April 04, 2006

Competing for the prize of approval

This post was inspired by posts here and here and here although I went off in a different direction.

Whenever I read about the Mommy Wars, I feel confused. Because I never know which side I am supposed to be on.

I've been a mother who was home full-time. With an infant. I've been a mother who didn’t have a paying job but spent many hours doing volunteer and activist work. With an infant. I've been a mother who worked a part-time job. With an infant. I've been a mother who worked a full-time job. With an infant.

I've got four kids, and the only way I could believe that one style of parenting was the right way, the perfect choice, would be if one of my kids had somehow turned out better than the rest. So far that has not happened. In fact, two of my kids – Boy in Black and With-a-Why, who are six years apart and raised in different situations, are so alike in personality that they often mistaken as clones. My oldest two kids, two years apart and raised in different situations, have gotten almost identical grades all through high school, have performed the same on standardized tests, and have been awarded the exact same college scholarship. If one type of parenting is superior to the others, it would be hard to tell from my kids.

Of course, I could judge these situations by figuring which was best for me, which situation made me feel most empowered as a woman. But really, that doesn't work so well either. I'd like to point to the time in my life when I was all self-actualized and empowered and confident, but I am not sure that has ever happened. Whether I was home full-time or working full-time or something in between, my personality was the same: stubborn, impatient, easily distracted, warm and loving one minute and losing my temper the next.

I suppose the strangest part about the Mommy Wars, to whatever extent they exist, is that women end up fighting each other. Or is that so strange? The rules and values of patriarchy say that women should be competing with each other. The dominant culture says that women are valued not for what we do or say, not for our intelligence or strength of character, but for what we look like or how we best perform our gendered roles as wives and mothers.

I was in college when I first grasped the concept that women in our culture are supposed to compete with each other. I think I first noticed this in conversations we would have about beauty rituals. Many of the women I knew used to spend hours getting ready to go to parties, putting on make-up, curling their hair, etc. (Big hair was in style.) I was never one to do any of that stuff. I don’t wear high heels because it makes no sense to me to wear shoes that will cause physical damage to my feet. I don’t wear make-up either. It never seemed logical to smear gunk on my face, since I have lots of colour in my skin and long black eyelashes. I don't use a hair dryer or a curling iron or do anything else weird to my hair because that always seemed a waste of time. I like the natural wave in my hair and blowing hot air at it just damages it anyhow. And I like the silky feel of my hair so I don’t put gunk in it.

I never criticized my friends for putting on cosmetics or spending money on expensive haircuts or whatever. I actually sort of enjoyed watching them go through their rituals as we hung out in the dorm, listening to music and talking about what parties we were going to. I could understand the importance of ritual, of taking some kind of time to emotionally prepare for the transition from classes and books to weekend parties. I could see that my friends who were introverts especially needed this time. (In a case it's not obvious to anyone reading my blog – I am an extrovert.) I liked watching them brush their hair and try on clothes, giggling and crowding around the mirror. These rituals were beautiful and sensual. I could totally understand how some of my friends would enjoy the aesthetics of clothing choices – trying out textures and colors, holding silk blouses up to their skin, admiring the lines of a dress.

But the strange part was how often women would get upset at my refusal to put gunk on my face or wear shoes that hurt my lower back, like somehow I was betraying all women by refusing to do this stuff. That I was cheating somehow.

"It’s not fair," women would say to me back in these days of dating and parties. "You do nothing to improve your appearance. And yet men always find you attractive."

It took me a long time to get what these women were saying. Then I understood the rules, the mode of thinking. A woman who sacrifices time, money, and health for her appearance deserves male attention. Because male attention is the thing we are supposed to fight over. Something we are supposed to work hard to earn.

And even the Mommy Wars can be that sort of competition. If I am valued as a mother and a wife, shouldn't I get credit for sacrifices I make? If I stay home with my children, I should get points for sacrificing my career for my children. If I work full-time while raising children, I should get points for doing all that extra work in juggling both. No matter what I do, I need to compete with other women for some kind of external approval for the choices I make. That seems to be what the dominant culture is saying.

Even the compliments I get make me cringe sometimes. Women will say to me, "Oh, that's great that you take belly dancing classes and snowboard and stay in such great shape for your husband." For your husband. Because yeah, that is the only reason I should dance and snowboard and feel good about my body. The assumption is that I do these things not for me, but for my husband. Ugh.

I hope things are different for the next generation.

I want my daughter to realize that she is smart and beautiful and wonderful. I want her to know that, to internalize it, to appreciate herself on a gut level so that she does not ever need external male approval. Whether she chooses to wear tattered jeans or fancy dresses, whether she chooses to have children or not, whether she chooses to be in a relationship or stay single, whether she cuts her hair herself or spends money at some fancy place, whether she pursues a higher degree or some other vocation – no matter what choices she makes for herself, I hope she understands that she does not need anyone’s approval. Even mine.

57 comments:

nannigia said...

I wished you were my father...:) just joking...No I love my father
but I as a gril think that the very first thing that a father should tell his doughter is that she has the most valuable and beautiful face and appearence...
I think this confidence should be given to every girl...

nannigia said...

Sorry I wished you were my mother...

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

LOVE this post. I like playing with these ideas in my history courses... my students are quick to see evidence of men suppressing women in cases like Renaissance Venice, where elite women wore veils and awkward high shoes. But if I ask them about their own high heels and pantyhose and makeup, and who really would notice if they chose not to wear those things, they realize it's other women who are enforcing the presumed expectations of men.

(And I get the same kinds of reactions, since I've rejected pantyhose/makeup/heels for, well, ever. It's always a dual response: "You're so lucky not to have to do all that," and "I could never do that." A backhanded affirmation if there ever was one.)

Ianqui said...

I'm so lucky. Y'all should hear Super G when he complains on the very rare occasions that I actually put on some lip gloss, or how he kind of likes my pudginess because he's so damn skinny.

So if someone ever assumed that I was working out or wearing a particular kind of clothing for my husband, I'd have to smack them.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

~stands and applaudes~

Jen said...

One of the things we're trying to do with the All Girl Army is to encourage girls to see each other as allies, not enemies, and to privilege their relationships with each other, precisely for the reasons you discuss.

Sometimes it's good to go back to Beauvoir and read what she has to say about women facilitating their own imprisonment. And I say this as someone who very happily put on makeup this morning because I like playing "dress up" :).

elsewhere said...

Really interesting post. You should enter it into the next Carnivale des Femmes. I think kids are pretty resilient and will often turn out to be who they were going to be, anyway.

Phantom Scribbler said...

I wish you had Haloscan so that I could make you an adoring audience for this post. I'll have to settle for saying that this is my favorite jo(e) post ever.

Susie said...

Thanks for this - its beautiful. But also, we're just starting a playgroup at our church, and this will really help frame these relationships for me.

Songbird said...

I've yet to meet a man who really liked make-up on a woman. I knew long ago that we did it for each other, or against each other.
This was brilliant, thank you.

Lisa V said...

Beautiful post.

I actually think women dress more for other women than they do men. I suppose I am thinking about women who really love clothes. My daughter Rory will be that kind of woman. Beautiful clothes or well put together outfits are like art to her. Men rarely comment on things like that, but women do. I think it's the same with hair and make-up.

mendi-la said...

thx jo(e) - i always enjoy your posts but this one is gold

Sue said...

Brilliant post jo(e). Thanks.

peripateticpolarbear said...

I love this.

susan said...

This is just great, jo(e). It is unfortunate that many people just don't have any tolerance for different approaches to the very different ways of moving through the world.

seadragon said...

I must add my "brilliant" to the rest. This is a great post.

Timely, too, because I spent a part of my spring break reading "Tripping the Prom Queen"-- a book about how women compete with each other but don't like to talk about how they compete with each other. It speaks of jealousy between mothers and daughters (SO not you), jealousy between sisters, jealousy between older woman colleagues and younger woman colleagus. It discusses the fact that feminism was supposed to be about women working together to help other women, and somehow it turned into women working hard to get somewhere but then feeling like they have to compete with the younger women who are moving up, rather than helping them.

I found the book obscenely depressing, and had to put it down before I even got through the last section, which promised to give some solutions to the problems rather than talking more about the problem.

This post taught me more about some solutions. Thank you.

La Lecturess said...

What a lovely post, Jo(e). I'll second many of the other commenters in saying that it's among my favorites of yours (and there's competition!).

I tend to be a makeup-and-heels kind of girl, myself, but I do it because I enjoy it and because I feel that I own that look--it's certainly not something that I learned from my (casual, outdoorsy) family, or even from the majority of my friends.

Ianqui said...

Phantom: Are you saying that because Haloscan has permalinks? So does Blogger--just click on the time. That's the link to the comment.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Like everyone else, jo(e), I have to say brilliant post....but even more than the whole looks thing, I am so with you about the Mommy wars. I, too, have four kids, and each of them had somewhat different parenting situations,with me at home or working or going to school and so far so good (knock wood!)

Teri said...

Excellent post, Jo(e).

arona said...

Hey Jo,

according to _The Mommy Myth_ by two authors whose names I can't remember, the whole idea of "the mommy wars" isn't based in reality. most women work part time when they have young children, and lots of women (like my mom) have the same experience as you, having different job-committments when each child came. anyway, it was a really good book, i definitely recommend it.

Liz said...

Love this post! I'm one who doesn't wear make-up (although I do wear heels--lowish ones--often), and I've had lots of other women actually try to "trick" me into admitting that I do own make-up (although I don't). Never men. Always women, and they take it very personally when I don't admit to owning any.

I've also been told more than once, "If you had more self-esteem, you'd wear make-up," whereas the way I see it, the fact that I don't wear make-up is evidence of my self-esteem.

ArticulateDad said...

Nice post, Jo(e). I'm not going to take up what you so ably described, and what so many comments here reflected on. I'm going to take this in a slightly different direction, since, well, you know, I'm a guy.

It's odd how much fatherhood is hidden in society. I recently saw an ad in a parenting magazine for a t-shirt that reads "guys who change diapers rule". A brief bemused smile on my face turned quickly to sadness. It was an insult in the vein that you hear those compliments about "doing it for your husband".

It is true, I am biologically denied the pleasure and pain of bearing a child, and laboring over birth. I can not lactate. These are facts of biology, about which I have no control. But they alone do not determine my parenting. I am a father, and that by choice. Being a father is the most difficult and rewarding task I have ever taken, and one for which it seems I could not have been prepared. But that, perhaps most, because it means so much to me, because failure is not an option, and because there is nothing that can touch a child's loving smile, or delighted giggle, and nothing so heartbreaking as a child's earnest tears.

Thank you for sharing your varying choices, and the realization that your children have thrived in all the cases. As my wife and I continue to make our own choices, as circumstances dictate or permit, it's nice to know that our children will be their delightful and frustrating selves throughout it all.

Mama Lady Woo said...

Awww, c'mon Jo(e). We're all gonna be outta here before we know it. Heels, no heels, makeup, no makeup, hairdo, no hairdo, credit, no credit, smart, not smart, beautiful, not beautiful, wonderful, not wonderful...what's the difference? Meaningless distinctions all! Just love, don't think, and shut the fuck up! It's the ultimate solution. I promise you.

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

I don't have anything substantive to add--I just wanted to chime in with the chorus of "great post!"

jo(e) said...

Mama Lady Woo: Just shut up and don't think? Uh, no, that would never work for me. Not advice I would give my daughter either.

ccw said...

Love this post!

Mona Buonanotte said...

Sometimes I think the "Mommy Wars" was made up by magazine editors who had nothing better to do. While I have "heard" of and "read stories of" militant women on both sides of the stayhome/work argument, in reality, I don't KNOW any of these women. Women I know realize how hard motherhood is...period...no matter what the circumstances surrounding it. It's all hard, and it's all rewarding. We make the best decisions we can, and damn anyone who belittles or finds fault with what WE do for OUR families.

Huh. And I promised myself I wouldn't rant.

Psycho Kitty said...

Is it any wonder I adore you?
And that last paragraph--yes, not just that she doesn't need male approval, but so that she doesn't need female approval, either. To live according to her own standards.

plainjain said...

Hi Jo(e),
I'm a relatively new visitor to your site, and I've been going back and reading some of your archives. So many of the posts have stirred thoughts and emotions up in me, bringing things to the surface that I didn't know were there, or that I had forgotten about. Yesterday I was reading a post about your fall trip to the monastery and you recommended some reading to a commenter, including "Dance of the Dissident Daughter". I bought a copy last night and started reading it. There were a lot of ideas and descriptions in it that resonated with me, and I found myself wondering if this could be something really important to me. Then I logged onto your site this morning to find you've written a post re-iterating many of the same things I read last night. I think it is a sign--I may just be starting on the "journey" (as Sue Monk Kidd refers to it) to find some part of me that has been buried. I just wanted to say thanks for the nudge in the right direction.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Thank you, jo(e). You voiced a lot of words that have been stirring in my heart as well. Especially when I was reading the comments on Dooce lately, and seeing these women accuse each other of being abusive parents, for choosing different styles of parenting.

halloweenlover said...

I thought I was the only one who'd had friends get angry at them for not wearing makeup, dying hair, wearing heels! One of my dearest friends gets upset with me for not wearing cleavage showing shirts, because you're "supposed to."

The newest thing for me has been a thong. Several people get outraged with the notion that I refuse to wear them. They are totally insistent that I need to try another kind, and when I say no, because WHY would I have to try another kind if I don't like them? They get upset. One woman at work says she is going to buy them for me and force me to wear them. Sigh.

Rana said...

As I sit here, make-up-less, in jeans and sweater and comfy shoes, I have to say that this is a really great post, jo(e), in what's looking like a really interesting cross-blog conversation. *grin*

But the strange part was how often women would get upset at my refusal to put gunk on my face or wear shoes that hurt my lower back, like somehow I was betraying all women by refusing to do this stuff. That I was cheating somehow.

This IS just the weirdest dynamic. I tend to get this most with regards to food, because I am a thin person due to my metabolism and cooking laziness, and one who happens to love food when someone else makes it. Plus I find the whole idea of diets depressing. (But that's just me, for me, and about me). So when I eat in public, I end up eating lots of "rich" or "bad" food, albeit in small portions because my stomach is small, and I stay away from anything diet-related. You'd think this would be no big deal, but it apparently bothers a LOT of people.

These people (usually female co-workers, usually the most stressed out ones, and the ones who give the most attention to things like office politics and hierarchies) take this as an affront. It's like I'm "cheating" if I'm thin without the "work" of dieting, or somehow I'm passing judgement on them for "failing" to "succeed" at being thin. It doesn't matter whether I'm comfortable in my own way, or that I think they are just fine as they are -- they are uncomfortable with themselves, and find it impossible to believe that anyone could think otherwise, so I must be either a phony or a liar. They get even more angry if I wistfully say that I wish I got more exercise or was more fit (because, thin though I am, I'm not fit), because, again, I seem to be "getting away" with something, or boasting, or something else negative.

I find it all really weird, and very depressing.

Rana said...

halloween lover, that's really horrid. It makes me think of high school, when girls kept trying to "do me a favor" by "helping" me with make-up, advising me to get a perm, etc. I was fine the way I was - but they refused to believe me. *sigh*


Perhaps I should post about this myself.

Yankee T said...

This is the best jo(e) ever! I am going to give it to Older Daughter to read. We tell her all the time about the importance of NOT doing things for all the patriarchal reasons, but sometimes I'm not sure she hears us. Thank you for this, jo(e), it's brilliant!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Rana! Thank you! I go through exactly the same thing. I actually had my doctor tell me to eat more often, because my metabolism's high.

And, therefore, I often encounter a.) people who are enraged that I can have the figure I have, without any of the "work," or b.) insinuations that I just pretend to have a high metabolism (and must be bulemic, since people do see me eat, and so I can't be anorexic...). I also have encountered (very often) the phrase "You make me sick!" in response to the fact that I'm a size 4.

Good thing my Mama raised me to love myself for who I am.

kathy a said...

terrific post.

it really made me think of my relationship with one of my sisters. a few years ago, when our dad was quite ill with cancer, i was working full-time, commuting twice a month to his city 400 miles away to visit and help, and raising 2 young teens. my sister kept advising me i should be dying my hair, i should lose weight, get better clothes, and also that i should be doing more for dad. she disapproved of my son's hairstyle and clothing. when my son hit a rough spot, she [a single woman with no children] lectured me on how i should "just listen to him," like she had any idea of the serious problems we encountered or my substantial efforts to deal with them.

her barrage of criticism really managed to encapsulate a whole range of areas where others feel free to second-guess the decisions we make carefully, individual preferences [i don't like dyed hair, don't wear heels, and dont' consider shopping a satisfying artistic hobby] and the competing concerns we face.

Bitty said...

I've read the post and the comments several times, and now that the discussion has turned to criticism of what we put in our bodies...

I don't drink. I made the choice years ago because I have lived some pretty ugly past lives with alcoholics. (I'm quite happy with the current life.) Although I drank very little before, when I realized I only drank anything to make other people happy, I stopped drinking altogether.

This did not please some, including my "best friend," who well knew why I didn't want alcohol and who had herself divorced an alcoholic husband. She couldn't stand that I wouldn't drink with her, and one New Year's Eve, she poured some champagne in my glass of Sprite when I wasn't looking.

She said she was sorry...but really, she wasn't.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I had a huge argument with my mom & one of her friends once -- she said that she likes to look pretty because it makes her feel good about herself, and I said, unless you walk around with a mirror all day you don't know if you are pretty or not. Unless you can see the approval of your prettiness in other people's eyes. In which case you are not looking pretty for your own sake but for other people's approval.

The real reason I don't wear make-up etc. is that I can't be bothered. I'm way too lazy for all that stuff.

On the other hand I can see where trying to look aesthetically pleasing would be a courtesy to the world. Kind of like cleaning up your house before company arrives. Not to avoid their judgement against you, but as a sign of respect for them.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

jo(e) I like this post but I don't believe it's the patriarchy which makes us critical of each other. (The patriarchy might benefit by it and encourage it. But.) I think it's how we're wired. I think we women define ourselves by the groups of which we are a member -- and you can't have a group unless someone is outside it.

Am I wrong?

jo(e) said...

On the other hand I can see where trying to look aesthetically pleasing would be a courtesy to the world. Kind of like cleaning up your house before company arrives. Not to avoid their judgement against you, but as a sign of respect for them.

Sure, but how come so much of this pressure is put on women and not men?

Men are not expected to wear shoes that will cripple them or put make-up on their faces in order to be pleasing to the world.

jo(e) said...

I think it's how we're wired.

Jennifer: Are you saying that women are biologically wired to be critical of each other? And to compete with each other? I don't see how that works as a biological adaptation since humans are a social species who form communities to survive.

And if it's biological, I should think we would see this pattern across cultures, and we don't. If you study different cultures, it becomes apparent that there is some other dynamic going on.

I would also question the idea that a competitive nature is a genetic trait linked to the female of the species. The stereotype in our culture is the opposite.

I often hear people say things like, "Oh, that is just how women are."
That always seems too simplistic to me.

And a copout.

Sort of like allowing male behavior to go unexamined because "boys will be boys."

joanna said...

I've always felt that the "Mommy Wars" was promulgated and perpetuated by the media just to sell books and magazines. And it has been abetted by cultural sexism and classism--I mean, the women who are battling this war are middle to upper class women who can make the choice and who have time to read the many books describing their dilemma.

New Kid on the Hallway said...

Like everyone else said, this is a great post. What's funny to me is how defensive it makes me feel - not because of what you say, jo(e), because I realize that your whole point is that women SHOULDN'T be competing, but it's hard to read this kind of thing without somehow feeling like I do things wrong by being a girly girl who wears heels and makeup and styles my hair with gunk (which says something about me, not the post). It's not that I care at all whether other women do or don't, and I realize that my way - wearing makeup etc. - is generally more socially acceptable, in the sense that I don't get crap about not doing that stuff the way that you describe here. But the makeup/hair gel route isn't necessarily any easier, either.

Which all goes back to your final paragraph, really, I guess, and that the approval has to come from within.

Laura said...

Like everyone, I love this post, and the first part was very, very reassuring to me. Thanks for including that.

listmaker said...

I'd like to echo what everyone else said. Brilliant.

Rev Dr Mom said...

I've been thinking about this during the day and I wonder if part of the "mommy wars" thing, the part where moms snipe at each other over different ways of parenting, comes from our need to feel like what we're doing is really okay. If we can get others to agree with us, then what we're doing is validated somehow. And when we can't get validated, then we can get ugly.

Mrs. Coulter said...

Yay you! You rock! I'm also a no make-up, no hair-care products, jeans and comfortable shoes kind of gal. When I look at pictures of myself in junior high when I was trying desperately to fit in by wearing make-up, getting a perm, etc., etc., I have to wince.

Jenevieve said...

Great post, Jo(e)! I wrote about something similar a few days ago. As someone who has gone through phases of "girliness" and has ultimaely settled somewhere on your end of the spectrum, I occasionally find myself on the defensive about my lack of makeup or fancy clothes or whatnot.

Surprisingly, the area in which I get the most flack is our lack of a TV. When people find out we don't have one (and don't want one), they assume we are lying or "just too poor". They then tell us "wow, I could never do that" or "what do you do all day?" or "geez, my spuose and I would kill each other without a TV."

When I assure these people that matt, myself, and our marriage are doing better than good, the look at me skeptically and then start trying to figure out who has a spare TV that we could have.

Isn't that bizarre?

jo(e) said...

Jenevieve: I didn't have a television in my house until my daughter was about five years old. People would criticize me, implying that I was a bad parent to be imposting my anti-television views on my children, and that she would just probably flunk out of school because she hadn't prepared for it by watching Sesame Street.

And yet, my sister, whose kids watch a lot of television, would get criticized for having a television in the house. Her kids, I guess, were doomed to flunk out of school because they watched too much television.

You just can't win.

(Oh, I happy to report that neither my daughter or my niece flunked out of school.)

jo(e) said...

New Kid: Yeah, I think that is the dynamic. Somehow we end up feeling defensive no matter what route we choose. Because no matter what we do, someone will tell us we are wrong. Living for external approval will just make us crazy.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Don't know if you've given up on this string but I just saw your comment to my comment...

I do think the pressure to look a certain way is put on men as well as women. Didn't you tell your own son that he ought to change his clothes before his interview? And my husband is teased by both his dad and my dad for dressing so casually at work. In the summer he wears shorts & they think it's disgraceful.

Regarding my hard-wired comment, I will have to think more about it. Of course men are competitive with each other as well. It may be that our culture brings out the competitiveness in humans in general... By the way _of course_ there's a stereotype of competitiveness among women, only we don't use the word competitive; we say that women are "catty." And where competitiveness is usually seen as a good thing, catty implies back-biting and is never a positive remark.

jo(e) said...

Jennifer: Sure, men have some pressure to look a certain way, but I would argue that far more pressure is put on women. The cosmetics industry makes way more money off women than it does men. Some grad students I knew in the 90s were doing studies on how people were judged in relationships. Women were most often judged by what they looked like. Men were most often judged by how much status or earnings potential they had. I think this is still true in many ways -- women have more pressure to look a certain way, while men have more pressure to earn a certain amount of money. I think there is still big gender divide when it comes to this kind of thing.

I agree with what you say about the gendered stereotypes when it comes to a competitive nature. Men who act competitive are considered "assertive" and "strong." Women who act competitive are "catty" or "bitchy."

Rachael said...

"I want my daughter to realize that she is smart and beautiful and wonderful. I want her to know that, to internalize it, to appreciate herself on a gut level so that she does not ever need external male approval."

I'm older than your daughter, but I have internalized this, thanks to my mom. And it is something I thank her for regularly, that I know that I'm beautiful and smart and wonderful (albeit messed up in some rather serious ways.) I still have some rather serious issues about the stuff I need from people I'm involved with, not to mention living my life as I'd like to, but knowing that I'm smart and beautiful and a worthwhile person gives a different...baseline, maybe (I'm not coming up with the word I want) to work from. I'd bet that you've done the same for your daughter.

Lilian said...

Wow, just wow... I don't read for a couple of days and then I not only have an awesome post (I think I agree with Phantom here, even though it is a tough call, you have many many "best posts" :-) to read but 54 meaty comments!

First, I'm very much like you (no fancy hair care, no make up, comfy clothes, shoes) and my mother was like that too... My friends in high-school were not so much, but weren't that into make up and stuff. It also helps that growing up in Brazil is different from here, I have heard one American man remarking that one of the differences we saw was that in Brazil women commonly went to work with their hair wet. I'm often amazed at how some of my few American friends blow dry their hair every morning!

Anyway... I thought New Kid had an interesting point (I've always wondered why in the world men have to wear suits and ties to work), but your response was good.

And I loved Articulated Dad's comment. I should let him know.

OK, enough already :-)

timna said...

I, too, haven't been around this week and there's so much to catch up with.

Just wanted to add -- a friend of mine on the East Coast saw me off to a couple of interviews over the past few years and kept insisting that I must wear lipstick. eventually I started to think maybe I do have to do that to get a job. But I couldn't start the experiment when I had to focus on the interview. Then I'd always forget about it until next time. So I never did.

great post, jo(e).

kate5kiwis said...

gosh jo(e)
i'm almost a year late to this post, however did i miss it??
ah, probably cos i store your blog up in my bloglines and have a blogfest once a month, but you already knew that.

was actually searching for my fave *love your belly* post of yours, and found this.
i love it how you unpack stuff jo(e).

i think i still have a way to go on the self image wave, i'd like to think i'm *there* but deep down, i question my motives at times.

i totally hope this for all my kiddos too:
...no matter what choices s/he makes for herself, I hope she understands that s/he does not need anyone’s approval. Even mine.

hmmmm, much food for thought, as always.
love X