Why are we doing this? — A story of rules and respect
Look around you with an honest eye — how many people do you see unhappy? And, why ARE they unhappy?
Most of us live our lives without ever questioning the rules, some spoken, some unspoken.
Whom are these rules serving? Not me, nor you.
While growing up, I could tell that my father didn’t respect my mother or value what she brought to their relationship.
I could tell because I saw her working in the kitchen and perform household chores all day. And yet, once my father was home from work, it was she who was expected to serve him and see to his needs. He who had gone out and earned us our bread. Not she who cooked it and put it on the table.
This is when I learned what work matters and what work doesn’t. Work you perform in the kitchen and at home is of no consequence. But, the work you perform out in the world is the only kind that matters.
I grew up trying to dodge household work. Always knowing I will not be my mother, doing work of no value, and being taken care of financially by a husband.
Today, I had a new realization. It’s not just my mother whose work isn’t valued. But, it’s work performed by a woman that’s considered of lesser significance.
I have an office job now, and my father still expects me to leave everything that I’m working on to attend to his work. He believes I could never be doing anything better than what he is ordering me to do.
The same fathers and husbands go out in the world and make decisions. Decisions that impact all of us. So, now I understand why the rules are written the way they are.
Rules that hold women to an unfair ideal that even most men can’t keep up with — I know — I have the privilege of working with and knowing some really great men who are often dreaming of escaping into the wild.
I believe it’s time we start respecting ourselves and what we bring to the table. No matter if it’s money that buys the food or unpaid labour that turns it into dinner.
After all, all kinds of work is here only to help us with an opportunity to serve and feel good about what we bring into the lives of the people we touch.