Women’s work is never done… but today it is.

November 21, 2006 at 1:55 pm | Posted in moi, women's work | 3 Comments

Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.” ~Clare Boothe Luce

In this new age of working women, what is it about us that makes us overwork so much?

Women – and I apologize if advance if I sound as if I am stereotyping – have an innate tendency to accept responsibility. This is not a judgement at all on biology – rather, it is a social judgement on how we are raised in society. Women are raised to be nurterers, to be the responsible one in the family. We are the ones who clean up after messes, who write the Christmas cards, send the thank-you cards, order the flowers and make arrangements when someone passes on. We are single mothers, widowers, and of course, workaholics. We know how to survive and how to make life work for ourselves and our families when times are tough.

All that said, is this what contributes to the enormity of women who are over-working multiple jobs today, endlessly single from trying to progress their work lives, to succed, without time for relationships?

Today I had to write the incredibly difficult email of having to quit a job that I had taken on, but truly just didn’t have the time to do. Of being stretched too thin working not one, not two, not three, but four paid jobs plus volunteer work and unpaid work. Something’s gotta give, and it has to be what one doesn’t enjoy.

This design job had progressed far too long without any progress. Promises had been made, and I should have backed out many many moons ago.

It is still never easy to write that letter, to say the words – “I quit.”

I want to do it all.

I want to save the world.

After all, I am a One Woman Army.

– Artemis.



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  1. I completely understand the pressure to succeed, to make everyone happy, or at least satisfied with the work you’ve done.

    I never thought about it before, but it does seem to create more pressure—this knowledge that as a woman, there’s still a lot to work for (or against).

  2. I understand it was a difficult decision, but it sounds like you did the right thing. I too feel horribly guilty for taking on a task that I really want to do, but have been unable to make progress on for many months. And it’s something that matters! It’s something feminist! But, I haven’t been able to do it. I havne’t “quit” yet officially b/c (a) I’m too embarrassed and (b) I’m hoping I’ll be able to get it done… somehow.

  3. I agree with what your saying- I think what exacerbates the situation so much in our generation is the treadmill capitalism that keeps us wanting more, and never feeling satisfied. Women are supposed to “have it all”, both literally and figuratively, but are also expected to do it all. It’s frustrating to see so many women get dragged under this cycle.
    Great blog, btw!

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