Caring fulfillment

Catherine Fox, in this month’s BOSS magazine reviews Anne Manne’s book Motherhood.
I’m saddened by her undoubtably accurate observation:

I’m happy to agree with Manne’s conclusion that our obsession with work has gone too far – after all, I co-wrote a book with [BOSS editor] Helen Trinca about this addiction, Better than Sex: How a whole generation got hooked on work, which she cites.

But part of our thesis was that paid work had become the public stage in modern democracies and women wanted a chance to have a role in that forum and ideally to change the workplace too.

It’s just a bit convenient to argue that caring work, which is admirable, can be as fulfilling as some of the jobs well educated women now have access to [my emphasis] – it’s not just men who use work to justify “absence from family obligations”.

It’s no doubt a true observation, but it’s sad. There must be a way in which we can learn to value caring work while allowing both women and men to find fulfillment in all the work they do.

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