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.”
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…