Truth Universally Acknowledged

The title of this blog is an obvious reference to my favourite author, Jane Austen. My other great inspiration is Ella Fitzgerald. I intend this site to be general musings about things which interest me, and hopefully you as well.

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

I'm a girl in her twenties living in New Zealand - of Irish and Scottish descent. I'm married to a wonderful guy and we live in a tiny house in the suburbs with a menagerie of soft toys and model aircraft. My main occupations at the moment are attempting to become and author and surviving my day job... wish me luck!


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Thursday, 24 February 2005

Rant: In the post-feminist age

You know, I think the second world war is responsible for many detrimental effects to society. Apart from the obvious ones, like millions of dead people and general violence in the world, one which bugs me is the fact that while all the men went to war, the women moved out of their homes and into the workforce. And when the men came back, these women were like "What? You want to take my job away! I don't think so!" but then they got pregnant and became unhappy housewives. Then throughout the next few decades women decided they wanted to choose when (and if) home life was for them, and the career women was born.

Here's the problem - now that women have proved they can be a productive force in the workplace, society expects every women to desire a career. It's such a change in 50 years - the world went from no (married) women working, to every women having to.

Like most girls, I went along with it. I wondered what I wanted to be when I grew up, then realised that I would make no money from my passions (wildlife and writing) so chose a degree which best suited my strengths. Three jobs later, I'm completely disillusioned with the whole process, especially now that I'm married and I have a little home to look after and someone to cook for (don't get me wrong - we share the duties equally). I actually hate 'working'. I hate the getting up at un-natural times, I hate the traffic getting there, I hate the false little greetings, the queue of tedious tasks, the pathetic coffee banter, the mindset of needing to slave away just to make a corporate more money, the long afternoon with even more tedium, the stupid meetings, the jargon, the pressure... and I really hate getting home and absolutely not feeling like I have the energy or desire to make the most of the evening.

I think I realised I wasn't cut out for the workplace when I was engaged. My fiance and I were studying one of those books dispensing advice for couples like us. It was talking about the essential needs of men and women. One of the needs for men was to have a restful home, and for women was to have financial security. You may think these ideas outdated, but it struck a real chord with me. I do want to be the nurterer, who makes everything look just right, who cooks lovely meals and who greets her husband at the door. And of course he wants that - who wouldn't? What's the complication? Money, of course. He's still studying (though he does work as well), and we can't even afford the lovely food. The good news is that by the time we feel like having kids, he'll probably be making enough to support me. But it's going to be a tough road in the meantime - me feeling trapped and him feeling guilty.

I don't want to sound ungrateful. I like the idea of supporting him. But why does the workplace have to suck so much? Am I the only one who doesn't have any career aspirations? People look at you funny when you say you don't have a five year plan for your career. It just doesn't fulfil me. Funny how when you first get introduced to someone, they always ask, "what do you do?" which of course translates to occupation. Why must our jobs so much define who we are?

It seems that some of the world shares my views on not believing everything hardcore feminists would tell us. There was a documentary on recently showing how many young Mums (in the US) are choosing now to stay at home. Their mother's generation saw it as a priveledge to go out and work, but they see it as a right to stay at home. Good on them (as long as they're not in debt or on welfare or anything). I really think it's important for a mother to be with her child in its formative years. There has been much published on how much more stable kids are when they've had this quality time. Probably a lot of the violence and problems in society could be prevented if kids just had a stable home life with a mother and father... but that's another story.

I better stop this rant now. Wish me luck as I look for another trapping, I mean job. Or wish that I'll finish my novel soon and it will sell millions, either one.


12 March update - Looks like I'm not alone in feeling this way...

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