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Men, Women, and Careers
by Andrea Scott
What is all this crap about women “having” to staying to home while the husband works? I’m sure this will be another favorite with my mother-in-law but what the hell, right?
Granted, if a woman “wants” to stay home while her husband works, then more power to her. I don’t know what the hell she’d do all day if she didn’t have children though. I’d go nuts. What I don’t get is when a man refuses to let his wife work. What is that? The women’s rights movement wasn’t just a tea party we held for kicks, we actually meant what we said.
Here is a sticking point with me. Being in the military is a career for some. This career requires that you move every year or every few years, which the government gracefully pays for. Your wife, if she works, must either try to figure out a way to transfer to another office or quit all together. This means at your next duty station she has to start basically all over again with her career if there is even a job to be had in her field or profession. She gladly does it, though, because she loves her husband.
Not only does being in the military require you to move a lot, but it also requires you to be gone a lot. Our husbands go to war; they go on weekend stints to the field or detachments for weeks on end. This I see is the civilian equivalent to the travel time you spend with your job as a civilian, though maybe not quite as much or often. When he goes to Iraq for six months, I see this as the civilian equivalent as being on assignment or up starting a new branch of the company you work for. But let me enlighten you.
NO ONE ELSE THINKS THAT WAY.
Because I was having such a hard time finding a job where we were, I was miserable. Instead of making my husband miserable also, I decided to do something about it. I looked for jobs elsewhere in other cities and found one where my mother lived. I thought if I lived with my mother temporarily that I could work on my career while my husband works on his. Yes, I was creating distance that otherwise was unnecessary, but why is my happiness worth less for a choice that I made than my husband who also made a career choice?
Does anyone see the injustice in this besides me? My husband’s “job” requires him to leave for days, weeks, or months at a time and while I don’t complain. My “job” may require me to do the same but very rarely. My husband signed his life away to the military. I just married him. Of course I want my marriage to work, and I don’t want to be away from him, but where does it say that because your man is in the military you must forfeit all of your own dreams to stay at home and wait for him?
It has also been my dream to become a column writer, which I’m doing now and I’m so excited about it. When I brought it up to my husband, I told him that I would be writing about our life and the military. I also told him that this column was not about him but about me. This is my dream and while it involves him, ultimately it is my call. What I love is when you share your excitement with your family, they ultimately give you their negative opinions. And here is what I have to say to that. Hold on to your butts because when I’m done with this world, I will have accomplished everything in life I set my mind to without regret, knowing what you think about me only fuels the fire (so put that in your pipe and smoke it).
Andrea's mother-in-law has a pipe... and something to put in it now.