Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Excuse Me, No Family?

Oh, when will they learn? Ed Rendell, the Governor of Pennsylvania, was caught on an open mike talking about how Janet Napolitano was a good pick to head the Department of Homeland Security because:

"Rendell: Janet's perfect for that job. Because for that job, you have to have no life. Janet has no family. Perfect. She can devote, literally, 19-20 hours a day to it"

Gosh, let's just briefly touch on how I don't recall any of the MEN who were in that position or other positions in that level of government being scrutinized for whether or not they had families.

And let's get on to what completely and totally pisses me off about that statement.

I have been over the past ten years or so, mostly in the last six, subjected to the same prejudice. I should work on more holidays because I "don't have a family". I have been told, in the past, to my face that people who have young children should not have to work on holidays, that the single and childless people should work.

Yes, I do. Just because I do not have a husband or young children does not mean I don't have a family.

I have a significant other (to use a term, since Jason doesn't care for boy-toy). I have a child, grown, but still my child. I have brothers, I have nieces and nephews. I have an aging mother who I would like to spend as much time as possible with.

I have a freaking family.

And I'm sure Ms. Napolitano has a family also.

Ed Rendell is an ass and I hope his family doesn't include young women who he clearly believes should not have a choice to excel in a career and have children.

Loki sez: Don't worry Thor, we're part of the family, no matter what some people say.


Pam said...

I love this post. I completely agree - as someone with no children (hence family), it is always assumed that I can be available to work the extra hours to get something done (because of course, no children = no life). Rendell, I have a freaking family too!

JanetLee said...

Pam - I've heard similar complaints from singles who work in office settings - that they are asked to stay late, come in on Saturday before their co-workers who have children.

One aquaintance from years ago worked a company that allowed people more sick days per year per child.

That was great, but when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers, she had no extra days to use to tend to her mother.

While her co-workers had extra days to use through the year for sick kids and doctors appointments, this woman had nothing extra to use for her family member.

Marcheline said...

And besides the obnoxious references regarding having/not having "family", there's another Boss Faux Pas - the bloody stupid assumption that if one is single and childless, that there's nothing they'd rather be doing than spending their entire life at work!

Helloooooo.... single? no kids? That doesn't mean work 20 hours a day, it means time to cook and travel and learn new hobbies and read and all sorts of stuff!

Unless there's a job available as a practice patient for massage therapists out there...

- M