That’s what the guy in the shuttle to the airport asked me. It was sort of stunning. He OBVIOUSLY worked outside the home, because he was there in his briefcase, starched white shirt and tie.
And I was there in my corporate casual, with my laptop bag embroidered with the corporate logo.
When he asked me that question, a big ol’ whiff of Promise Keepers came out of his mouth. Now, I realize that SOME women, those that do work inside the home with children and things, might find it consoling to hear that question. They would appreciate that he did not assume that the only work that counts is the kind that you have to drive to.
But to me, it sounded a lot like “You should be at home, but you’re not. So why are you here? Account for yourself.”
In support of this impression, as soon as I told him I managed the conferencing services for a global company he lost interest in talking to me and began to call people on his cell phone.
Now, since his expectations of females seemed to be the barefoot-and-pregnant variety, he may have found a reason not to talk to this inferior human (me!) anyway.
But the other guys in the shuttle were quite interesting and talkative.
I still feel the slight from Mr. “Traditional Roles”
I personally have learned not to assume that people work outside the home. But it has nothing to do with gender. Most of the people I know who work at home do so because they have found a way of generating income in their own home. I SO wish I could do that too.
At the same time, I have respect for mothers (and fathers) who work on family and home things without generating income. They have found a way to team with their partners and keep their lives in balance with what they think is most important.
But I don’t ask that condescending 80’s question. I say, “What do you do with your time?”
A radio host, from the show “What do you know?’ asks “what do you do in life?” That’s a good one too.
Come on now, dude! Try not to let your stereotypes spill out all ugly like that.