Thursday, January 13, 2011

Should We Become Less Uptight About "Going Dutch"?

Stumbled upon this article that talks about Dutch women working less, having a big gender pay gap and loving it.

According to this article, most Dutch women work half days, meet their friends for coffee at 2 p.m., and pity their male colleagues who are stuck in office all day!

Now that's a life any working woman will be willing to trade her present life for (working beyond office hours, not being able to meet friends for coffee even after work, and still having to crib about sexism at work). The flip side, of course, being that we'll have to depend on the male species for money. Is that something I'm willing to make my peace with? I don't know. What I wouldn't mind of course is working half day, making enough money to be able to meet my personal and very important shopping needs :D and the rest can be taken care of by the man! They are genetically programmed to be ambitious, ruthlessly competitive, and more objective about work than women, anyway.

What are your views on this article?


The knife said...

I think that the last bit of the post is a bit of a generalisation but more importantly was just thinking how it's been a while since you wrote...and then I felt happy I clicked on the dashboard :)

muddleglum said...

I agree with The knife somewhat, but also it is good to keep in touch with what you are. Women are different than men and if they just shrug off the difference, it will come back to bite them. If you face the difference and accept the tradeoffs, that is different. So the ball is back in your court. Really, it hasn't left it. :-)

Scarlett said...

@The Knife - It's true I'm not getting to post as frequently as I'd have liked to, but there is no time...with a new role at work n all :(

@Muddleglum - Honestly, for women who've been conditioned to think since they were little that being financially independent is very important in life, it's very difficult to quit their careers or work part-time, since both imply financial dependency on their spouse. Having said that, I also do realize that there's much much more to life than one's job. It's a shame we spend the most productive hours of our day in a 4x4 cubicle.

Supernova said...

My first reaction to your post was all-out envy. Given my current workload, I feel like I would like nothing more than to "go Dutch". In fact, I am increasingly beginning to wonder if I want to invest so much of my life into my job (not my passion).
However I also realize that I simply won't be able to give up (or give in rather) quite so easily. I need my financial independence and I don't think I could tolerate it if the guys thought we can't handle the work they do.
I think its an evolutionary stage kind of thing. Women have fought long and hard in our country for the right to be treated as equal with men. So to 'go Dutch' seems a bit like regressing or throwing in the towel to us. But maybe after another generation or so, when we have proved indisputably that women can climb to the top of the corporate ladder, then, we can say, 'I'm as good as you are at this job but I CHOOSE not to work like you'. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Scarlett said...

@Supernova - I understand what you're saying but I think a little differently. I decided that I don't want my life to be only about work, or my work to define who I am a couple of years ago. I'm more than a dataset, a ppt and a few marketing recommendations. I don't think choosing to work less than we currently do will mean we're giving up - not as long as it's our CHOICE. I can't be financially dependent on someone myself, so I'm trying to think of ways where I can still earn enough and reclaim my life. It'll take me time to get there but get there I will.

Scarlett said...

@Supernova - And about men thinking we can't handle as much work as they do, my middle finger to that! We work as much as them, bleed 6 days a month for 40 freakin' years, put up with a thing growing inside of us and kicking out innards out, and bear pain they can't even begin to imagine. And no one gives us time out in life.

Supernova said...

I applaud any woman who has once participated in the corporate race and then been able to step away from it (and NOT just because she got married/pregnant).
I aspire to do it myself some day. :)