Jan. 26th, 2014

pktechgirlbackup: (pktechgirl)
Long long ago, beauty was just a thing you had, or didn't have. It was pleasant and useful to have it, but people without it weren't additionally punished, beyond not getting the benefits of being pretty. Between roughly the 1920s and 1960s, beauty was turned into a virtue. If you weren't pretty, it was because you weren't working hard enough.* Some time after that (certainly by the time I was cognizant of it in the 90s), people decided that trying to be pretty was really unattractive and started to stigmatize it. But they never rolled back the view that pretty was a sign of inner virtue, much less the rewards to prettiness. Now you not only had to be beautiful, but to never impose on others awareness of the work it took to make yourself.

I feel like something similar explains part of what's going on with jobs right now. We don't have a system where everyone can love their job. Back when jobs were jobs and the satisfaction of them was in what you did with the money, that was totally fine. Then we decided that people should love their jobs. But we didn't change the kind of jobs we needed. And in a weird way, we started to shame not only people who traded their morals for money, but people who didn't have a passion, or couldn't find a job that expressed it. Not having a job you love, like having an attractive face, became something you were obliged to hide or "accept responsibility for".

I like my job/career, but I've never been passionate about it. A lot of my co-workers aren't either. If you're going to have a job you're not passionate about, have it in computers, because the money is amazing. And yet, when I go on job interviews, they need to be convinced I'm passionate about the work. It feels gross. It feels like an aspiring stewardess being told it's not about being pretty, it's about taking care of yourself. I wish I could just tell them "I have these skills, and will apply them this hard for this many hours for this much money." and be done with it.

*Most recently I read this in relation to flight attendants in The Jet Sex, but I've read similar things elsewhere.


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May 2014

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