Monday, February 11, 2008

W is for Work

In my larger circle, there are three single women who have related interesting things to me about their employment history. Two of them have been out of work for most of the last eight years, while somehow maintaining NYC apartments and lives. How is this possible? Unemployment, in one case, using an inheritance to actually buy their appartment, largesse of friends, early drawing of retirement funds and savings have helped. The third was sharing how she, at her last job change, chose to take a secretarial position, because it was more stable than the high-paying position she was filling previously.

Now, in an economy with about 4% unemplouyment, it boggles the mind how one can spend years unemployed, and it double boggles the mind, that someone CAN choose to earn less.

Because support-paying men can't. They must find jobs, and remain well employed, or be called 'undereployed' and have their old salaries imputed to them.

Neither do these men have the option of choosing to re-tool or educate themselves, or change careers.

These educational/financial/career-change/lifestyle benefits, so touted as so critical to the lives of women, that they must have the right to abort the children in their wombs, are not available to men.

Living on savings/retirement funds? Impossible once they are minced and divided by the divorce process, not to mention how rapidly the irreducable support/alimony number would liquidate them.

Saving by owning your own home? The marital home likely went to the wife in the first place, and if some (very unlikely) post-divorce fat years somehow allowed a man to buy a home and own it clear of mortgage, the legal system would be quick to place leins against it and liquidate it to satisfy the 'need' of the ex wife to continue 'to enjoy the lifestyle she has become accustomed to'.

Living on the largesse of others? The state has an answer to that too, imprisoning 'deadbeats' to shake funds lose from those who care for them.

Honestly, I think that most who can work, should.

But while living in a world where the man must always remain very well employed, it is eye-opening to be reminded that there are those who can spend years 'finding themselves', 'looking for stability', or 're-tooling', 'being housewives'* or even just 'being unemployed'.

Our culture provides that option.

-Just mostly not for men.

My Best To You In Your Struggles:

* It is shocking to many even to imagine a man wanting to just stay home and care for his kids.


pjanus said...

My Best To You In Your Struggles:

Thank you.

MisAnDrope said...

When your regulars speak, you should listen, no? :)