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Author Topic: The new feminist family?
BannaOj
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Also I'm at a loss as to how the graphs showing the discrepancies of women in engineering that I posted should not be taken seriously. If you'd go to the website and look they are heavily backed up by years of research data from reputable sources.

AJ

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BannaOj
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quote:
Feminists get attacked, but they also have widespread acceptance, where few if any will allow a man to step up and say a women should get in the kitchen, it's perfectly acceptable for a woman to stand up and tell a man to shup up and get in the kitchen. Personally I don't care, I'd rather be in the kitcen myself than at a desk, as I can make a pineapple upsidedown cake a lot better than I can file a report.

And there are women that suck at cooking and can burn water.

Until I ate my boyfriends cooking I had no idea how horrible my mother's and grandmother's SAHM cooking was. And my boyfiend works full time too. Oh and I'm the one that burns water.

I have absolutely no problem telling Steve to cook something for me. We both know he is better at it. And actually among fine cuisine and "chefs" there is a gender bias also. And the bias is.... Male! Go watch the food channel. Who was the first true cooking superstar? It wasn't Julia Childs... it was Emeril. How many females are there on Iron Chef? How many women in the sugar/chocolate/ice sculputre competitions????

AJ

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Swampjedi
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The numbers are suspect because they are aggregates.

Lemme give an example. Say, for example, that the average number of years of experience for women is 5 less than men, for whatever reason. I'm not sure what the number is, but it is less for women than men last time I checked (2003). Since years of experience is correlated with income, there will be a difference in aggregate income. If these years come in the middle of the working life (say, time taken off for children), the difference will be more.

Of course, you might argue that this is itself bias, but that's much more debatable.

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BannaOj
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Sigh.. had a post here and lost it. GRRRRRR

OK, I'm talking about the percentages of women graduating from engineering school and the percentage of women actually in the profession, those numbers are *not* agregates, even if the salary numbers are.

Plus, even the agregate salary numbers shouldn't vary drastically in the <5 year category. Most women in engineering would work for at least 5 years before taking any time off for having children anyway.

AJ

Here's another chart that I'd thought I'd posted before but hadn't "% women in the actual engineering workforce".

http://www.swe.org/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&ssDocName=swe_000884&ssSourceNodeId=97

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BannaOj
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The reason why I'm choosing engineering is because it is one of the last professions where you can make a living to feed the average family of four straight out of college. In other words only one income would theoretically be necessary in a two person household if one partner is an engineer.

AJ

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Swampjedi
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Oh I see, sorry for misunderstanding you AJ. I was only referring to the income aggregates.

J

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BannaOj
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we're cool...
[Cool]
AJ

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BaoQingTian
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quote:
Originally posted by BannaOj:
The reason why I'm choosing engineering is because it is one of the last professions where you can make a living to feed the average family of four straight out of college. In other words only one income would theoretically be necessary in a two person household if one partner is an engineer.

AJ

Thats funny BannaOJ, that was my number one reason for choosing engineering as well. That and the fact that it's pretty much a non-hazardous, 9-5, relatively low stress job so I spend a lot of quality time at home with my family.
I think if I could choose, I'd probably just be a perpetual college student. Unfortunately for me, that doesn't bring home the bacon [Frown]

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Swampjedi
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[Cool]

I'm a computer scientist because I love the work. Not many women, though. Too bad.

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BaoQingTian
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Yeah SwampJedi, EE is fun, don't get me wrong. However, there are so many fun things out there to do. I think being a doctor would be fun. Also a college history professor. A wrecking ball operator or demolitions expert. Architect. Professional violinist. Journalist. Photographer. Car reviewer for a high performance auto magazine. Heck, there's a lot of things out there that I have shown as much or more aptitude for as electrical engineering, and some of which are way more fun to do. Really why I chose what I did had much to do with the type of life I wanted. I chose a relatively stable, predictable, and decent paying occupation for my family. Not for me. Some of the above would have brought me more money, or been more fun, or generated more fame, power, or honors. But I made the decision long ago that I would not live for just me. I guess some people would try to say I'm unfulfilled or not validated or something--but to be honest I'm just happy.

Edit: I guess my point is that all our choices have consequences, and you really can't have everything. But you can have what's most important to you.

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Swampjedi
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I know exactly what you mean. I'm blessed to love a profession where I can also have all of the benefits that you list. With the right job (which I have found), I can have wonderful hours.

Family first. That's why I turned down a sweatship coding job, even though the pay was great. They wanted more than half of my life.

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jh
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People who pursue money and power as their highest goals are not shallow - they just have different priorities from yours.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
People who pursue money and power as their highest goals are not shallow - they just have different priorities from yours.
Let's muddy this up a bit. Some people who pursue money and power as their highest goals are indeed shallow in their pursuit. And I'll even go the next step and say that some people who place their family first are shallow as well. I have in mind those individuals who forsake money, power, and education to start a family and succeed in raising poor, impotent, ignorant children.
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Swampjedi
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Family first means, for me, getting a good education and making enough money to support and nurture a family to the best of my ability. I didn't forsake anything, I just see those things as a means and not an end.

That's a big assumption, Irami. (Hard for me not to call you Snowden, since I came from Ornery [Razz] )

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TomDavidson
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quote:
That's a big assumption, Irami.
Not really. In fact, you can safely say that some people in ANY profession -- even the ones we consider noble -- are shallow.
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Swampjedi
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Ok, this is what I get for reading too fast. I missed the "some."

<abashed />

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Wendybird
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I found an interesting article on another board today concerning attitudes towards the daily task of taking care of home and family. I think that is what this fight boils down to. There is a segment of the population out there that looks at taking care of home and family as mundane and even something to be shunned, its beneath them. Admittedly this article comes from a LDS woman so it has a religious component but I still found it interesting after reading this thread.

***************************************************
My Home as a Temple
by Kristine Manwaring

Is there something sacred in the everyday?

I have spent too much time in my home discouraged.

I want to rear my children in a celestial atmosphere. "With all my heart I believe that the best place to prepare for eternal life is in the home," said David O. McKay1, and his words resonate to the core of my being. Yet, believing something does not automatically make it happen. In the abstract, I love my family, I love my home, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. In the reality of three meals a day, soccer games, dirty laundry, reports on Spain, and strep throat, the connection between eternal life and daily life often escapes me.

"Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness," the LDS Bible Dictionary tells me.

When I think of "sacred" I think of temples. I picture white couches, hushed voices, crystal chandeliers, and uninterrupted worship. I cannot recall ever leaving the temple wishing I hadn't been there or begrudging the time I spent serving our ancestors. It seems everything in the temple runs according to plan and that everything I do there is part of a larger, meaningful whole. Homes, on the other hand, are noisy, messy, often disorganized, and characterized by nothing but interruptions. The demands during a single day are relentless, and it is not uncommon for both mother and father to feel used or spent. Even in the quiet moments, I usually find myself cooking, folding laundry, giving spelling quizzes, and playing Legos. These activities do not feel sacred to me, and, if the truth be told, I'd rather not be doing them so much of the time. What possible definition of the word "sacred" could apply to these two seemingly opposite experiences?

When I was first presented with the idea that homes should be sacred, I tried to make my home fit the kind of cleanliness and order I thought the temple represented. Instead of a temple-like home, I ended up with a growing resentment towards the very things that homes exist for. Cooking and laundry became onerous because the tasks themselves created disorder. I even developed an intolerance for the cheerful chaos that burst through the back door with my children as the school bus pulled away. I became confused. Is my home still sacred when it is messy? What about when it is loud? What if I have children or friends who do not want to be reverent? Do they still get to come into my home? The harder I pushed my family to fit my narrow definition of "sacred," the more anxious and less temple-like we all felt.

Then I began walking in the mornings with a wise neighbor who grew up in a large, loving family and first became a mother at the age of forty-four. From her long perspective as a daughter and her more recent experience as a mother, she has come to believe that the work of feeding, clothing, and nurturing one another is every bit as spiritual as it is physical. She feels strongly that when ordinary, life-sustaining tasks are done together as a family, they bind family members to one another in small but critical ways. She speaks of chopping vegetables and cleaning bathrooms with her sons with something akin to reverence. She has even said that scrubbing a wall with a child is a more productive "togetherness" experience than attending his ball game or vacationing as a family.

I was startled to realize that she saw as "sacred" the very tasks that I always thought were obstacles to sacredness. And for evidence, she turned to the scriptures. The parable of the sheep and the goats found in Matthew 25 clearly shows that Christ will judge us according to our willingness to feed and clothe "the least of these my brethren." Does this include members of our own families? In fact, Christ used imagery of feeding and washing and cleaning throughout His parables and object lessons. "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd" (Isaiah 40:11). He will "wash away the filth of the daughters of Zion" (2 Nephi 14:4) and "sweep away the bad out of [His] vineyard" (Jacob 5:66). He even likens Himself to a hen who "gathereth her chickens under her wings" (Matthew 23:37).

Even more striking to me, Christ not only spoke of these things, He personally did them. He fed multitudes with limited tangible resources in a miraculous example of His attention to our physical as well as spiritual hunger. He washed the feet of His disciples to illustrate the humble service required of a Master, and to reveal what He was willing to do that we might be entirely clean. In the book of Moses, He states that He, Himself, made the coats of skins to clothe Adam and Eve. When seen in this new light, my perception of tasks like peeling potatoes and scrubbing floors began to turn upside down and inside out. It was becoming obvious to me that when we care for the physical as well as the spiritual needs of our families, we are patterning our lives after the Savior.

One morning my friend commented about the struggle mothers face cleaning with children. She worried that if mothers think they have to maintain temple-like standards of cleanliness, they will focus on the cleaning itself and miss out on the wonderful opportunity to work side by side with their children. "Are we doing a disservice to mothers if we hold out the temple as a standard for them to emulate?" she asked. Her question touched a raw nerve. It brought back painful memories of my own attempts to make my home like a temple, and I wanted to object. I went home and looked up the exact wording of the "temple" entry in the Bible Dictionary. There it was again: "Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness." There was no hint that we should try to make our homes sacred like the temple. The sacredness is somehow already there.

For the rest of the day, parallels between my routines at home and those at the temple flooded my mind. In the temple, for instance, we worship as a group. The pace for the entire group is set by the slowest member. I thought of how family scripture reading or dressing for church or even passing the food at dinner is almost always determined by our two-year-old. In temple ceremonies what we do with our hands is just as important as what we say with our lips. Certainly I show my love for my family with both my hands and my lips during the rituals of homemaking. I vocally tell my children I love them, but an understanding of the depth of my love comes when my hands clean up their vomit or gently scrub their backs or hang on to the seats of their bicycles or hold their hands as we cross the street. I even thought about what it is we are taught at the temple. In both settings we learn of our true identity and our connections and obligations to one another. Boyd K. Packer stated in the October 1998 Conference, "[M]ost of what I know about how our Father in Heaven really feels about us, His children, I have learned from the way I feel about my wife and my children and their children. This I have learned at home."2

Michael Wilcox, in his book House of Glory, states that, "As we pray for understanding, we can be assured that everything in the temple is beautiful...The temptation to reject a symbol as unedifying says much more about our ignorance of its meaning than about the symbol itself. If we understood it, it would be beautiful and powerful." As I have prayed for an understanding and testimony of the sacredness of my home, I have learned to apply this same principle to the ceremonies of making a home. Only when I cease to feel "above" mundane tasks like taking out the garbage or sweeping the kitchen floor do I glimpse their symbolic and sacred nature. As I clean windows, for instance, I notice the sunlight shining through more clearly, affirming that Jesus Christ is the source of all light. When I choose to spend a particular moment serving my family in this way over the many other possibilities, I remember that Mosiah taught that "when [we] are in the service of [our] fellow beings" we are also in the service of our God (Mosiah 2:17).

I learn even more when I share these tasks with my children. One Saturday morning my nine-year-old daughter and I were cleaning our large kitchen window together. I was outside and she was inside. We both sprayed the entire window with cleaner and when I looked at the window, I couldn't see her at all. Gradually, as we both wiped away the spray, her image became clearer until, with both the dirt and the spray gone, I could see her with perfect clarity. Our relationship is sometimes stormy, and the incident reminded me of my need to constantly keep wiping away surface tensions, judgmental thoughts, and misunderstandings whenever her true identity and potential are temporarily clouded from my vision.
On the days I don't really feel like laboring for and with my family, my reluctance itself teaches me about my relationship with my Heavenly Father, His son Jesus Christ, and my own progress toward them. How much greater their love for us must be than what I am capable of, for they never tire of listening to our prayers nor are they inconvenienced by our constant need for their help.

Realizing something of the spiritual value of homemaking has made me more aware of the need to more fully involve my family in these tasks. My husband and I no longer simply delegate chores to our children each day. We wash dishes and make beds alongside them. By doing so, we have been blessed with opportunities to teach our children and be taught ourselves with a frequency and a depth we previously never imagined. A year ago, I spent most of my dishwashing time muttering under my breath and trying to jam too many dishes into the limited dishwasher space. Now, every time I invite a child to thrust their hands into the warm, soapy water with mine, I learn something new about their spirit and their life. It is only when doing dishes together that my twelve-year-old son, who mostly speaks in monosyllables about his experiences at school, reveals who his friends are and why he has chosen them, the pressure he feels about his grades, how much he likes math, and what he thinks about his teacher.

Paradoxically, what I previously labeled "mindless" and once thought of as interruptions to spiritual growth are becoming the core of what makes my home feel sacred. As I cook meals, wash dishes, make beds, and sweep floors, I am continually in the midst of both teaching and being taught about charity, humility, hope, and faith. I am exchanging independence and "everyone seeking after their own" for a mutual dependence and unity in purpose that surely is related to Zion. I feel the sacredness in my home not only when it is clean, but also when we are in the process of getting it that way. Some days I don't even mind that we will go through the process again the very next day.

Much of my discouragement at home was due to a sense of failure I felt for not being able to artificially create sacredness there. How comforting it is to be released from that burden. With joy and gratitude I now realize I need only look for the way sacredness already surrounds me.

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Tatiana
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quote:
Originally posted by Stasia:
I wonder if it's because women tend to choose careers/majors that are fulfilling rather than strictly practical?

I chose engineering because I love it. It's so fun! It's like a grown-up version of all the building toys I loved most as a kid, blocks, tinkertoys, legos, k'nex, etc. It's really artistic. You get to dream up or imagine something, then bring it into being. It's creative. Your cleverest ideas and brand new thoughts are needed to pull it off. It's collaborative. Along with the fabricators, electricians, millwrights, and operators, you are building something good that will hopefully last a long time and be useful and beautiful. Hopefully it will be loved and appreciated by those who use it. It's like a great puzzle. All the pieces have to fit together correctly for it to work right. It's such a great feeling when the best solution finally clicks into place. [Smile] It's regenerative. My machines are the children of my mind. My influence and caring, my concern for quality work and excellence in the details can remain active in a place long after I'm gone from there. They can influence others to emulate them.

I think it's strictly bias that causes so many liberal arts type people to think nobody is in engineering for love. We really are.

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Rico
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First of all I wanted to point out that I found myself smiling while I read beverly's post. I'm a guy, but I found myself agreeing with you there quite a bit. [Wave]

I really truly despise societal pressure when it comes down to either side of the argument. The article isn't about feminism, it's about pressuring women to go to ther other end of the spectrum simply because it's "the opposite of what they're supposed to do". I'd almost equate the feeling behind such arguments as mere rebellion sometimes. Doing something not because it's a good thing but because it goes against what's expected of you.

I have a deep amount of respect for women no matter what path they choose in their life. I see SAHM who love their kids and their families and really put their heart into it because it's what they want to do and I admire them. I see women who are incredibly driven to pursue the career or the goal of their dreams and I admire that as well. It's the passion that I admire, not their goals. I don't think either woman is smarter than the other, it all boils down (or should boil down) to what they want out of life and what makes them happy. It is definitely not wasted potential, if anything, it's quite the opposite. People are far better at doing things they're passionate about, whether it lies in the workplace or at home it makes no difference, it's all about doing what you want the most the best you can. Someone forced into the workplace will doubtfully be a great worker, just like family often makes for better babysitters than someone whose only concern is making money.

I personally would love to be a SAHD but I don't see it as the only option. I am pursuing a career in a field I'm interested in but I definitely don't plan to let it rule my life. I want a family and kids and I would hate to be the dad who's always at work and only sees his kids sparely. I'd want to be a part of their lives along with the woman I love because to me, work is nothing more than a tool. It helps me enjoy what I truly value in life: Relationships.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Paradoxically, what I previously labeled "mindless" and once thought of as interruptions to spiritual growth are becoming the core of what makes my home feel sacred.
If you learn to value what you do, what you do will seem valuable.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
I think it's strictly bias that causes so many liberal arts type people to think nobody is in engineering for love. We really are.
Well now, I know a significant number and percentage of engineers who studied engineering because of the prospects of securing a four year degree with a solid job at the end. They didn't hate it. Well, some hated it, but most of them didn't hate it, they just hardly cared either way. I'm not sure if the percentage of humanities majors with like dispositions is commensurable to the engineers. Maybe Scopatz could design a poll.
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Stasia
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quote:
Originally posted by Tatiana:
I think it's strictly bias that causes so many liberal arts type people to think nobody is in engineering for love. We really are. [/QB]

I didn't mean to imply that nobody became an engineer because they love it. [Smile] I have a good friend who is an engineer who could not have imagined doing anything else with his life. I just think that men are often more mercenary about career choices than women, at least in my experience.
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Will B
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The article is disturbingly arrogant. "Women [who want families] need guidance." From her, presumably.

Fortunately, she's beating her head against a wall impossible to break: telling women that if they *must* have a child, don't have two! Her ideal human race would go extinct.

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Scott R
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quote:
I have in mind those individuals who forsake money, power, and education to start a family and succeed in raising poor, impotent, ignorant children.
As long as you're not stating that the one necessarily follows the other.

Because money, and power do not necessarily contribute to good childrearing (or even positive citizenship); education does, somewhat, but only to a certain extent.

I am guilty of the education-for-money-not-love thing; the only reason I got into computers at all was for the money.

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pH
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There are a lot of shallow business majors. By "shallow," I mean that they don't really like business at all; they just think it's the quickest, easiest way to earn a buck.

Fortunately (for me), these people often have very bad instincts.

-pH

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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The chief aim of education is to cultivate a sense of humanity within the student, and secondarily, to provide the student with the skills to enact the dictates required by this sense of humanity. Both aspects are necessary, but the priority is clear. Cultivating humanity is more important than teaching skills, even if the skills trade is more lucrative.


It seems to me that cultivating humanity and providing skills are also the tasks of a SAHM or SAHD, with the same prioritizing. It also seems that the aspects of education that belong with cultivating humanity are more closely considered in the Humanities.

This post should dovetail nicely into a point about how the muddle of degrees, jobs, parenting, and majors is much more confused than it needs to be, and how easy and misguided it is to conflate earning power and quantitive measures with educational success, how the study of literature is one of the most important aspects in cultivating humanity, how a deep well of morally engaging fiction is appropriate knowledge for anyone who seeks to raise a human, and lastly about how the University education of engineers, social scientists, business students, and yes, even humanities students, is deficient in this respect, but I don't know if I have the mind to pull of this together.

[ March 12, 2006, 11:31 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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BaoQingTian
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quote:
Originally posted by Irami Osei-Frimpong:
Let's muddy this up a bit. Some people who pursue money and power as their highest goals are indeed shallow in their pursuit. And I'll even go the next step and say that some people who place their family first are shallow as well. I have in mind those individuals who forsake money, power, and education to start a family and succeed in raising poor, impotent, ignorant children.

I agree with your point, as long as you are not implying that the one follows necessarily from the other. Also, you acknowledge in the post just above this one that our current educational system is someone lacking. If the mother is able to through some education (perhaps through good fiction, as you suggest) to instill both a love od learning and what you call humanity into her children, then I see little chance that her children will be poor, impotent, and ignorant. If she can simply help her children love to learn, then in this country I believe they will be able to overcome their poverty and impotency through the results of education.

I don't believe anyone in this thread is advocating that SAHMs or SAHDs embrance ignorance, poverty, and inability to influence. And that seems to be the crux of the problem to the author. Not that people are advocating ignorance, but they're saying, "Great. Get all the education you can. If you decide you want money and power through a career, good for you. If you decide to raise a family instead of a career, good for you too. The choice is yours."

In the article the author seemed to be lamentating that many of the wealthy, high in status, and Ivy League educated women are choosing to stay home as mothers. So these would be the educated, connected, and wealthy.
What seems counter-intuitive to me is that instead of praising these mothers who are teaching and training their children to be as successful as them, she suggests getting someone else a less successful woman to chose to be a nanny (in the author's eyes) to raise the child. Now that seems counter-productive to me.

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Katarain
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Thanks for posting that, Wendybird. I really enjoyed it.
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BannaOj
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quote:
That and the fact that it's pretty much a non-hazardous, 9-5, relatively low stress job so I spend a lot of quality time at home with my family.

Sorry, Bao, but your misconceptions have me doing this:
[ROFL]

Though I don't know what discipline you are in, but no stress?! Hah! Admittedly Engineering school is more stressful, but that's just so they know you won't crack in Real Life.

Quality Time at home, HA HA HA. I don't see home very often! I work 10+ hour days routinely, that plus a 40 minute commute each way...(and we couldn't afford to live much closer to where I work)

You're Salaried. That means you Stay Til the Job Is Done. At Whatever Time that Is. You Don't Get Overtime unless you work for the government.

Plus you're a girl. That means you have to Prove Yourself and work *harder* and be *better* than the guys in order to gain respect.

Maybe there is a desk engineering job somewhere like you discribe, but I certainly don't know it, and none of my female friends in engineering have it either.

AJ

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BaoQingTian
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I was describing my current job in electrical engineering. I'm at work for 9 hours a day- and 1/2 hour of that is for lunch, and another 1/2 is me staying after work to go to the gym here.

The most hazardous thing I do is solder occasionally, or work around machines that are capable of putting out ~50 volts at a few amps.

There are times when the job can be a a bit stressful, usually around the end of a project, but nothing compared to how bad school was. Maybe I'm just good at not getting stressed out, I don't know.

So feel free to call my experience misconceptions and laugh it away but I'll keep living my misconception and you can keep what you have.

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BannaOj
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Maybe it's the difference between Electrical Engineering and the Chemical/Mechanical/Materials/Industrial engineering that I do.

I guess most of my female friends aren't EEs, they are Civil, Chem, Aerospace and Mech Es.

Maybe that's the difference.

AJ

Athough, what I'm doing, is pretty much the same lifestyle my father had, while working in a manufacturing environment as well. My mother finally got that I "work like Dad" and don't stay at home like she does or have that sort of flexibility to drop everything and fly out to visit her all the time.

AJ

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BannaOj
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Also, in the area in which I live, the cost to purchase a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house, is so expensive, that it basically takes two engineering incomes to afford it, and we don't have oodles left over either.

While I could afford to show my dog for a while, I couldn't imagine how we'd afford the additional cost a kid would be. Probably more than double the dog, and it woudn't go away when I decided to stop showing the dog. Plus, I couldn't leave it alone during the day. It would be even more expensive to own a house if I lived closer to where I work.

AJ

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pH
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My boyfriend is an engineer. He's had one day off in two and a half months.

MAYBE he'll get Easter off.

Maybe.

And he's working well over 70 hours a week. [Frown]

-pH

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BannaOj
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A response from a fellow Chem E. I posted a link from this thread...

quote:
I'm an engineer, work 12-hour days, high stress situations, always too much stuff to get done, on a pager/cellphone leash 24/7 (is 34/7 possible? that's what I typed at first), my decisions are potentially very hazardous (ever seen a fire at a refinery?). I call my console at midnight, I think about problems while sleeping, it doesn't go away on vacation.

Granted, I love it but it's not what's she's thinking, unless you don't really want to be an engineer with your degree. It's about responsibility and problem solving things others can't

Again, I'm glad you have your job Bao, but it's certainly out of the norm from my other female engineering friends. Now we've only been in industry 3-5 years, so maybe it's different for you.

AJ

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Wendybird
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You are welcome Katarain. I thought it was very uplifting.

Tom you are right and summed up what I was thinking perfectly.

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SenojRetep
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I'm an EE, working a 40-hour/week desk job that I find imensely fulfilling and allows me plenty of time with my family. We live in a high real estate market, but manage to make ends meet on a single salary with a child. And we're looking at buying a house within 10 miles of work (about 30 min. commute).

There aren't a lot of women working here (EE is one of the lowest disciplines when it comes to female representation, from what I remember).

This wasn't intended to prove any point, it was just FYI that BQT is NAA (not all alone).

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twinky
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I'm a chemical engineer and make sure to keep roughly a 40-hour week as well. While I do have to be available if something goes wrong and have to arrange coverage if I won't be available, I'm not in outside of work hours very often. My commute is a bit less than 10 minutes, but I don't live in a big town (about 80,000 people). Actually, the town is the only major area of dissatisfaction for me at the moment, because while the short commute is convenient, the town is uninteresting.
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Belle
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This is funny because just last night we were talking about engineers at home and it was about people with engineering degrees who took jobs outside engineering because they couldn't make enough money as an engineer.

Specifically, there are three counter guys at the local plumbing supply house where my husband gets his supplies that have engineering degrees (one from Georgia Tech, even) and none of them could find work in the engineering field that didn't start out in the low 20's. That wasn't enough to live on so they took jobs with a plumbing supply house, making easily twice that much.

Maybe there's just a glut of engineers around here?

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Scott R
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quote:
the town is uninteresting.
That's what Hatrack is for.

And Overlook.

Duh.

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BannaOj
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Yeah... it's interesting. It's just what Bao described was so outside my own paradigm of engineering I was shocked.

Maybe it is different for EEs. And twinky you are in Canada, I think labor laws are different there, as well as perhaps some expectations. I am in one of the higher priced real estate areas, in the Chicago suburbs, but it's nowhere near as bad as CA.

AJ

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BaoQingTian
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I was going to ask you if you lived in the Bay Area (San Francisco) Banna, since I have heard stories of them working engineers to death there. I guess I never realized how good we have it.

Belle-
That's bizarre. All my electrical engineering friends who graduated with me (from Utah State) took jobs in the Utah/Nevada/Arizona areas for 48-57K a year, and all but 2 (6 out of 8) had job offers a couple months before graduating. I'll definately stay away from where you are if they're only offering them 20K a year. What a joke.

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The Rabbit
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That's really an anomaly Belle, the average starting salaries for entry level Electrical Engineers in the US in 2005 was $51,113.
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Belle
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I know - it's weird. I always thought engineers made good money, too. But it's been verified more than once. Not only are there the guys my husband knows personally, but my sister in law was a CPA for a large firm that employed mechanical engineers and they only started them out in the 20's. She herself was an EE major before switching to accounting and the reason she did so was job availability and starting salary. She knew she could do better as a CPA and she certainly has.

Could be a factor of our local economy.

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pH
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Hmmmm...overtime pay....

Mayhap I should be adding to the birthday list of demands. [Wink]

-pH

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ClaudiaTherese
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I found an engineer salary calculator online. Pretty cool.

----

Edited to add: Looks like it sends results to email, just in case anyone was interested. I've plugged in a few different variables, just for curiosity's sake.

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The Rabbit
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Belle, I find the situation you report very very strange. Most large companies recruit engineers regionally if not nationally so there isn't a whole lot of variation in engineers salaries from place to place. Even in Montana were engineering jobs were fairly scarce, the salaries were only a little bit below the national average. What you are reporting are salaries that are less than half the national average? Its hard to imagine that persisting for very long. Very few Americans are so committed to living in one place that they would be willing to accept a job for less than half the pay. Did these friends of your husbands look for job in neighboring cities and states?
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The Rabbit
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Median Salaries of Electrical Engineers by in the southern states

Tennessee 56460
Arkansas 56770
Alabama 55460
Missouri 60060
Mississippi 51500
North Carolina 64390
Georgia 61490
South Carolina 68830
Florida 55770
Louisiana 58950
Texas 68250
Oklahoma 47280
Virginia 57780
West Virginia 53250
Kentucky 59940

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The Rabbit
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Median EE salaries in the western states

Montana 55670
Idaho 62735
Utah 59470
Colorado 58670
Wyoming 61850
New Mexico 65770
Arizona 71130
Washington 57720
Oregon 64970
California 62280
Nevada 59520

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Tatiana
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I'm an Electrical Engineer, and this thing about Electrical Engineering being low-stress, I don't know where that comes from. [Smile] It's not that way in any job I've been in.

Bao, are you male or female? I think I read all your posts in this thread and I can't tell.

I'm in Birmingham, AL and the last starting EE salary I heard here was 50k, and that was a few years ago. I don't know why the anomaly, but starting EEs made more than $20k even back when I graduated.

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BaoQingTian
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Hehe, I'm male. So is that good or bad that it doesn't show?

I don't know what the reason for my low stress is. It could be that my job is truly low stress...none of my co-workers have any burnout symptoms. Also, it could be that I have so many other things in my life that cause unbelievable amounts of stress that work challenges seems like nothing. It could be that between being a full-time (i.e. 17 engineering credits) student and working was pretty stressful. I also have a great manager here. I'm not really sure, it could be a combination of all of the above. I work in a place that is both a manufacturing plant and design. We design our own products, manufacture them here, test them, and then ship them directly to the customers.

There are undoubtably stressful days, but no more so than any other job I've worked.

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