Monday, March 11, 2013

A Job Or A Career?

For all Star Wars fans out there - I know it technically isn't really classical music, but I happen to like it:) My husband has it as the ringtone on his mobile:)

Now to the topic of the post: My Longman Dictionary of English Landuage and Culture, edition of 1992 defines 'career' as "a job or profession for which one is trained" or a part of the general course of a person's working life. However, in usage 'career' often implies one's lifework at which the person presumably will achieve some success. Still, if we only go by the bare dictionary definition, we'll see that 'career' is simply a more glorified version of  'job'.

'Job' is defined by the same dictionary as regular paid employment and the paragraph on usage tells us that job is something you do to earn your living. Why am I posting these definitions? Chiefly because nowadays there is a lot of confusion about the family and traditional sex roles (note: gender is a grammatical term). There seems to be no shortage of people nowadays who insist that they support the traditional family and they will even tell you that they are against women having careers, but then they turn around and say it's OK for women to have jobs as opposed to careers.

In other words, it's fine for the married woman to be in regular paid employment (which is different from occasional babysitting and selling handmade soap through internet) and to earn her living as long as she doesn't enjoy it ot tries to be successful at it, or to put it simply: operating a cash register at McDonalds's for the minimum wage 35 hours a week is good, while being a lady doctor working 40 hours a week makes her an evil career woman.

I understand that everybody is entitled to his point of view, and that a lot of people disagree with the idea of the traditional family, but the least they could do is to state it openly. The traditional idea of family in the West is a breadwinner husband and a homemaker wife who can have some occasional earnings but whose primary occupation is running the household. That's how Longman defines 'housewife': "a woman who works at home for her family, cleaning, cooking etc., especially one who does not work outside the home. (emphasis mine).

To say that one supports traditional family and is against women working at careers but is OK with women working at jobs is akin to saying War Is Peace and Freedom Is Slavery. I guess George Orwell was onto something and the 1984 has finally arrived.

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