I have spent most of my life surrounded by men. I was a high school debater, which is mostly men. I was a professional beach volleyball player, which you’d think would be mostly women, but when there’s a group of athletic women in bikinis it turns out that the world feels like it’s mostly men.
Then I went into the tech industry. All men. I got my first job writing because Time Warner paid me to write about what it’s like being a woman in the field of tech startups.
Then I had kids and kept working. That’s when the world really divides. Women who work after they have kids are pretty much isolated from other women. Anecdotally it doesn’t make sense: of course there are other women at the office. But statistically this makes sense: Pew Research reports that 80% of women who have kids say they would not want to work full-time outside the home if they had the choice. (Interesting offshoot of this trend: Applications for moms wanting jobs as part-time phone sex operators have increased 400%.)
I downloaded a bunch of episodes of Mad Men to watch because I miss men. I miss their power-mongering energy. It is so different from women. Men don’t talk about feelings or kids. They talk about sports and business. I don’t know anything about football or basketball, so men talk to me about business.
I can’t tell if I miss the men or the talk about business. But I feel confused. Because when I was working all the time, and leaving my kids at home with round-the-clock nannies, I got so angry at men for being oblivious to what their wife and kids were doing at home. And now I think I miss having my small part of that oblivion.