Help the world have a holiday season full of women

Women once wore skirts to work because the men had no time to do what women did. Male captains of industry didn’t sit in the boardroom because there were few women to talk to….

Help the world have a holiday season full of women

Women once wore skirts to work because the men had no time to do what women did. Male captains of industry didn’t sit in the boardroom because there were few women to talk to. Public housing had no structural supports because builders could build cheaper with only one woman on site. Sexist assumptions about work and home relations have harmed all women over the years. The male figure, particular those holding power, mostly remains behind the scenes. It’s been a revelation watching female staffers standing around during the holiday season and women outside of work weaving together bright red fabric to make a menorah.

By contrast, the holiday season has always been dominated by men. Events are male-centric and played to male audiences. Overall, Christmas has been largely an exclusively male holiday experience. Men have traditionally predominated as “mechanical” objects of war or celebration. It’s a common perception that women would produce the best Santa as if he is a male brawny-looking worker. That is so ingrained that even the tinsel, ornaments, tree or train would not exist if it weren’t for a male.

The stereotypical view of women in the workforce is that they are distracted. Research, especially studies like the one done by Judith Glass and Wilt Chamberlain, shows that this assumption is badly mistaken. Women at work show a high level of collaborative working; they learn through more meaningful exchanges. Women cooperate more because they enjoy the process and because they are at a lower pay grade. No, women don’t rush to the office when a man has been there a while. But is there any empirical evidence that women use the time away from the office to watch men play chess? Women who are in charge of the business often have their own needs and wants which may not align with those of the management. They would rather be out on the town and interacting with others.

Marcelle Rosenthal, a very able journalist who enjoyed a period in the 1960s and 1970s when there were few jobs that had other than a man in the position, wrote that women, especially career women, often demanded bigger than the boss, and it also affected communication, especially out of the office. Rosenthal noted that women often wanted to talk more and do more. And in an environment where women were not given the freedom to speak up, these pressures may have inhibited their abilities to compete. These myths can be repeated under the guise of “jobs” and the American dream.

Modern co-op apartment buildings are becoming the common perception of traditional office spaces. Co-op communities in New York and San Francisco are women-owned, in other cities like Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon, support female business owners, increase corporate diversity and get involved in local community events. Women are also using their and their buildings’ affluence to support the environment.

Co-op communities can be a place of resistance to the corporatization of the workplace in the country and private life in the country. Depending on the true type of co-op or an apartment building, individuals and family can be offered a greater variety of opportunities to make life better and a cleaner environment. The ladies of New York’s Washington Square Co-op have used a $500,000 investment to make their building fit their comfort level. They built a big outdoor space, a quiet place for prayer services, many green areas and many beautiful vintage trees.

These are the components of the celebration of the Jewish calendar year, a season dedicated to the sharing of new and ancient knowledge. As the world changes, perhaps the effort to make the new world different so that women can co-ordinate in it should include gender equality in all aspects of work. Women’s rights activists in Israel and Palestinian women’s rights activists in America have thrown themselves into this work and make it sound like fun.

The cultural transformation of the fall and winter months should include the transmittal of the voices and the wisdom of centuries of women historians and historians who shared a deep and abiding yearning for another world – a better world.

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