Why am I wittering on about parenthood? Or more specifically motherhood. Because it is repeatedly exalted as the ultimate job for a woman. It irks me as a not-mother and it must be painful for those who can't be mothers for a whole host of reasons. I was prompted to think about this after a man called David recently voiced his concern for a woman's professional choices. He voiced it in the manly way - by leaving a napkin on which he had scribbled a note on his aeroplane seat. An aeroplane (hold on to your hats ladies and gentlemen - you are wearing hats, right?) that had been flown...by a FEMALE WOMAN.
Here's what he said: "To Capt/WestJet: The cockpit of an airliner is no place for a woman. A woman being a mother is the most honour, not as "captain." We're short [on] mothers, not pilots WestJet (sorry not PC).
PS I wish WestJet could tell me a fair lady is at the helm so I could book another flight! In the end this is all mere vanity.
Respectfully in love,
It makes little to no sense - I don't even want to talk about David's dreadful handwriting - but while I don't know what he's talking about vanity wise we all get the gist of what David is saying. That women can only be mothers. Fair lady mothers. They can probably drive but ONLY to ferry their brood about. Constantly. In fact that's the only reason they should go outside ever, probably.
It is peculiar that David and many other people believe they have not a right but a duty to comment on how women conduct their lives
"To @David in 12E on my flight #463 from Calgary to Victoria today. It was my pleasure flying you safely to your destination. Thank you for the note you discreetly left me on your seat. You made sure to ask the flight attendants before we left if I had enough hours to be the Captain so safety is important to you, too.
"I have heard many comments from people throughout my 17-year career as a pilot. Most of them positive. Your note is, without a doubt, the funniest. It was a joke, right? RIGHT?? I thought, not. You were more than welcome to deplane when you heard I was a 'fair lady'.
"You have that right. Funny, we all, us humans, have the same rights in this great free country of ours. Now, back to my most important role, being a mother."
It is peculiar that David and many other people believe they have... not a right but a duty to comment on how women conduct their lives and whether they are a mother. Once they are (too early or too late) a mother they can then tell them how to mother. However, perhaps buoyed up by Mumsnet, Britmums and Mumsnet, more mothers are speaking out more frankly about motherhood and how it figures in their lives.
Esther Walker is carving a niche out for herself as the mother the Daily Mail loves to gasp at. She wrote of her disappointment in having a boy-child and has noted a number of times that she finds time alone with her children boring. Beverly Turner has written in the Telegraph that she too has found early motherhood incredibly dull. "Even after a good birth, I was blind-sided by the transformation of my existence; the complete loss of identity and the suffocating monotony of being yoked to a little one all day.
Do you want that David, do you? Or do you want all mothers to set a great example - whether home or not and fly high. As it were.