April 26, 2011

de·pre·ci·a·tion

[dih-pree-shee-ey-shuh n]  A decrease or loss in value, as because of age, wear, or market conditions.


I listen to talk radio a lot.  I find it interesting and at times entertaining.  This past weekend as I was driving around doing errands I listened to a talk show host discuss the issue of Medicare paying for the elderly who are incapable of having any significant quality of life.  The debate was about how if these people can no longer contribute to Medicare then they should not be sustained by money funded by it.  


Most callers found the idea of killing off these people simply because they were no longer "contributing" members of society abhorrent.  Many people referred to the service these people had provided to the nation, many being of The Greatest Generation and how it was now that the nation must protect and care for them.  


Then a woman (an RN no less) calls in and says that these elderly people are being unpatriotic by staying alive and that the money being spent to keep them alive would be better spent on people who need it more, like women with children who need transplants, chemo, etc.  


After this comment the radio host had a field day (much to my delight).  He asked the caller if she felt that women who had children were of more value to society than those without.  She answered "yes" and said that  it was universally known fact.


I don't think she's too far off in that statement...about this fact being universally known.  I've been made to feel this way many times in my life.  


As a woman without a child I am often made to feel I have a depreciated value to humankind.  I won't even veer off into the older woman without a child issue because that would entail a rant on ageism and I just don't have it in me at the moment.  


For example, today at work I met with my supervisor to discuss a program happening late on Thursday afternoon.  I asked how the preparations were going since the director has been out ill and we only have Wednesday now to prepare.  She asked how late I could stay on Wednesday.  I said, "Why?  Isn't ML coordinating this?".  She replied, "She is but she has to leave at 4pm sharp.  She has kids to pick up."


Oh, so what, my time is not as valuable because I don't have kids to pick up?


How many times have you heard a news story about missing women or injured women (yeah, nowadays not so infrequently) but then if she's PREGNANT or (second best) has kids, well then ALERT ALL SECTORS.  Suddenly she has more value as a news story, more value as a person.


There have been many other instances when my time, my opinion, my health, my finances, my contribution and my feelings have been deemed to be of depreciated value simply because I do not have children.


And it pisses me off. 





9 comments:

  1. I absolutely agree! I have felt the same way for years. It started in my late twenties when I was single and everyone dismissed my time and involvement in anything because I didn't have a significant other. Then, by some sort of luck, I met my husband. Now, I hit my mid thirties and without kids I am a second thought. Even to my family who know what kind of struggle I've been having, and that I've been TTC for years. It is always that the people with kids make the choices, because they have to travel with the kids, or they have the kids to worry about.

    I'm lucky at work - I'm a teacher and of the entire grade 6-12 teaching staff, only one has any children, so there isn't that double standard - but in my pre-teaching job there was. It happens with my friends too - I have to go to them because they can't be bothered to pack up the kids, or get a sitter when I'm in town only once every three months.

    It's frustrating as hell! I agree with you 110%. We shouldn't be valued by the amount of work that our uterus has done!

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  2. Well said! I couldn't agree more!

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  3. I very much enjoyed reading this post. Actually I am lucky in my job this has never been an issue - but i can see that if I worked in a different field it could well become so. I also get annoyed when my friends expect me to move heaven and earth to see them - and I just know that when I have a kid - they won't make half the effort for me!

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  4. I completely agree with you. Having to revolve your schedule around your co-workers, simply because she has children, is SO unfair. I hate that they are given more importance in society. And I can't believe a nurse of all people would have such a disturbing opinion!

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  5. You can add me to the pile of worthless childless spinsters. I've often gotten the short end of the stick, particularly in the workplace, because I'm single and have no children. That makes me doubly irrelevant.

    For years I was always given the lousiest shifts because my coworkers had spouses and/or children. Their lives had meaning, whereas mine did not, so who cared that I had to work shifts that made me an insomniac and made it impossible for me to have a life outside of work.

    So, by that caller's standards, an unemployed meth addict who finds herself in and out of jail is more valuable than me because she popped out a baby - one she probably didn't even want - at some point in her miserable life? Yeah, I don't think so.

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  6. I hate that. I'm a journalist and I recently wrote an article about a 27-year-old woman who had a tangled mass of malformed veins her her brain. It ruptured and she had a resulting 17-hour surgery and survived against all odds. The surgery was risky and the surgeon told me he knew he had to operate because she is a mother. That's all well and good, but it made me feel like crap. If it were me, would he have just let me die?

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  7. I'm with you. In our society, I am less of a valued member as far as respect, etc. However, I am accepted to contribute more money and more time for everyone else.

    When I was single working two jobs I always had to pay in higher taxes. My IRS man told me because in my situation I would always pay more. However, people who don't work or pay money in at all would get huge refunds simple because they have kids and that really pissed me off.

    I had people at jobs tell me to do things because others had kids to take care of. I thought "Well, oh the hell am I supposed to have time to have kids if I'm always working for others."

    As for the reason of the original subject - we pay into SSI and medicare now so we can have the use of it later. No one pays at the time they use the service. That is the whole point of it. Whether I agree with the overall service or not, that is how it is supposed to work. These people acting as if these people are now irrelevant is absurd. They put in their money and now they are collecting their service.

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  8. Great Post! Very well said. I also want you to know I quoted a paragraph from it on my public blog today. I didn't link it back here, because I wanted to protect your privacy but I felt that what you said was worth repeating. Thanks!

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  9. My supervisor told me in very plain terms that I and the other non-parents in my department would be expected to stay late and pick up any extra work that was needed that resulted in the two parent workers needing to leave early or take time off because of their kids. We're salary, and unpaid overtime is expected for us, but not the parents... even though we are the ones that do more work and are less distracted that the ones that have kids. I don't think it's fair and I said so... she told me that "when I get pregnant and have children, I'll have the same treatment" um... that's probably not going to happen for me and especially the pregnant part for the guys in our department.
    Nice.

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Thoughts?