On Mondays, I'll post something about writing, either a morale booster to keep working even when it seems difficult, or insight into famous and successful authors' writing process (#MondayMotivation). On Tuesdays, I'll post an excerpt from song lyrics celebrating love in all its wondrous and terrifying glory (#TuesdayTunes). On Wednesdays, I post a line or two from my work in progress (#WIPWednesday). Thursdays, I pick a quote from a TV show or movie that I enjoy (#ThrowbackThursday). And Fridays, I chose a quote about being in love, going through life, or finding hope when things are hard (#FridayFeels).
But there's one thing that all of these posts have in common. I always look for something attributed to a woman (and for the record, I am using the word "woman" in its broadest sense to include anyone who identifies as a woman or female-presenting). It can be surprisingly hard sometimes. When I search a subject, I'll often find dozens of quotes by men with only one or two by a woman.
|My superpower is continuing to speak when |
a man has already said something similar.
And yet, there are other voices out there. They're not getting the same time and attention, but they are speaking up in steadily increasing numbers. Still, they never quite seem to gain the same traction, no matter how passionate, talented, and loud they are.
Last summer, I read a Guardian article by Brigid Schulte about how women are often not able to gain the same stretches of uninterrupted time that their male counterparts can. Women tend to work around other people's schedules, trying to manage the social labor of making sure everyone feels appreciated and heard. They still take on a disproportionate share of household chores and are expected to deal with the day to day challenges (like calling the plumber or picking up a new set of pots or any other small errands that seem to add up into massive tasks.)
I'm deliberately not mentioning children and childcare, even though that is also mostly on women's plate, whether they do paid work or not. Kids will certainly disrupt a schedule and while they can be taught independence, it always seems to fail as soon as the parent has something else they need to do. However, most of the mothers I know want to care for and nurture their kids (maybe not all the time, but it's usually one of the big reasons they had children in the first place). That said, most of the mothers I know also greatly appreciate getting time away from their kids to reconnect with their own dreams.
I grew up with the "women can have it all" mantra, which implied that everything was possible if only the woman was organized enough and didn't "waste" her precious time doing something non-productive.
Except women should not be expected to exhaust themselves in order to earn the right to pursue their dreams.
I'm not sure what the solution is. But I can do a small part by choosing to promote their ideas and words as a reminder that there are a lot of very talented women out there and if their production of amazing art is limited by the other responsibilities they have, then it makes what they do create even more incredible.
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