Trigger: I talk about abuse and violence in this post.
I had wanted to articulate something that was bothering me about the narrative forming around the women who are executives of large companies. fortunately, Carolyn Edgar did it for me.
This is close to me, and not because I am concerned by wealth distribution (I am) or because I harbor a secret socialist agenda (I do). It is because I was old enough to see how my mother was affected by inequality and gender roles.
When I was in second grade, one day my mother’s husband went to work, and she packed our Plymouth station wagon with a bunch of stuff and her three kids, and we left the state. It was the bravest, scariest, and craziest thing I think my mother ever did that involved me. Her husband habitually beat her, in that same year having sent her to the emergency room after throwing her down a flight of stairs. My mother didn’t graduate high school, was pushed into being a homemaker by a variety of factors, and had no real way to escape an abusive partner that also supported her and her children.
I have a complicated and just plain not great relationship with my mother, but I consider her actions that day we left to be one of the best gifts of my life. So when I hear about people who made more money in the last year than I will in my life, it seems offensive to categorize it as an issue for women. And it is a disservice to actually help people who are suffering from poverty, malnutrition, lack of education and the various symptomatic abuses that follow those environments.
Having become a parent now, my goal is to generate enough income to allow our small family to have healthy and engaging lives. We live in this world, which means that my life is only engaging if I am helping better the world for everyone, not just the women running Fortune 500 companies.