I already wrote a text on the Blog saying that the new 40s are the generation between gaps. https://os40saoosnovos20.com/2019/11/04/somos-a-geracao-entre-safras/
We are the generation that came out of the cliché of the housewife woman, living solely and exclusively for her husband and family. Especially because today, with the current costs of studying and raising children, it is impossible for only one income to support the whole family.
On the other hand, we are exhausted because we are still in the middle of the journey. There is still no fair division of household chores between husband and wife, and we still earn far less than men.
Then we accumulate 2: work at home and raising children and work, still undervalued by society.
I think we are WARRIORS: it is not for everyone. We are halfway there, more towards the end than at the beginning.
But like every journey, it gives those fears and that envy of what we left behind. Many of us have already questioned whether our mothers’ lives were much better because the woman stayed at home taking care of the children and the responsibility for financially supporting the family belonged to the husband only.
With the pandemic and isolation, the brutal difference was very wide open, as men and women in their 40s and 50s see child home schooling and household tasks. The vast majority of my married friends are exhausted. To fight with her husband, to fight with her children, because we still come and “play” the heritage pattern of our mothers. Children are still served, yet husbands are exempt from most domestic work.
As I said, there are exceptions. From single parents, from couples who help each other equally. But as a rule, the woman carries the work of raising children and taking care of the house on her back. This wave of home schooling is only good for children who have less pressure from face-to-face classes and can spend most of their time playing video games.
And with the pandemic, more unemployment. And who is being hit hardest? Our class, 40 to 50 years old women.
Partly because we were working in areas that were most affected by the isolation. And also because we have the greatest responsibility for raising children, we are engaged in part-time work and services, which are most affected by the crisis.
I work voluntarily when I can for an Organization that inspires girls aged 10 to 16 to enter careers labeled “male” as engineering and technology. Well, the technology area is now booming in the crisis. There is a strong dispute for programmers and developers. Unfortunately, very few women. Not because the jobs exclude the female universe. It is because there are few women with studies in this area. In a session with 100 students, we asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. The gender biases were already there: they all wanted to be pediatricians, veterinarians, nurses.
I am not taking away the magnitude and purpose of these careers in any way.
But perhaps one of the greatest gifts of women, which is that of Caring, is also our Achilles’ heel when choosing a profession: we always tend towards the professions of caring, of services. We ran away from numbers, statistics, physics. We shouldn’t.
With faith, we will reach the end. Or at least to the top!
I think the pandemic has come to accelerate that. Children cannot be so spoiled, we have to follow the example of European children, who are much more independent. We cannot accept husbands who do not justly part home tasks.
In our generation, more difficult. For my married and suffering friends, resilience remains to not ruin the marriage.
But for the generation of our sons and daughters, oh, there will be no such thing! I want to live to witness this!
Hug (virtual) to everyone. That we can help each other to go through this moment with more wisdom and humanity. And less gender gap for sure.