Have an Engagement Ring? You Probaby Don't Need a Job.

Thanks to Amanda, I saw this article the other day that told me and every other woman with an engagement ring out there, When On An Interview, Leave The Bling At Home.

Apparently some jobseekers have damaged their chances for a job by wearing a big engagement ring, which some hiring managers and recruiters say could send the signal that “this person doesn’t need the job.”

In another instance, HuffPo writer Katherine Bindley says, a woman returning from maternity leave asked for a raise and was turned down because of the size of her engagement ring. (She’s now suing.)

“It’s obviously unfair,” Bindley says. “No one would ever ask a man how many carats the diamond ring he bought his wife is to determine what kind of job or salary he deserves — but the [evidence suggests] that it happens.”

Wow. Just wow. Thank goodness this was categorized on mediabistro.com as OMGWTF and the author of the article, Rachel Kaufman, denounced this practice. But SERIOUSLY?! Part of me absolutely cannot believe this is true, but then my more logical, feminist side takes over and I realize that yes, I can totally believe this is true because it is yet another example of men judging women based on their appearance.

While there are obvious sexist implications to the practice of not hiring a woman based on the size of her bling, I think this also points to another, equally problematic attitude in America – the attitude that we all work for money and nothing more. Of course, having money makes a lot of things much easier, but if we all worked jobs just to get paid and not because we felt a deeper calling to do this thing for the rest of our lives, we would all be totally miserable.

Sure, Tim bought me a nice engagement ring. Sure, he could probably provide for us alone if I lost or left my job. But, for as much as I complain about waking up and going back to work and dealing with people who sometimes don’t appreciate what you do, I know that now, if I were stuck in my house all day with nothing to do I would literally lose my mind. In fact, most summers I border on cabin fever and those first few days back at school in the fall quench the thirst in me to feel useful and fulfill a purpose. I teach because I want to, dare I say because I need to for my own sense of purpose, and because I enjoy our standard of living and would like to keep the income that provides for that. You could say that I have that opportunity to do something I love rather than something I need to pay the bills because my husband is employed, which could be true, but considering he’s a teacher, too, I think we’re about in the same boat here. I’m speaking from privilege, I know this. But I don’t think that changes the fact that if, given the option, everyone could choose a profession (or choose to stay at home) that fulfilled the same sense of purpose, they would.

But, you know, we can’t ever really convey that needing a job is about more than needing a paycheck when the prevailing attitude is that women who have husbands or fiancés don’t really need to do anything at all. Kind of like how pretty girls don’t need to do homework or know how to make coffee, eh?

Originally published at Small Strokes.


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