I can’t help noticing that, even in West Virginia, I am the only adult in my holler who doesn’t have a job. From 9-5 Mondays through Fridays, there is no one in this little valley but me.
I love to hear people’s opinions on whether or not women should work. The majority of people I talk to seem to agree that women should work (unless they are taking time off to stay home with their young children). Which makes me wonder why they should, but on this there does not appear to be a consensus. When pressed, though, people’s answers seem to fall into one of these three categories:
1. Women should work for their own sake. Jobs help them to lead more satisfying lives and to achieve their true potential.
2. Women should work for their husband’s sake. It is cruel to place all financial burdens on a man’s thin shoulders.
3. Women should work for society’s sake. More women in the work force will lead to more female leaders which will lead to a better world.
And of these three arguments, the “women should work for their own sake” seems to be most popular. And here are the top three reasons why people say women should work for their own sake:
1. Jobs bring women personal fulfillment and the opportunity to develop their talents.
2. Jobs give women security in case their husband decides to join the circus (or otherwise ceases to provide.)
3. Jobs give women freedom and independence. When us ladies have our own money, then our husbands can’t tell us what to do. Only our bosses can.
And of these three reasons, the first is once again the most popular. So basically, many people believe that women should be employed because employment leads to inner growth and fulfillment.
Which could be true, although I have to say that my own experiences with jobs have never led me to that conclusion. My time as a career lady was mostly spent staring at stacks of papers and trying not to faint. Or at least trying to ensure that if I did faint, my head would fall behind a potted plant where it could not be seen. Eight hours a day of trying to appear busy when there was nothing at all to do. Eight hours a day of trying to keep alert expressions on my face as my mind sunk deep into a coma. The most exciting moments were spent making coffee or driving to the store to buy glitter pens and Fat Free Vanilla Creamer for the boss.
But my experiences may be unusual. I don’t know how stimulated and fulfilled the average person feels at work. But I also don’t know why being employed would be an obviously and inherently superior existence to what a person might do if left to their own devices. (Even though I am well acquainted with the pitfalls of being left to my own devices.)
I think the real reason people think it is good for women to work, is simply because most women DO work (for economic reasons, probably), and healthy minds tend to conclude that whatever we are already doing is actually the best choice that could be made.
Which is why I have concluded that the only way a person can TRULY know themselves is to be left all alone for 40 hours a week, in a white box, in a tiny valley, sandwiched between a steep cliff and the home of a child molester. Only under these rare and perfect circumstances can a person’s spirit truly grow wings and soar to the heavens. Only under these ideal conditions will the Inner Phoenix be revealed.