Originally Posted by mamawanabe
Yes, more women go to law school and grad school than me, but six or seven years later, women are not making partner or tenure. More women go to college than men, but women are not making their way in the same numbers (or even comparable numbers) into business or government leadership roles.
1) Partly patriarchal norms (expecations of what is feminine clash with the job at hand and create unique hardships for women trying to do that job)
2) mentorship norms (for example congressmen in washington are great mentors to thier male aides and they sleep with their female aides - their female aides are simply not going to get the same kind of see-myself-in-you-and help-you-move-forward help. And anyone in a professional career knows how important mentorship is to moving up teh ladder).
3) But the main reason is motherhood. Women (even full-time wohms) simply cannot work the 50-60 hour weeks necessary to make partner/tenure and move ahead in tehir field. Work structures have to change if there is going to be REAL oportunity for everyone.
According to my brother, my brother's law firm is quietly reluctant to hire female associates because there is a big chance they won't make partner because if they have kids in the six years between law school and partner, they simply won't be able to work the required hours. From the firm's point of view, why would they want to put so much training etc into a lawyer that is just going to have to leave them? Same for women and tenure. Something like 85% of women who have kids before making tenure don't get tenure (most women who don't have kids before tenure make tenure). Men's rates of making tenure actaully GO UP if they have kids before tenure.
And there is dispartity between men and women pay even when they work at the same job with the same credentials. It is about supply and demand, and some of the higher demand for male workers has to do with "family work" still falling mostly on women. Male workers are in higher demand, in part, because they are not going to be using their sick time to stay home with a sick child, they are not going to be running family errands on lunch breaks, they are not going to be leaving work to bring an extra pair of pants to school for a child who had an accident. Taking care of the family still mostly falls on women, even wohm.
These are great points, thanks for posting them. Also the disparity in wages between "pink" and "blue" collar jobs is worth noting. When I was a college student, I worked at a child care center where the janitors earned higher wages than the child care workers, who were required to have college educations, continuing ed credits, and several special certifications including cpr. The bottom line was that maitnenance or janitorial work was "mens work" and the child care was "women's work".
: And this was a NFP agency dedicated to the promotion of the importance of the first three years of life.
Hazelnut I agee with you 100%. Especially about it being patriarchy, not feminism, that devalues child care and children in general. The patriarchy treats child care as a hobby in my opinion.
By the way, I am a feminist married to a pro-feminist man, and I find it difficult to reconcile being a SAHM with my feminist values, but only from a status quo, economic level. I agree with the pp who said that what feminism needs at this point is a complete paradigm shift at all levels of policy/government. So I don't feel like a "bad feminist" for staying at home, but I haven't stopped being an activist and just totally dropped out, either.
However, my "philosophy" is not going to make up for the years I have fallen behind my peers by choosing to be a SAHM, and if my husband ever left me, my philosophy is not going to pay the bills either. So I do find it hard to be a SAHM feminist, because at the end of the day, I AM dependent on my husband. HE can talk all day about our "family economy", but the paycheck that supports us has his name on it, not mine.