Hearken Back….

Posted by kelley on May 06 2010 |

to the good ole days.  When a woman went for a job and was told “Why’d you want to do that Ma’am?  You should be home tending to those children.”  This is how my afternoon went today.

I have been living here for the past couple of years and I have finally come to enough of an agreement with my life that I felt like I could apply for a part-time position.  Yes…an actual money job, rather than just the hugs and kisses payment arrangement I have with my family.  The local yarn store was hiring for a two day a week position that seemed ideal.

Most of you will know that I knit a bit. (Laugh long and loud.)  In fact, my daughter takes delight in showing her friends where all the yarn in the house lives.  In that big trunk…and that drawer…and that drawer, too…oh and those boxes over there, etc.  My husband and son just smile and nod.  They like the socks. I’ve been fibernetic for a while now and I’ve even done a bit of teaching and I’ve been seriously involved with my LYS (local yarn store) since it opened about a year ago.  So when the position was announced, I threw in my hat.  Of course, I spoke to Sam first as it would mean him picking up the kids two afternoons a week, but we do that anyway, so no problem.  The interview went well.  And then I got the call today…

Seems Ms.Proprietor decided that she wouldn’t feel right ‘taking me away from my children’ and was concerned that my having ‘young kids’ could cause conflicts.  I did tell her, when asked in the interview, that my husband works from home and has no problem getting the kids twice a week and that my in-laws live just half a mile from us so they could help out as well.  She then proceeded to spread around all sorts of platitudes about what a lovely person I am and how our ‘relationship’ was really important to her, etc.

I was offended. (How’s that for putting a thing mildly?)  For one thing, I’m a fairly tentative person socially, so when I put myself out in the world it’s a fairly large thing that I’ve thought out beforehand.  If I wasn’t prepared to cope with the job and fitting it into the rest of my world, I wouldn’t have applied.  For another, what she said and the way she said it actually constitute sexual discrimination in this country.  It’s illegal to deny a woman work because she has the primary care of children.  Being discriminated against is bad enough.  Being discriminated against by another woman is just really wrong.

And at the end of the day, I was completely in tears because it’s knit night and I didn’t feel like I could be there.  At the one place where I’ve actually managed to feel like I was fitting myself into the world in a positive way for me.  That just makes me angry all over.