Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Woman in the Workplace–Part 1

235aam57nabaOne of my college friends recently got me started watching the BBC show Lark Rise to Candleford. Though at this point I’ve only seen the first three episodes, I’m already a devoted fan of the character Miss Lane. She’s a business-woman, the head of a post office, and admired for her independence.

Does this sound at first glance like the kind of woman that I would be so impressed by? I certainly wouldn’t say so! Women who throw around their independence rarely command my respect. I’m far more likely to respect the woman of humility, the one who does great things in quietude like the Blessed Mother, and who doesn’t find it necessary to constantly assert herself.

But the thing is, the character of Miss Lane is just such a woman, and as such she is thoroughly a woman. She is good at her work, but her approach to it is feminine. She is respected because she has made her way in the world, but she is also loved and trusted for her gentle sound advice, her quiet help in times of trouble, and her great empathy for others.

It’s a fact of life that women are in the workplace these days, and if we’re to take a hint from Pope John Paul II, this is not a problem. While marriage, motherhood, and domesticity are good things, he was very emphatic that women do have a place in the working world and that there is nothing inherently wrong with them seeking out that kind of career.

The problem is not that women are working. The problem is the way in which they do it; namely, that they don’t work like women.

Whether you credit it to the perverted view of womanhood that radical modern feminism holds, or to the pressures of competition, or to a little bit of both, a great many women try to approach work as though they were men: assertively, aggressively, and impersonally. It may be that this kind of approach gives them success in monetary terms, and it may be that it doesn’t, depending on the particular case, but one thing is true in every case, and that is that the woman who does this is denying that wonderful things she has to offer as a woman.

8 comments:

  1. Great post!

    God bless,
    Aspirer
    www.heavenly-aspirations.blogspot.com

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  2. Oh my goodness!!!! Yes! Love Miss Lane! I never really thought about her that way... you are certainly right though. :) I've watched most of the shows twice. On some that I really like I have watched at least three times (*ahem*...they end up being the ones with Fisher...) Anyway, glad to hear you are watching those Clare! I don't comment much on blogs, usually 'a lurker'. :) I hear/see very little of Lark Rise to Candleford on blogs so I couldn't resist commenting! ;) I hope you post a review on LRC when you are done watching it ( or the first season!) ^_^ OK this ended up being pretty long...:D

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  3. I've very much enjoyed your post, but I wonder if 'assertively, aggressively, and impersonally' is really a 'manly' way to do business either? Perhaps beyond our scope here, but humbly submitted for consideration.

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    1. I think it is a tendency of women to even choose some of the more unattractive traits of the man of business to emulate in their endeavors. I do think that to a certain extent, though, a man's approach does tend to be more assertive, and that's that appropriate. You're right that it's a little bit beyond the consideration of this article, which is focused primarily on women in business, but it's interesting to compare the approach of Christ and His Apostles with that of the Blessed Virgin and His other female followers.

      Thanks for your thoughts, and God bless!

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  4. I loved that show so much. So sad when they didn't continue.

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  5. You're so right - I posted about this very thing a while back when I read Fulton Sheen's thoughts on it. Don't know if you ever have read what he's written on the subject, but they're certainly worth it!!

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  6. Really like this post! Can't wait to read more. :)

    ~Aspirer
    www.heavenly-aspirations.blogspot.com

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  7. I recently saw the first season of the show. It's refreshing and I too am an admirer of Miss Lane. She is strong and yet feminine. God bless!

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