Wednesday, August 1, 2007

While in line at the coffee bar...

...I was waiting behind two women, one of whom was advising the other that she really needed to fire her nanny since the nanny had gotten pregnant. "Oh, it creates so many difficulties, and then she'll be worrying about her child all the time and resenting the fact of spending time with your child. Really, it just *doesn't* work. You just can't work as a nanny and have a small child... she needs to find another line of work.

The other woman protested weakly that it didn't seem fair, after all the nanny had been working with them for several years and doing a good job. (She didn't mention wanting to apply the same standards and legal protections to her employee as she would expect to receive from her employer... no, that bit was all in my mind... but it was in the air. It could be inferred by someone with an active imagination.)

"No, no, it's just messy. Emotions, you know. You're upset, the nanny's upset. No (tone of finality) it's really just best to let her go at the beginning."

I had to check my watch to make sure I hadn't magically been transported back to 18th century England where the scullery maid was getting fired for being knocked up.

You know what's great? Is how women have entered the workforce at a professional level, and their bonds of female solidarity with other women have totally erased all the obstacles to having a job and children at the same time, and everyone is so much more enlightened now, and women would never treat their "sisters" with the disrespect that they've faced in the past. Just like those early feminist theorists said would happen.