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benefits and burdens of a woman having a career

mom a talk by
Joan M. Hall
Swarthmore College
Women's Resource Center

nobody from the WRC shows up
I climb in through the bathroom window

balky, rya
then yoni
then julia

sitting downstairs for

a three part talk:

benefits and burdens of a woman having a career

benefits of a woman having a career

1965 yale law school grad
7 women of 170
recruiters used to expressely not interview women

she enjoys the law
big firm work
constantly changing
learn a whole new industry with each case
dealing with people with concete problems
difficult time for them,
they rely on their lawyer

first 15, 20 years isolated
saw no women
in court in meetings
didn't know any other professional women in town
- a handful maybe
women she met socially were not working
tremendous gulf between us
not much in common
resentment for her, what she was doing

more and more women in the law
at her firm,
the oldest woman by 10 years
but close women friends
extraordinary collection of women
to survive, you have to be special

joined Chicago Network of women
everybody stood up described what they were doing
tears in her eyes, similar experiences
a few women
they would know each other at citywide social functions
learning how to support each other
women in firm
meet every 2 months
I insist that we talk about legal business generation
they will not be successful unless
they are responsible for bringing in clients
real recognition for having your own business
special problems in trying to get clients
big corps are run by men
women not socially integrated

in addition they discuss whatever is on their minds
15 women partners of 70

(don't know if that's right
I hope it's not being printed on the internet)
tremendously diversified
single, single with children,
married, married with children
divorced, widowed, gay
at our last meeting, in december,
breast pump stories
lunchtime curtain protection from office
one piece suit on the floor
window washers

when she was childraising
not breastfeeding
formula pushing

yeah balthazar,
it was a capitalistic thing

tremendous vulnerability of non-working women
they don't have to work
but they need to have something they can do to support themselves in today's economy
so in a divorce, they are not dependent
she knew
whatever happened to me I could take care of myself and my children
more and more confidence
as clients requesting her, her judgement
trust my judgement - reward of the law
longer you stay at it the better it gets
when the groups in town realized they needed women
they came after us, nice opportunities, recognition

burdens of a woman having a career

mother's guilt - children
enormous guilt
balky comment
may 1968 mom arrives france
on the eve of revolution
met dad, had me, i had cp
she didn't give up her career
how could she wage a struggle
and still work
even more when dad left us

learn to deal with the guilt
only so much you can do
children are very manipulative
they like to make it as difficult as they can
rya asks for a story:

when he was very small,
he used to stand on the steps
mommy don't leave me don't leave me

absolutely no time for yourself
for years
absolutely important to have a husband who is supportive
not threatened
very strong men are not threatened by your success
many young men even your age
want a woman less successful
women are still primary caregivers
find a man who will honestly share
it will make everything easier
I know so mnay women who just do everything
the husband is catered to
not the way to go.
going to share in your work
and raising your family


a lot more women then when i started
I have all this wisdom I want to share
you may think discrimination is over
it isn't.
in my biz we try to get bizness from big corps
still run by men
nobody can come to the yale lawschool and announce they won't interview women
less overt
been a big change in attitudes
men with lawyer daughters - it changes their tude
good sense of perspective
women still aren't present in
accounting and big corps
mariah doesn't want to be an accountant, so...
julia sez but she should have the opportunity
take a long time for women's to infiltrate
enormous attrition
law schools 50% women , but they don't stay with it.
one of the reasons she was able to be successful
she knew from nothing about discrim when she got out of school
never expected to be treated differently
always well prepared
expected to be treated on the basis of her work
women with chip on their shoulder
they go out expecteing to be discriminated against
I'm going to be really good
and people are going to accept me on the basis of what I do
screw 'em if they can't do that.


women have more options than men
or so they percieve
married to a good job with children
doesn't have to work to feed children
lose a lot of women who work at career
see demands trememdous demands and long hours
they quit and stay home
other women bothered by that
important thing - do what's right for you
if it's right for you to have an education, job, then stay home
god bless
training don't mean you have to work for life

she's looking at julia and rya
alternating women with statements
confident speaker

price of everything
but tremendous benefits

balky - most men still afraid of strong women?
yes. I don't know. afraid?
society geared for so long with women subservient
b- a cultural revolution
rya - last nights' dance concent woman silencing man, stopping him
- great for kids to see that
b - sociologists, 21st the century of women, I don't know if I buy that
- rise of feminine values end of subservient values
- we need more feminine values
r - are you bringing them into the masculine world
- she has a problem with getting a career like a man
- I want to have one like like a women, sit here like a woman
- take four years off to have a baby
jah - my roommate ben sez no feminity
- when we discern sex values is when discrimination starts
rya - I didn't understand a word you said
explained by julia
- no inherent gender traits,
- possibily evolved after birth
b - I accept my feminine, by crying
- women are better at expressing their emotions
jah - oh no, the whole can of worms
yoni - patriarchy, looking at bible, metaphors, men treat women,
- find reasons for difference, look back, be conscious
- just be yourself
- find it healthy to express yourself
y - question for mom, discrimination today?
difficult for her to address
because women in her firm given a lot of opportunity
senior male partners not discriminating with case assignment
some older men good mentors
nagging concern
(no stats, but)
can't tell if women are producing biz
but don't think women are substantial generators
of requesting specificity
"I want her on the case"

one area it's hard to get ahead in law firms
management superstructure
still mostly older men.

sexual harrassement:
reluctant to exercise rights for consequences

jab - picking power suits for recent play, the heidi chronicles
certain clothes
no frilly, no flowing skirts - but that's not my style
r - going to get deep here, are women accused of using their looks?
attractive young women should dress in a professional nonsexual manner

in some firms,
they have casual days now,
funny thing, people sell casual day clothes
so you're wearing the right thing.

I've said enough, it's cold, let's go home.

Thank you.

Mom | life |

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