There are multiple meanings to what work is. It can be defined as effort, pure and simple. In other cases, it doesn’t count unless one is paid wages for doing it. In the vernacular, people may decide whether or not to call something work based on how well it pays, by how difficult it is, and whether or not one likes it.
Some say that whenever one loves one’s job; it isn’t work. However, I would counter by saying that: try telling that to anyone who knows the difference between being broke and being paid for working and they’ll tell you the pay makes a difference whether one likes the work or not.
Women and men still tend to have somewhat different experiences about this. History is sometimes painful as well. So, we have learned that working for only overhead especially minimalistic overhead, is essentially slavery. For the lucky ones, its life in a gilded cage. For others, its really just misery.
Women still deal with ‘women’s work’ in more than one way. Sometimes women’s work means that she worked without pay for a family of which she was supposedly a member in good standing and she was not considered to be working. She may have tried to do something to get money. If she got it from her family often it was still not considered to have been work, but if the pay came from anywhere else it was.
People are unique and so someone may read this and find that it just isn’t true. They may have been repeatedly hired by their own relatives and grew into running the family business along with other members of the family. Anyone who married in, may have done so to get a job.
I have a vague but accurate memory from 20 to 30 years ago when a typical wife level of contribution to ‘domestic labor’ if calculated according to reasonable rates of pay is often the value of at least a middle class income job worth of labor. This only adds to the sense of pained injustice for all “broke housewives” who’s husbands don’t share the money well. Meanwhile, young women and “men’s rights activists” may protest that this is unfair: after all, he never gets paid for doing such things as it takes to run a household so why should she? Round and round we go with this; some couples and families sharing money wonderfully and others don’t.
Just last year in 2018 I read in Womankind magazine about some events in Turkey within the past 5 years. Included were women who got paid and were shunned. In many cases, the rest of the community came around to seeing her point of view after a while….but other women would do the same kind of work but insist they were not working and not trying to get paid for doing it, but were just doing a spot of volunteer work to help out in the community.
Men & Women
Many years ago now, I attended a conference called Men & Women Working Together for a Change. It does help when we cooperate with each other for good. There are ways of interpreting some situations.
My personal belief continues to be that both men and women humans are humans with different twists. If it were journalism, it would be that genders are like different slants on the same story.
What we do for work, and how we deal with it may have some variation. Each gender has both assets and limitations for helping make the work place better: effective, getting great results and yet also being environments in which people have a chance of actually liking the experience without sacrificing the qualities related to pure effectiveness and getting the needed results. That said, keep in mind that for some a work environment is also best when highly moral and does need to be whereas there are also people out there who feel that morality is as much as impediment to getting the job done as ‘women might be in a male oriented work atmosphere’.
My hope for each of us, is that we get the right job fit. In religious language this is ‘to fulfill our life’s calling; and our personal divinely dictated destinies’. In educational psychological language, I hope for each of us to get work that fulfills all levels of our legitimate human needs as in “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”.