<rant>I get a more than a little edgy over our sexpectations for women. Don’t get me wrong, sex is great. Sexy can be a lot of fun. But when it seems overwhelmingly that sexy = “hot women scantily clad” (oh boy, bring on the spiders) as opposed to sexy = “awesome things between pairs (or, whatever) of people,” that can just suck.
There are lines I draw in the sand. There are lots of things people find acceptable — or at least fail to question — that set me right off, especially when a woman’s sex appeal gets pulled into business and other inappropriate settings.
So without trying to parse “what is ok?” and “what isn’t?” in laborious detail, can we all watch this and just agree *something* is very very wrong?
Next time you laugh or leer at outrageously raunchy women in a very public setting, tell me — is this really how you want your daughter to look, feel and behave?
I’m all for bringing sexy back. I just think it’s way sexier when sexy is shared a little more evenly. </rant>
I really feel like this post should already exist. Maybe it does. WTF is it with pretending it would be the deadliest. sin. ever. for your kids to be overheard in the background while you’re on a business call?
I mean, yes, I know, it totally would be mortifying. I too swallowed that kool-aid. I play by that rule. But what I want to know is WHY?
Let’s review. We all know that:
- Many people are at home when they work. Yes even supremely professional, supremely skilled, supremely qualified, hardworking people. Arguably, some of the brightest minds do.
- Children (and dogs, yes, there’re both here) likewise are in (those very same) homes.
- The mere presence of sounds in the background does not mean your work is any less good or valid.
- Working from wherever is fast becoming a new version of the American Dream
So why the FRIG would it be JUST AWFUL if someone overheard your child, dog, or hell, mother-in-law, in the background? Why do we all go to such lengths to pretend it ain’t so?
Noise would impede the call. Um, yes, but, um, no. Think conference calls where someone is dialing in from the highway with loud ensuing road noise. It happens. Everyone groans but accepts it. That’s life.
It’s Unprofessional. Sure. Ideally, I really would prefer not to listen to another’s (or share my own) screaming baby throughout the call. But why scurry for the phone shutting doors and giving the nanny (or other caretaker) meaningful weighty winks to “disappear” all sounds altogether? We have accepted home offices in the working world, why the “make believe” that the “home” part isn’t there?
This great NYT article about Ladies who Launch gives us the warm fuzzies, because it’s true that many professional women will “cut you slack” about kidnoise:
“There is just something about woman-to-woman legal advice,” Ms. Gabay-Rafiy said. “We’re never condescending. We explain things in plain English. And when I’m on the phone with a client launching a business from her basement who keeps apologizing because a baby is crying in the background, I just get it. I have two kids myself and I know what it’s like.”
But it also gives us pause. Why haven’t we as “the working world” come to accept this aspect of home-based professionals? Couldn’t everyone just learn to deal with it? Why should the entrepreneur/telecommuter/freelancer live in fear that the baby will wake up/dog will go off on the mailman/etc.? Why the unnatural dependence on email or carefully scheduled calls to be sure all will be silent when the phone does ring?
And to open a whole other can of worms, does this affect, as I suspect, home-based women a teensy bit more than men or is it the same either way?