One of my colleagues that I have known for a while (even before I took this job) asked me if I would leave the job if my husband had to take a job elsewhere. For me, the question doesn’t compute. My husband is a teacher, a teacher with quite a bit of seniority at that. There is no way he is taking a job elsewhere, under any circumstance that I can think of, under any scenario.
But the person asking the question, asked in attempt to define what type of woman I was — was I career driven or driven by my personal life? My colleague also happened to be a man.
Of course I told him I would go if I had to, but that I really didn’t really think that was likely to happen. So it was an easy answer. The more I thought about it, the more I wasn’t sure if that was the case. I am not saying I would leave him, but I would strongly lobby him to stay and forgo the other opportunity… But then what?
The question didn’t bother me at first. But the more I thought about it, the more it did.
- Why would a question like that define the type of woman I am?
- Why the hell didn’t I ask him the same question back?
- Why is it okay to ask a woman that question, yet it didn’t even PHASE me to THINK to ask him the question back? Is it because he is a man?
Gender roles are so engrained in our thinking, that clearly even our most automatic of our behaviors are trained by those roles. I didn’t even THINK to ask him the same question. Wow.
Well it’s been a rough day due to some stressful situations around the office today. So I am going to forgo my gender role of drinking wine this evening, and opt for the Crown. Because it has been one of those days!
Have a great weekend!