Saturday, November 26, 2005

It isn't important until men want it

Pinko Feminist Hellcat has a great post on a Fortune Magazine article about the plight of American men who are working 80 hours a week and have discovered that the quality of their lives is very poor. They are now complaining about what women have complained about for decades, but the difference is--someone is listening to them. PFH makes the point that a woman who appears to put her career over her family would be in for harsh criticism, and that a man who cannot seem to leave his office is never accused of "trying to have it all."

The killer sentence, as PFH points out, is: "It's hardly news that accomplished women are desperate for a new deal at work. But anyone who understands America knows that unless men want something, too, not much will change."

Aside from the obvious issue of sexism--women are both ignored and criticized for having ideas that are attended to and praised when men have them--the Fortune article brings to the surface a particular peeve of mine--the sickness of the American corporate workplace. Knowing that you have to put in 80 hours a week in order to "succeed" should be a gigantic clue to say "hell, no" and find another job or another career, But for many attorneys and corporate executives, alienation from family, extreme stress, physical deterioration, and the development of mental illness are the prices they are willing to pay to have a lot of money, and--perhaps more important--career status.

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