What am I fighting for?
Belinis on a school night. It was a marvellous mid-week treat of an evening in the company of some fabulous women full of bright ideas and lively conversation. (Apologies to fellow diners who found that it was also loud and possibly a bit rude.)
Among other things the conversation swirled around several times to the topic of men (how do you get them to pull their weight domestically), (is their domestic ineptitude our fault or theirs), and what else can we do about it apart from having another drink and a bit of a rant. While it’s fairly satisfying to slap your hand on the table and blame the Patriarchy, it doesn’t get us any further forward, does it?
Perhaps it’s time to look at what we really want when we talk about equality because that’s what this is all about, isn’t it? Actually, I can’t talk about what anyone else wants – except that they’re perfectly entitled to want and have whatever makes them feel complete.
What I want is:
- The ability to go to work without feeling guilty for the time not spent with one’s children
- The ability to persue the career I want, even if it might not be the most domestically convenient thing in the short term.
- The ability to leave work on time without calculating how many hours I have have/not worked and without feeling guilty
- To have a comfortable work-life balance (yuk) where mostly I don’t spend time at home thinking about work or vice versa, but if I do then that’s OK too.
- Not to be in a position where I feel that I’d be better off/richer/more fulfilled/closer to reaching my potential if I hadn’t had children (but to still love those children unconditionaly – if they’re reading)
- To have a sensation, out-side of work hours, that there isn’t some great undone domestic thing requiring attention.
- To not feel domestically inadequate because of hours spent working/doing other human-being related things.
- To not feel pale and feeble beside women who do achieve greatness, and, then, to not need to google like crazy to find out what their secret is.
- To actually not care about the state of one’s house/body etc (rather than just say it).
- To not have to turn off the internet to avoid sexist bollocks that celebrates older women who still look good in a bikini or, in fact, any of the other bits of ‘content’ that make you feel a bit off on a regular basis. Circles of shame, adverts for cleaning products, Youtube etc.
- To be able to dsicuss menopause symptoms as readily as you would your hangover symptoms.
- To not live in a house full of people who agree that it’s not fair and they will, indeed, pull their weight, but to, yet again, find myself faced with the domestic stuff.
- To be able to address the above effectively without having to scream/nag/weep.
- To have some idea how to change things, or at least how to start.
- To not feel the need to waste precious energy and time on this crap.