Blog / 2011 / Baby-raising and the Feminine Condition

September 21, 2011

It’s 2011. That’s 163 years after the Declaration of Sentiments was signed at Seneca Falls in New York, officially igniting the women’s rights movement in the United States. And still, women are not as successful as men in business. What gives?

Call me a cynic, but I chalk it up mostly to biology—specifically childbirth—as well as to the culturally created notion that women should be the primary care-givers to children.

These biological and cultural factors are persistent, impacting even the women who choose to circumvent them. An army of career-focused women can’t undo the harm of those who choose to become full-time mothers.

The problem is two-fold:

  1. Women who choose to quit their jobs in order to focus on family end up cementing the stereotype that women aren’t dependable in business and therefore aren’t worth hiring in the first place.
  2. Because women are taking time off for family during the prime career-building years of 30-45, they are not advancing in the same way as men are. The end result is that there are fewer women in positions of power in the business world than there are men. And when it comes to providing opportunities, those fewer women can only do so much to bring younger women up.

Clearly women should stop making and raising babies. It’s the only way any women are going to have a chance at succeeding in business.

Or maybe there’s something else we could do as a society...

baby elephant colorful drawing
Gwenn Seemel
Elephant Baby
2011
marker on paper
7 x 6 inches

Maybe instead of ending humanity, we could start valuing those who devote their time to raising the next generation—men and women both.

What if the people who run businesses could find a way to give credit to those who make the future possible? What if the idea that women in general need a leg up career-wise because a lot of women forgo careers wasn’t controversial?

Hey, a girl can dream, right?


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