these two principals could conceivably have very wide applications.  Religion, sexuality, appearance, parenting styles. Just about anything you can think of… I might even go so far as to say they’re genius. 😉

And if all else fails…

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16 responses to “Low Blow…and Not in the Good Way

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with you more… I very often WISH I wasn’t a stay at home mom (like now since they are whining at each other), but I hate when people act like I’m less of a person because I made the commitment to continue to stay home!

    • It’s sad, because really, we are lucky to be able to be with our kids and not have to work (unless we want to.) And since women used to always be homemakers, I think some people have this idea that being a mom is “no big deal,” or something anyone could do. I happen to think raising another human being to be happy , well-rounded, and a good person is a VERY important job. (Maybe if others had done the job better, we wouldn’t have as many problems in this world. lol)

  2. Everyone has his or hers own decisions to make and makes their own choices. You made yours, and it makes you who you are. If they can’t take you the way you are, well then fuck them! As long as you’re happy and healthy. 🙂

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  4. What a strange opinion she has. I have loads of strante ones of my own, but I’m with you on this. I used to feel sort of the way she does – but my feelings were based in the sexist attitudes that kept telling me all that I was good for was cooking, cleaning, and making babies when I knew that was wrong. Could it be that she hasn’t yet realised that feminism finally “allows” women to be lawyers, doctors, mothers, astronauts, or all or none of the above? I believe if you have a child, someone should be there all the time at least until school age. I don’t care what gender that person is.

    • Hubby and I were discussing this yesterday. Feminism is about having options; not going to extremes in the other direction. Like you said, now women “can” do a lot more; it doesn’t mean they “have” to.

      • It might be reverse-sexism, if that’s even the right term? The idea that you can do it all but still choose Mom is something that might make someone be a bit nasty, especially if she is one who wants to do it too, but can’t afford it or still thinks it is demeaning. The freedom to choose to be at home with your kids is no longer an option for so many who want to. But it’s a dammed important job – you made this human, you need to do your very best to make sure it is a good one.

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