OH H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

I dubbed this the theme song of 2020

Today was hard.

Today was a vinegar and baking soda kind of day. And that’s okay. They can’t all be good. Sometimes you have to experience the bad so that you appreciate the good days that much more when they finally do arrive.

It is 8:00 pm and I’ve gotten nothing accomplished in this day. Well, not unless I count beating myself up as an accomplishment. Which… I’m not.

To address a couple of emails I received after I published my post last night, I just wanted to say that it is illegal and extremely inappropriate for a job interviewer to ask a candidate when she plans on having children and/or how many children she plans on having. One’s family status should play no bearing in whether or not they’re qualified to do a job and thus should not play into any hiring decisions.

In a society that has long undervalued women and treated them as less-than in the workforce, there is no good way for a woman to answer that question when asked. Think about it. If I answered the question, they’d presume I’d be having children in the near future and that could count as a strike against me in the hiring process. And they’d never have to admit that it counted as a strike against me. If I called them out on it, told them it was none of their business and that it was illegal to ask me that, I could come across and stand-offish with unruly behaviour, which could also count as a strike against me. And again, they’d never have to admit that publicly because they know that the average woman isn’t going to go and take them to court over not being hired.

Essentially, it’s backing a woman into a corner with no way out. And how is that fair?

When a man becomes a father, he’s almost treated as though he’s more valuable to a company at that point. He’s the man of the house, he needs to provide for a child now so the company ‘can know’ that he’s going to be a hard-working employee. When a woman becomes a mother, it’s still often treated as career suicide. God forbid they have nine months of doctor’s appointments to look after the health of their unborn child so they’ll be in and out during weird hours for the foreseeable future. And, living in a country that offers one full year of maternity or paternity leave, most employers see it as paying out an employee to sit on their butt. You can argue with me on that sentiment, but it does happen… a lot. I promise you that if you sit down and chat with a group of women about it, you’ll be surprised as to how often it happens.

No one looks at a man and thinks ‘He’s going to ask for paternity leave so I better ask him when he wants to have children’. So, why do women get asked?

Anyways, I realize that people are going to either agree or vehemently disagree on this and that’s totally okay. I’m speaking from experience, and from what I’ve heard from my friends, family members and coworkers over the years.

35 thoughts on “OH H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

  1. Obviously you got emails saying it’s ok to ask women this. It’s illegal in Ireland too, and it should be. The only reason to ask is to discriminate. When or if someone is going to have children shouldn’t be a consideration in hiring them for a job. It isn’t part of the qualifications for most employments. Ugh, now I’m mad. Hugs, Vee. Some days are spent beating yourself up. Beating yourself up over beating yourself up doesn’t help. I know from experience.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks, my dear. I think I opened myself up to criticism when I said ‘I can’t even begin to explain all the things wrong with it’. Honestly, I don’t fault people for questioning me. I just read the emails and felt it was something worthy of addressing. Thank you for your solidarity, though I would suggest it’s really not worth being mad over.

      Thank you for reading, and for being in my corner ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Here you would report them to the Worker’s BC. But really, if they tried to investigate it at all, the interviewer could just say ‘no I didn’t say that’ and it would be over. Unless I take a recorder with me to job interviews, I don’t really have a way of proving it. I think that’s why so many hiring people get away with it.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. We as women compromise. From a very early stage in life, knowing or unknowingly, we are brought up that way. A male child helps the father clean the car, maybe one a week, while a female child helps the mother clean the house, cook, wash and everything, everyday. Men are still not very involved in household and family. They are pressured by the society’s perception of what a man should be and the way they are brought up. These gender stereotypes have affected both men and women in so many different ways. A man can’t be too affectionate, too kind, too soft while a woman can’t be too ambitious, too fierce, and the list goes on. But why not? Aren’t we all just humans? Pondering about these makes my blood boil.

    The interviewer no business asking you that. I just hate it when these stuff happens and affects us. I wish you could drag such people to court. Alas! Not everything is fair in this world.

    Take care. Hope you get a better job.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think it’ll keep happening until a day when it becomes common practice to video/voice record job interviews. I think if an interviewer knew they were being recorded they’d be a lot more careful about what they say. But, since that doesn’t happen, they can really say whatever they want to.

      Like

  3. That’s so frustrating. I am in agreement with you that you need to answer that with care while still being considered for the job. Though if you don’t get that specific job, I believe I would send an email that says “Thanks for interviewing me. It’s disappointing not to be the candidate selected. I do believe I can be helpful to the future of your company, however. Asking women about their plans for having children is illegal under Canadian law. I wouldn’t want you to make that mistake again.”

    Hang in there, my job hunting buddy. I believe we will find something wonderful soon!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I could send them that email. I guess I’m just one of those people who’s given up on the human race at this point. If they’re smug enough to ask that in a job interview, is my email going to mean anything to them? Not likely. I’m a cynic, I know. Just seems like a wasted effort. lol

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  4. That was my first thought when I saw that, that it has to be highly illegal. But I thought maybe the laws were different in Canada, and I didn’t want to be THAT guy. (It would make sense that Canada would make that illegal, too, but you never know …)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, it’s 100 percent illegal here. But, if I went and told anyone that happened… what would matter? Someone goes and asks the interviewer and they say ‘No I didn’t say that’. Full stop. It’s over. I look like the girl who cried wolf and they get to continue on as if nothing happened. That’s why it’s literally putting someone in an impossible position.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Back in the “old days,” or my younger days, we were told not to wear wedding rings or say anything that implied we had anything other to do than work. It is illegal for employers to ask questions about age, whether you’re going to have children, or even if you’re married. We make mistakes by becoming comfortable in an interview and just spout things out that we should keep to ourselves. But why? Why do we have to be any different than men? I completely agree with you. It is difficult to know how to handle these situations.

    Some applications here will say “if you are under 18 or over 40, please state your age.” Yes, there is a reason for the under 18, but for no reason should a job need to know if I’m over 40 or not. I leave that answer blank everytime. If I get an interview, they can decide for themselves because I am not answering. (I happen to look young for my age, so…)

    I know you are struggling to find a job. I hope you find something soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, I haven’t seen one that asks if you’re over forty yet. That’s completely ageism and completely ridiculous. I get needing to be 18 or older as a requirement for some positions but beyond that, it’s not any of their dang business.

      Like

  6. I’m with you, completely inappropriate and unfair. Our culture still puts women second yet without us no life would be created.
    Deep down I believe men are just jealous of us because, and this is science, women can function at a multidimensional level easier than a man who is one track minded. We are made to multitask and take care of life therefore we can do many things at a time, naturally. Men however can not. Their minds fixate on one thing.
    I have hope however that our inequality is shrinking and women as a whole are rising. We will lead more governments, earn an equal wage and be heard at the table. Men wouldn’t be here without us!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do hope that we’re moving forward towards a culture that values women more in the workforce. I just… haven’t fully experienced that as of yet. My last work place was a real ‘Boys Club’ type of environment, and I just want to land somewhere that my worth isn’t determined by my gender. Ya know?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So Inappropriate!! That makes me angry as it is illegal and none of their business no matter what the answer to the question would be. I’m sorry you went through that. Maybe the people at the company have been burned by people in the past who started and then just as they were fully trained, the person left on maternity leave and left a hole open for a year. I don’t know what the thought process was here but regardless just WRONG WRONG WRONG!!

    Also I am super jealous that you guys get a full year of maternity leave. Here you can barely get 6 weeks and it’s unpaid. Sometimes when it comes to women I feel like we are the United States of Embarrassment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A woman getting pregnant and having a child is not burning a company, though. I want to make that abundantly clear. That’s the notion here. A woman getting pregnant is a waste to a company, and it’s not.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Maybe some job interviewer will read what you wrote and change there highly inappropriate behavior. What is overlooked is that men have changed and can change. If women were to suddenly act like they did in the 1870’s men would be more clueless as how to behave around women than they can now sometimes be.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You know what Vee – I am SHOCKED! I could not imagine you would receive anything except support and understanding in response to your previous post. Needless to say, I agree wholeheartedly with all you said, and I find it hard to believe anybody dares to ask such questions during the job interview. It’s really unfortunate that some people do not understand that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was shocked when I read the emails initially, but upon talking to them a little bit further, I realized their comments were coming from a lack of understanding, lack of experience in dealing with a situation of that nature.

      Thank you for your comment. It is unfortunate that some people don’t understand. I guess that’s a part of life though… helping people understand, or, dealing with the fact that they just might not ever.

      Like

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