WORDS BY BBD
A few weeks back, NWSO did a weeklong series on the Love & Basketball, where I made a comment that I wanted to elaborate on as a guest blogger. So here it is:
When I watched the last scene of Love & Basketball with Quincy on the sidelines holding their baby girl and Monica playing basketball, my heart leapt at the visual of actually seeing a relationship work out in favor of the woman. She got to have a career, be a mom and the husband supported her by being the baby’s caregiver for the family! At the time, it wasn’t the norm to see this type of role reversal live and in living color on the big screen. It affirmed my expectation of having a nurturing husband for my children as not being that wild of an idea after all. I could point to the possibility of a balanced life of career and family as a reality because we saw it played out on the silver screen in L&B.
That image was powerful for me and my husband as a young couple who wanted to support each other professionally, but didn’t know how to do that and have a family, too. We knew that a nurturing relationship with our children would require lots of time together pouring our value system into them and one of us would have to give up their career or find one that was kid-friendly. The struggle for balance between love and careers was played out before us in this movie and was positively resolved so we knew it was a possibility and went for it!
When L&B came out 10 years ago, there were few examples of women successfully managing the demands of work and family. The idea of “bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan” had been explored on television sitcoms, but real life examples that regular folk like ourselves could relate to weren’t so plentiful. In my own circle I didn’t find good examples of balance between professional workingwomen with their family obligations. I saw stay-at-home moms holding it down on the home front or dads who were successful at their jobs (because the women took care of the home) but no examples of a woman who had both a successful career and a supportive husband.
The married women I knew had to choose one life or the other. If they became moms they decided to give up their professional careers to stay at home to raise their children. Other married women who had successful careers sacrificed their marital relationships in the process. They were awesome moms but not as successful at being wives.
There’s a big difference.
It’s easier today to find examples of successful men with intact families, but when you find successful women it’s usually at the expense of having a husband and family. They are either single, never married or married briefly and now divorced. Why is it harder to find good examples of successful women still with their original families or even with a family? Why does it seem like women have to choose one or the other? Men can have both a successful career and family, but women usually climb the ladder of success alone or childless.
Most romantic movies about single women show them being successful, without children and no one to come home to but a cat or dog. A successful family life is put on hold until they meet Mr. Right and get married, then the second half or the other part of their lives can begin with a husband and children. When we look at men, they can have it all at the same time without the marriage penalty. As a matter of fact it’s favorable for them to be looked upon as family men. So when I saw Love & Basketball work out the conflict in favor of the woman, I felt like liberation had finally come to the masses.
Well, at least that’s how I saw it.
Why is it an “acceptable” loss for women to be successful and alone while men are often able to maintain their career and family? Do you think it’s still rare for a man to take care of the family and take a backseat to his wife’s career? Do you think it’s possible for a career-driven women to juggle family and work? Or are women with ambition doomed to be successful and alone or at higher risk for divorce? Would you be willing to sacrifice having kids just to maintain a happy marriage and career? How many successful people do you know that actually have successful relationships? Would you rather be a good husband/wife or a father/mother?
Speak your piece…
Paul Carrick Brunson’s Modern Day Matchmaker Live tour is hitting New York Thursday, June 3 and yours truly is on the panel, along with a host of other relationship bloggers and experts.
I don’t get to interact with my readers that often so I’d love to see you at Providence, which is located at 311 West 57th Street, NYC. Doors open at 8pm and the show, which will be taped, will run from 8:30 to 10:30. The after party, which will give folks the chance to mingle with the panel, will kickoff right after until 2am.
CLICK HERE to purchase tickets. The tickets are $25 for the panel discussion and $10 for the after party, but NWSO readers will get 20% off the price by entering “NWSO” as your discount code.
It should be fun and I can’t wait to see you there.
For more info, hit the official FaceBook invite or the flyer below.