Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Political Correctness

When I finished high school in 1987, I think both me and my parents were just excited that I got my high school diploma, so the thought of going to college or university was the FURTHEST from our minds.

Within days of graduating, I had a full-time job.  My Mom was a legal secretary and so, she pulled a few strings and got me into the office of an amazing real estate/corporate lawyer.  He was SO awesome....he taught me SO much.  I started that job, working 40 hours a week for $250.00.  That's $6.25 per hour....BIG bucks to an almost 18 year old.  I started out as a receptionist and within a coiple of years, had worked hard and made my way up the ladder to the title of  "Legal Secretary".  It was SUCH a prestigious title and I was so darned proud to tell everyone what I did for a living.  :)

I worked for several other law firms over the next 9 years, some good, some dreadfully bad, but all the while, I was a "Legal Secretary".  Sometime in the early 90's, a new title came into the legal world..."Law Clerk".  It was a cool and important-sounding title and many of us "Legal Secretaries" coveted that new and cool title.   But, alas, only those who had obtained their "Law Clerk Certificate" were allowed to use that title.  Legal Secretaries were no longer cool....Law Clerks pushed us aside.  And God forbid a lowly secretary ever call themselves a Law Clerk.  Man oh man...that was a definite no-no.

I considered going after that Law Clerk Certificate in the mid-90's, but Hubster and I were also planning to start a family, so I settled with my lowly secretary status. 

Back then, there was that special day every year, where we knew our bosses (well, the GOOD ones anyway) would buy us flowers and/or take us to lunch to celebrate and thank us for all we did.  That special day was called, "Secretary's Day".  We loved that day.  We reveled in our amazingness.  We felt special and appreciated...even for that one day of the year.

Then the Law Clerks came along with their feminist attitudes.  They were WAY above the lowly secretaries, and therefore, demanded that Secretary's Day be renamed, so that they wouldn't be mixed in with the know, the secretaries.  You can find some history here.  

That bugs me.  WHO CARES what the name of the day is?  Why is being a secretary so embarrassing?  So much has changed in our world in the name of equality and stuff like this really irks me. 

To be honest...(putting on my flame-proof vest now)...I hate the womens' movement.  I hate feminism.  How has that HELPED women?  Back in the day, women stayed home, raised the children and kept the house.  They didn't have to work.  The MEN took care of the family financially.  Thanks to feminism, I am now expected to work full-time, cook, clean, chauffeur the kids around, do homework, laundry, balance the books, etc., etc., etc.  How has that HELPED me?  I want to go back to raising the kids and keeping the house clean please!  Ugh.

So to all the secretaries, administrative assistants, law clerks,  helpers, WHATVER you call yourselves,



Kimberly F said...

I completely agree, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a secretary and no shame in the word. In fact, anyone who takes pride in their work and does it well should be applauded and celebrated, and anyone who looks down on someone else just because of their title is a jerk. But I am actually embarrassing myself by crying in Starbucks after reading your post. What has feminism done for you, me, and every woman in the country, whether you appreciate it or not, and even though anti-feminists are making sure there's still a ways to go? Lowered the wage gap. Broken down barriers to entry into any profession. Made it so that I can look at my daughter and with absolute sincerity tell her that she can be whatever she wants to be in life, whether that's a brain surgeon, secretary, lawyer, or stay-at-home mom. I can tell her that thanks to feminism, people no longer look the other way and say domestic violence is a private matter. I can tell her that if she has ever has a boss or coworker that thinks it's OK to ogle her breasts or pat her on the butt or worse, she will have recourse thanks to feminism. I am horrified by the thought of going back to a world in which none of these statements are true. There is no feminist in the world that thinks you should have to be the wage-earner, child-rearer, cook, cleaner, launderer, book balancer, and every other thing there is to do at home. Feminism is about giving women the ability to make the life choices they will find most fulfilling. It doesn't promise that those choices will make life easy. And if you and your family have decided that an unfair share of the responsibilities should fall on you that's pretty much the opposite of feminism.

My Three Sons said...

Hi Kimberly. Thanks so much for your comment. You have very valid points. I guess what bothers me is that it has gone TOO far, in my opinion. I liken it to unions (my Dad would roll in his grave if he read this) Unions have gone way too far. There was a time when companies took major advantage of the workers and unions made sure the "little guy" was covered. Now, the "little guy" takes advantage of the company because the union will protect him no matter what he does.

I am forever grateful that womens' rights has stopped certain things and given women more opportunity, but I think it's gone too far to the extreme.

Thanks so much for commenting. I love healthy debates and reading different opinions. :) Please come back again?

Kimberly F said...

Thank you, I appreciate your thoughtful (and polite) response.

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