There’s a campaign afoot to eliminate the “b word” when referring to those of our fair sex. No, not the usual b word we’re all familiar with having roots in the canine world, but b as in bossy. Bossy girls are perceived in the same manner as the other b girls. Being bossy, or taking charge if you will, is not perceived as a desired feminine trait by many in either the female or male camps so it seems. Why is it where a man is considered assertive, a woman exhibiting the identical behavior perceived as bossy? Hmmmmm.
Women begin early in their development to suppress their leadership tendencies, lest they be viewed as overbearing or, well, bossy. These very traits, however, are what propel men more often into leadership roles while women still lag behind both in filling these roles, along with the salaries they command when they do find themselves in the driver’s seat. Often I think we’re our own worst enemies.
Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook, has launched a campaign to eliminate negative adjectives such as bossy from the picture allowing young girls to instead be encouraged to spread their wings, express their opinions, and receive positive enforcement for exhibiting leadership qualities. Yea for us! I see that as a ten point spread in the last three seconds of the game.
My other half would view this, I believe, as dusting off my soapbox from the 70’s, tossing my bra to the wind, and going all Gloria Steinem on him. Not true. I very much enjoy being female, and treated as such but I do not agree with women in the work force doing the same job with the same skills being paid less than their male counterparts. Also, a strong woman does not mean an unfeminine woman, just a person who knows what she wants and is willing to take the steps necessary to achieve her goals. There I said it.
Over the years men and women’s roles in society have gotten a bit fuzzy. I believe the conundrum arises with men actually wanting their spouses to help support the household, while at the same time wanting to come home to a clean house, bathed children, and stew bubbling in a pot on the stove. Women, on the other hand, are possibly torn between wanting a career and full life outside the house, and being a good mother, and providing proper meals and a nice environment for her family in the home. One, I believe, does not necessarily rule out the other. I do believe, however, it’s a tough call. Once Rosie set her first rivet, the world shifted and nobody really knows where to stand on stage anymore, or what their lines are.
I would have loved to stay home with my children, not that I view this choice as a walk in the park. Dealing with little people all day can be both joyous and exasperating from one moment to the next. My two were only a year apart. Once my daughter, the oldest by a year, got over the fact she’d gotten a baby brother rather than the lop eared rabbit she’d requested, my son became both accomplice and fall guy in whatever scheme she was brewing beneath the guise of that sweet little face. There were many. The infamous green crayon caper, where my two criminals in training made a mural on the walls of their bedroom with large green crayons during nap time necessitating a complete repainting of the room. Note here, crayons, being made of wax, bleed through paint so painting over them is really a project. Put that in your play book for parenthood, right after what Play-Doh does to neutral carpet in Chapter 4 – Why Parents Drink.
It was disheartening at times to come home from work and find I’d missed a milestone in their lives someone else had shared, or they’d had a rough day without Mom to kiss it better. Life doesn’t always allow for what you’d like to do, opting instead for what it is necessary for you to do.
Child care was always an issue. Sorting through the applicants and various pre-schools available was dizzying. Some pre-schools were progressive. Saying “no” to the children considered heresy. Others had a stricter code of behavior but progressive education, actually teaching the toddlers during their time there. Always there was the option of in-home child care or a nanny if one had the means. At one point or another I tried all the options, excluding nanny. One didn’t have the means.
Of the in-home variety, I had sitters in my home and those who picked up the children after school and took them to theirs. Neither were the perfect solution, but better than having the kids sitting on the curb waiting for their mother to arrive around 6:00 p.m. There were no perfect fits, simply those which didn’t pinch the toes as much.
In Massachusetts there was the lovely lady from Japan with 10 children of her own, who for some unknown reason chose childcare as a profession. Another woman was so devout she spent a good deal of the day praying (I’m not saying this is a bad thing – no letters please) and not enough time watching the children. They did everything but tie her up and burn her at the stake. At that age, or any age really, you have to keep one eye on them at all times even you have to install a third eye in the back of your head. One day she placed bowls on their heads while I was a work and when I returned home my daughter’s lovely golden locks were handed to me in a bag along with her coloring pages with the explanation hair was prideful. For months when out in public my children were mistaken for twins. A new sitter was brought on board by the end of the following week.
Somehow we muddled through and they grew up relatively unscathed. I was a latchkey kid myself, coming home to make my own sandwich in the afternoon, feed my fish, and do my homework. My mother checked the TV for heat as soon as she walked in the door so I made sure to turn it off well before she arrived. Smile.
I have done my tribute to clogged arteries for the month so let’s try on something healthy and delicious. I love beets. I realize they aren’t for everybody. Baked like this I could make a meal out of this salad during the summer. Delish.
Baby Romaine Baked Beet Salad and Cumin Dressing
1 bunch of beets (4 small)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Garlic salt (Lawry’s preferably)
6 oz. baby romaine lettuce
2 slices of orange bell pepper, halved
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
1/3 cup raspberries
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup sliced red onion
3 large mushrooms, halved and sliced thin
2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Scrub beets. Cut off stems leaving 1″ on end. Leave on tail. Wrap in tin foil, making a tight package. Place in oven on cookie sheet and bake for 1 hr. and 15 mins. Beets should be fork tender. Leave package open and allow to cool until you can handle. Peel and chop in large chunks.
Plate lettuce on four salad plates. Top with remaining ingredients, leaving beets until just before serving.
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. basil
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together in cruet or container with lid. Chill for at least a half an hour before serving.