What is the Real Issue Here?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
What is the Real Issue Here?
72
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 8:56pm
What is the real issue about women working outside the home?? I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of people in society are angry and upset that women are working at jobs and "competing with men". And that is the REAL source of the anger. It actually has nothing at all to do with people worried about children not having a mom at home, or being in daycare. I feel the real issue is people are upset (especially in these hard economic times) that there are some women out there getting the jobs "that men are supposed to get". But who really wants to admit it? I mean, no one wants to admit to having such bigoted attitudes. So, they claim their concern is really for "the children".

By the way, lots of women HAVE to work and its not a choice. Anyways, not all jobs are that great. Do you really think that a woman working the night shift as a security guard, or working at Wal-Mart checking groceries is just doing so to fulfill her ego or something? come on! Its called SURVIVAL.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 4:02pm
No, it doesn't have to be about money. I would think that the fact that I am earning a fraction of what I used to and being paid slave wages in exchange for quality of life would be an indicator that it is so obviously not about money for me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2001
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 4:36pm
Certainly not the ONLY one. Just one of them. My point is: everyone is different. You cannot take your own rules, based on how YOU are, and make them apply to everyone else.

I also have many friends who are PT or quit working because they didn't want to do both. Nothing wrong with that either.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 4:50pm
Fair enough, I just have a very, very hard time accepting the fact that anyone who's just put in a 10 hour day at the office could actually look forward to the so-called "second shift" of housework, kids, cooking, paperwork, and laundry. I mean, there have been volumes written on this phenomena (one of them called, coincidentally, The Second Shift), about how millions of women thought that it was going to be so wonderful to have a great career and a husband and a family and that they could do it all easily and successfully, only to find out in the end that they were emotionally and physically drained, and it wasn't what they thought it would be.

But here you are, proving me and them wrong. I know I'm tired just working a 6 or 7 hour day and I find myself doing laundry at 9:00 or 10:00 at night, and I have no problem telling you, that I'm not enjoying it. I'd much rather my old schedule of 16 hours a week. My house was always clean, I never skipped a work-out, the refridgerator was always stocked, clean clothes were always available, I wasn't running around like a nut every morning getting everyone ready. I can't wait until summer, 8 more days and I'm home for 10 weeks. Really, I can't tell you how I'm looking forward to sleeping until 8:00 and lingering over coffee and the paper.. but that's just me I suppose.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2001
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 5:48pm
Well, that's a separate issue. Most of the working women I know don't work a 10-hour day. I do, but I don't have kids. And my boss knows, as I've told him many times, that my goal is to work an 8 hour day or less. AND, if I have children, I expect to work 8 hours a day or less.

I suppose some women have commutes on top of the 8 hours. But most I know work 8 hours, take 1/2 hour lunch, and have two 15-min commutes. Total is 9 hours.

And as far as laundry and housework goes - it also depends on the division of labor. I don't do laundry, and I don't expect to start if I have children. Our division is 50/50. That still means that we'll have to change a lot when we have kids - but we don't expect otherwise. Obviously, if you are parenting 7 hours a day, you have to give up something (or many things).

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 10:56pm
Men should do HALF the housework and HALF the childcare. Its their kid too.

You don't have to be some "superwoman" or a workhorse. If you get by on one income, then more power to you.

Nobody ever says women should "have" to work, do they? I mean, just go on some of the budgeting boards - lots of the people on there are women who don't work, their husband is unemployed or disabled - and she STILL won't go out and get a job.

Considering the fact that most women outlive men (not to mention the fact that the divorce rate is 60%), I find it odd that sahm is such a popular thing. What will these women do someday? One of my friend's husbands just filed for divorce after 3 years of marriage; she hasn't worked since they got married (no kids). She went on a job interview and they wanted to know, why hadn't she worked for three years? And I am NOT saying that anyone will get divorced, all I know is it seems to be very common these days.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2001
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 1:19am
My dh does half the housework (and he used to do 70-80%).

Anyway, part of the reason that I work (beyond the personal satisfaction), is the "safety" issue. You can say that "if you are always waiting for the ball to drop, you won't be truly happy". On the other hand, if you are one of the people who gets divorced, you may be better off being able to support yourself. It's easier in the long run.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 10:04am
Well the rule of thumb is, after some years of marriage, the wife with 2 children will get 52% of the combined income and 50% of the assets. In my case - married 19 years with a husband making over 10 times my salary, I'll be just fine.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 12:25pm
But isn't that assuming a very civil, (hopefully theoretical :) ), divorce? My parents have friends who are in the middle of a divorce now. He's a fairly well off business owner, she's a long time stay at home mom who's worked part time for the past five years,(or she did, now she's looking for a full time job to help pay her legal fees). They've been married for 22 years and have a school age son. She's a good friend of my mom's and she's devestated now because she, too, thought she'd be fine in the event of a divorce. Everything would be split half and half, she'd get their son, that would be that. She didn't bargain on the divorce getting quite this nasty, or her husband flaking out to the extent that he has. He has no problem paying generous child support, but he doesn't plan on giving her the cushy life she's become accustomed to, which is fair I think. Back about a year ago she was still feeling pretty secure in her supposedly unquestionable right to the son and full financial support, so she challenged the amount of child support he was supposed to pay, (which was more than enough to help support the child, but not enough to prevent a significant drop in the wife's standard of living if she wasn't willing to find a full time job), and then he played his trump card and is now suing for full physical custody. He may very well get it, too, since he's always been an excellent, involved father, and is now semi retired. At the very least she's gone from having the boy all the time, except for every other weekend and a month in the summer, to having him every other week and every other holiday. Plus she won't be getting the same amount of child support because her son won't be with her as much.

I guess my point is, in my experience, the employed partner is in the better position in a divorce. Especially if there's a big discrepancy in earning power, and the person making the most money is willing to avail themselves of the best legal counsel available, either to do what they see as being best for the kids, or to screw over their ex. They may not end up winning, per se, but they can certainly draw things out for years if they don't want to fall in line. Sometimes the rules of thumb just don't apply in these situations, and I guess that's why alot of women say they'd never put themselves in that kind of situation. I know everyone's priorities are different, that you can't live your life expecting a divorce, and that there are alot of so called friendly divorces, where the husband has no problem continuing to support both the kids and his ex. But, hey, I'm 24, for a person my age the divorce rate is 50 percent. I think it's for that reason that alot of young women today have been brought up being told to never put yourself in a situation where you're financially dependent on a man long term. Whether that means continuing to work full time after the kids or born or making sure you, personally, are financially stable before taking time off to SAH, is IMO, a matter of personal preference.

BTW, trip59, am I right in thinking that you're one of the teachers, or soon to be teachers on the board? What grades do you teach? My mother's taught for almost 30 years now, first grade 1 then grade 5, (I actually come from a long line of teachers, but unfortunately I'm bucking the trend, LOL). Good luck, anyway.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 3:03pm
I happen to have a bit of insight into divorce as my BIL is a very prominent divorce attorney (he was quoted several months ago in Fortune magazine regarding Jack Welch's divorce), and actually, a SAHM stands to gain more than a working mom in a divorce. The key is to get the best possible attorney you can afford, and I'm wondering why your friend is even paying her attorney - her husband can be forced to do that, she shouldn't have gotten a job to pay her attorney, her husbands wages should have been garnished to pay for her attorney and anything else he isn't providing for. Lots of husbands try to get away without paying, but they'll just be dragged into court and be made to pay. Also as far as getting custody, it also favors the non-working parent, another reason a SAHM may be better off in a divorce.

It's not really up to him about how he will support her, it's up to the court, and, as I said, the rule of thumb here is about 52% of income to the custodial parent, and 50% of assets. So if he is making 150K, and she 10K, after the divorce they would both get 80K, with him having to pay her 70K a year to make up her split. Obviously there will be 2 households to split the same income and neither partner is going to live as well as before.

I really can't stress that people should get the best possible representation they can afford. If you don't pay in the beginning you'll pay the rest of your life! You're right, the person with the best attorney will be better off, but the higher earning partner HAS to pay for the lower or non earning partner's attorney. Your friend should have gotten as good an attorney as her husband, maybe she didn't realize that she could.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 3:13pm
That woman (the one who got divorced) may have to go out and get a job. I don't think that child support should also be "wife support". Its just child support. Really I don't understand what some women think is so "horrible" about the fact that they just might have to work at some point in their lives. Unless you are independently wealthy perhaps? All the sahms I know of do things to earn money on the side even if they don't have a job with a salary - they do all kinds of things to earn money.

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