The Bengal Beat

Working Women

Women+should+be+seen+as+capable+of+pursuing+a+career+if+they+so+choose+%28Photo+Courtesy+of+Ashlyn+Athey%29.
Women should be seen as capable of pursuing a career if they so choose (Photo Courtesy of Ashlyn Athey).

Women should be seen as capable of pursuing a career if they so choose (Photo Courtesy of Ashlyn Athey).

Ashlyn Athey

Ashlyn Athey

Women should be seen as capable of pursuing a career if they so choose (Photo Courtesy of Ashlyn Athey).

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Over the course of American history, women have had quite an interesting journey in gaining freedom and basic rights, such as suffrage. However, the question still remains: do women belong in the workforce? The simple answer is yes. For centuries, men have been the main source of income, and I am not arguing that this is necessarily a wrong thing. However, a person should not be solely dependent on another person in any relationship because it is not healthy for either. For example, if a woman is completely dependent on a man, like many women were throughout history, what happens once he decides to pack his bags and leave? Or what if he loses his occupation? In a relationship like this, freedoms of the dependent person may be restricted as the person in financial control may threaten the other. Therefore, I propose that women should seek opportunities in the workforce and pursue careers of their choice with full vigor, if they so desire. Thus, both the man and woman in a relationship share power with each other, and neither is socioeconomically in control of the other.

However, it is necessary to address an issue that is often an obstacle for many women pursuing careers: pregnancy. Having a child is probably one of the most exciting and life-changing moments, but a child should not be the reason a woman chooses to quit pursuing her dream. Families should support one another, not hinder one another. With the right time management skills and daycare or babysitters, women can work while being a mother. In fact, the United States Department of Labor reported in 2013 that 69.9% of mothers with children under the age of 18 were participating in the workforce; therefore, it is possible for a woman to still love her family and career at the same time. For example, let’s take the hypothetical case of a middle-aged woman who is attempting to be chief editor of her local paper, which has always been her dream. However, she recently discovered she was pregnant; with her mother watching the baby during the week and her husband taking turns cooking every other week night, this woman can be a working woman and a mother. Some may argue that women are supposed to stay at the house and solely take care of children, but I would argue that men should shoulder some of the responsibility, as the child is theirs as well. While some may feel that women should stay at home to be a proper role model for children, I believe that a woman could potentially be a better role model if she participated in the workplace. She could be seen as a resilient person who has the courage to pursue her dreams, which would inspire her children more than if she simply stayed at home.

Although women have made great strides in the workforce since World War II, the simple fact of the matter is that in many professions, women receive less pay than men. For example, according to the New York Times, female lawyers get paid 44% less than male lawyers. To put that in perspective, a woman could earn an average of $659,000 annually compared to a man’s average salary of $949,000 annually. This in part could be due to men often receiving credit for bringing in large legal problems to his law firm since most of the money a partner makes is tied to how much business he can round up for his law firm. Even though these numbers may be skewed since there are fewer female lawyers compared to male lawyers, it does not justify the view that male lawyers are better legal defenders because of their perceived strength. What we fail to acknowledge is that in most professional careers, one has to be intellectually strong, and women are every inch as capable as men on that subject.

Overall, I am not saying that women are superior to men, but rather that women should be respected in the same regard as men. Each gender has its own strengths and weaknesses, and they are certainly stronger when together. Instead of upholding stereotypes about women staying in the house and taking care of children, I encourage the American public to realize a woman’s life can be so much more. Working mothers can provide inspiring role models for their children, and for the many women who choose to pursue their dreams and careers, I applaud them. Women are valuable assets in the workplace and should be seen as capable of pursuing a career if they choose so.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Working Women”

  1. Barbara Howard on September 28th, 2018 9:03 am

    Right on, Ashlyn!

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