Lean in and listen to this my crickets…

Thankfully… it’s Thoughtful Thursday.

As you may have noticed from previous blogs…

I have a strange tendency to identify more with immigrant, slash, marginalized and/or ethnic population, rather than my overall ‘white’ affiliation (until TSA steps in “Excuse me ma’am”)…

Hey… the hand-smack was whiplash, millisecond, karmic justice in my house… curse words, disrespect, eh… maybe a sideways glance?

I’ve heard from a source recently that my lack of success is because my white privilege has been misused

… but…

That’s another blog… for another day.

For now… just accept that poor is poor.

Rootless is rootless.

And a-holes don’t own a zip code.


I have held onto this little rant for some time… since 2013 to be precise.

I wrote the essay “Lean In, and Listen to This” as a response to Mr. Z’s sister’s Ivanka-like book called “Lean In” (S. Sandberg).

Though it upset me then… It’s now 2017. The pendulum moved… sort of… and…

I thought the “lean in” debate was, well, over.

But…

Recently I was told, in no uncertain terms, that my point-of-view on the subject of women’s rights and the responsibilities of parenthood are…

Skewed?

Following their logic, I said:

WHY IS IT US

…OR THEM?

WHY DO I HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN MY CHILD’S SUCCESS…

…AND MY OWN?

Their look, and response, was meant to leave me to wonder, “What the heck is wrong with me?”

Why can’t I just pony up the reserve energy?

Why am I so freaking bitter?

Be a woman.

Wife,

mother,

caregiver,

cook,

cleaning crew,

doctor,

nurse,

dietician,

tutor,

and overall social conscience…

WHY CAN’T I DO ALL THAT (AND THEN SOME) AND STILL ACHIEVE MY PERSONAL AMBITIONS?

The WISE ONES say I don’t have to choose… I just do BOTH and let the chips fall where they may… The only thing that is important is: I am happy. *aw!*

5 minutes.

Cage match.

Bare fists.

Let’s go.

{{Breathe}} *phew*

Okay, I will calm down and parse the “Super-Woman” concept, at least per Western Culture, and show you what it REALLY means.

Financially successful = I create fiscal income, whilst generating a need for consumer product consumption.

Socio-culturally successful = I fulfill my biologically derived duties, but pass the parenting responsibilities on to the school system and society-at-large. Because, well, integrity isn’t what greases the wheels of commerce.

 The opposition up there.

The catalyst for this post-lean in rant… thinks

I just don’t Get It…

And, I think…

…their seats are a bit too cushioned and comfortable.

Therefore… I say… Screw these white, privileged, dudettes telling me what I should or shouldn’t do…

Spewing their judgmental, relativity, E=mc2 crap[1].

They know not what they conjure.

And… As far as the words God saw fit to give me?

I say… Let ’em fly.

Enjoy! 🙂 And chime in if you agree, disagree, or just want to add… I’d love to hear what you think!


Lean In and listen to this…

TC RIGGS – 2013

It’s been months, maybe a year, since the Lean In debate began. And yet, I still see articles going back and forth – in support and in opposition. I keep hoping that someone will hit the mark and strike a middle ground, but it seems that even the middle ground people consistently miss the point.

I feel like a ball getting hit back and forth in a never-ending tennis match. Back and forth. Left and right. Up and down. I’m tired – and I want out.

So, to all the societal judges out there: don your black robes and fluffy white wigs and answer these easy ‘yes or no’ questions.

These questions will help you determine whether the proposed target is deserving of your praise, envy or scorn as a Lean In or a Lean Out parent.

Yes, I said parent.

In all fairness, let’s leave out the aspect of sex.

Really, it’s just not fair to all the Dads out there who make the same choice:

  1. Is their current or previous job a ‘career’?
  2. Do/did they like their job?
  3. Are they/were they well compensated for the work? (Does/did it pay enough to survive and thrive?)
  4. Do they have only one child?
  5. Is/are the child or children under the age of 12, requiring paid-for daycare?
  6. Can they afford to pay for daycare? (Let me clarify, Quality Daycare, NOT the daycares I lovingly call “mosh-pit daycares”.)
  7. If not, does the target have family (parents or siblings, etc.) that watch the child or children “free of charge”?
  8. Do they clean and maintain their home, clothing and yard themselves?
  1. If not, does their job cover the cost of cleaning services, laundry services and yard maintenance?
  2. Does their family (children, parent(s) or significant other) have any health problems requiring additional care?
  3. Does (or would) their job pay enough to cover these additional expenses? (should they occur)
  4. Do (or would) they have support (monetarily or physically) from family or friends to help with the additional work required in such a situation?

The more “yes’s” answered in this questionnaire, the more likely that the decision was easy and a convenience for them. The stars aligned and all is well in their universe.

The more “no’s” answered in this questionnaire, the more likely that the target of praise, scorn or envy made a conscious and rational decision. And the stars are bright and all is well in their universe too.

I offer these three points to the discussion in an effort to assuage the debate over leaning in versus leaning out:

First; children are a necessary part of society and for the continuation of the species, so it is quite acceptable and necessary to afford allowances of time and resources for their care and maintenance.

Second; life is complex and choices are never down to just ‘one’ thing, although… that ‘one’ extra thing is always a tipping point for people. We all have choices to make and we make the best ones we can based on the information we are given and with the resources available.

Third, and most importantly; attacking or supporting women for their personal or professional choices is over-stepping your bounds as a member of our individualist society and of the human race.

Mind your own business.

Women have suffered the most from this unfortunate, yet human, tendency to pry, judge and trivialize. And they are the last faction of the species to be given the benefit of its removal. The very fact that we are still debating ‘leaning in or out’ proves that we still suffer the belief that women somehow belong to society and that their choices are beholden to societal requirements, expectations and whims.

We are all individuals.

So, “Judge not, lest you be judged yourselves…”

Personally, I think we should judge ourselves on things like honesty, compassion, integrity, fortitude, modesty and moderation, and, yes, cleanliness. Because, to keep with the Christian quotes, “…you will know them by the fruit they bear.” But that’s a tirade for another day… and only a lead in to the next analogy.

Take off the robe and burn it with the wig. Leave us to our own karmic fruit and we will leave you to yours.

I don’t want any praise, envy or scorn for the six years I chose to stay home with my children when they were young.

I don’t want any praise, envy or scorn now that I am back in the work-force and am struggling to maintain a good life for my family AND keep my house clean.

All I ever wanted was to be free of the praise, scorn and the envy.

All I ever wanted was for people to mind their own business while I was minding mine.



[1] The math goes: Affluence (E) equals amount of parental money (m) times influence (c) squared.