Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shifting Paradigms

Last night, after a 14-hour day, I flipped on the TV and found "Baby Boom," a film from 1988 starring Diane Keaton. For those who haven't seen it, Keaton plays a high-powered female executive making six figures, completely driven by her career. Suddenly she inherits a baby from distant relatives in England. One night of tending the sick baby bonds them and she makes a snap decision to keep the child rather than give her up for adoption.

The scene I tuned in on was her boss telling her that it wasn't possible to have it all. That men were luckier--they had wives to handle their lives so they could focus on career. That sacrifices have to me made to be successful. Indeed, the Keaton character ends up being taken off a huge account that she brought into the firm and put on a lower profile one. She chooses to leave the company.

It made me think that it has been 40 years since I came of age in the 1960's, the heart and soul of the womens' movement. Back then, women were just beginning to come to the work force at the same time they were being moms. Growing up, my mother was one of two I knew who worked outside the home. Nowadays, it is much more the norm.

I think the reason this triggered a need to write is my new blogger buddy, Elizabeth Spann Craig. She writes at home while raising two children. Yesterday, she blogged about writing at the roller skating rink, disco music blaring and all. I admire her so much for so many reasons. I know sacrifices are probably being made in her family, but she is finding a way to do what she needs to do for herself (successfully, I might add) and raise her children.

It makes my heart happy that so much progress has been made since I was a young woman. I know there is still a glass ceiling. I know that women still don't earn equal pay for equal work. But the fact that women can have fulfilling careers and be moms at the same time and make that work for all concerned, is a paradigm shift of monumental proportion.



Tabitha Bird said...

too true. Motherhood is so important that sometimes we forget that it is the 'mother' part of that 'hood' that needs nurturing too. That means finding a way to give our dreams wings. Great post :)

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Funny you should mention Elizabeth, Karen. I just finished commenting on an interview she’d given on a review site. My thoughts there were nearly the same as you express here….how she manages to do so much with the same amount of daylight I have, but get so much more done--and so well.

Of course, as you point out, the “pioneer” women of the 60s and before laid much of the ground work for the more equal footing women enjoy today. We’re not totally there yet, but great strides have been made. So, hats off to them all.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Karen, I really appreciate your compliment! Like all moms, I wonder if I'm doing the right thing for my kids...it was such a boost to read your sweet words!

I frequently think about the women who came before me...my mom's and grandmother's generations...and how they made this all possible for me. I have friends that work in politics and high-powered professions, and I have friends that stay at home and I have friends that have done both. It's so incredible to have the opportunity to do what we want as women.


Marvin D Wilson said...

With you all the way on this muse and sentiments, Karen.

The Old Silly

Helen Ginger said...

Great strides have been made over the years. Over my lifetime, for sure. Now women have more choice in decisions about working and raising a family, getting married or not, and doing what they want with their lives. It's a new and changing world. Now if only we could get self-cleaning houses.

Straight From Hel

Helen Ginger said...

Times and mores have changed. Women have much more flexibility, power, and self-awareness. Now if we could just get self-cleaning houses.

Straight From Hel

Jody Hedlund said...

I think that's why writing is so attractive to women--we can do it from home while still enjoying the role of being a mom. And actually, for me it's a way to take a break from the 24/7 SAHM responsibilities. After some time writing, I'm refreshed and ready to tackle my other work!

Kelly Moran said...

love your book cover and title.
great blog you have here. i'm following you now. you should pop on over and check out/follow mine. i have all things books...
nice to see you.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Thank goodness we have progressed past "Father Knows Best" and the "Leave It to Beaver" view of motherhood.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Ah, yes, I remember it well.

It might be hard for some of you young'ns to believe, but the kind of criticism and distortion of the facts we women suffered for protesting unequal pay, questioning the status quo, and marching in support of the Equal Rights Amendment, is very similar to what is happening now to those who question, demand answers, and protest the proposed House legislation on health care.

When the powers that be walk around with their fingers in their ears saying, "Lalalalalalala," folks sometimes even have to yell to be heard. I'm awfully glad we did a little of that yelling "back in the day."

Anonymous said...

It makes my heart happy that so much progress has been made since I was a young woman.

What you talking about, Karen? You still are a young woman!