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(This post has been edited to show the most recent findings from Salary.com’s information)

“Man is willing to accept woman as an equal, as a man in skirts, as an angel, a devil, a baby face, a machine, an instrument, a bosom, a womb, a pair of legs, a servant, an encyclopedia, an ideal or obscenity; the one thing he won’t accept her as is a human being, a real human being of the feminine sex.”

D.H. Lawrence

At some point today. you will encounter a woman. Now, this is not rocket science. As of 2014, there are at least 20 billion of us in this country alone.

We comprise slightly over 50% of the world’s population.

Women are the engine that that drives the world.

And yet…

More than one in seven women in this country alone live in poverty.

More than half of all poor children live in families headed by women.

Women are the engine that drives the world.

And yet…

80% of single parents are women. 45% of single mothers are separated or divorced. 34% of single mothers have never married. 1.7% are widowed.

 

Women spend more time on household chores than men-still. Whether or not they have full time jobs.

Women are the engine that drives the world.

 

And yet…

We get interrupted more. And not taken seriously enough  when we do get to speak.

The latest data from Salary.com says that mothers who stay home, should, according to the salary research earn $143, 102  from their combined duties for a job that encompasses 92 hours per week (40 hours base salary, $48, 509/52 hours overtime $94.593). (CEO, Laundry Operator, Janitor, Van Driver, Psychologist, Computer Operator, Facilities Manager, Day Care Center Teacher, Cook, Housekeeper)

Those who work outside the home should earn $90,223  for a total of 59.4 hours  a week in addition to the time they spend at their job (40 hours, $52,685/overtime 19 hours,$37,538) .

Women are the engine that drives the world.

So what do women want…besides a nap? And pay equity?

We want to be seen.

The lovely letter from Sally Owens to her sister Gilly in the film Practical Magic says much of what, I believe women truly long for:

“Sometimes I feel like there’s a hole inside of me, an emptiness that at times seems to burn. I think if you lifted my heart to your ear, you could probably hear the ocean. The moon tonight, there’s a circle around it. Sign of trouble not far behind. I have this dream of being whole. Of not going to sleep each night, wanting. But still sometimes, when the wind is warm or the crickets sing… I dream of a love that even time will lie down and be still for. I just want someone to love me. I want to be seen. I don’t know. Maybe I had my happiness. I don’t want to believe it but, there is no man, Gilly. Only that moon.”

wish

In Shall We Dance, Beverly  (played by Susan Sarandon) tells the detective (Richard Jenkins, who someday will get the Oscar he richly deserves) she hired to follow her husband because she fears he is having an affair the reason she believes most people get married:

“We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”

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So, when you see this woman, whether she’s your life partner or a mother struggling with packages and a screaming toddler, see her. If she’s your life partner, let her know that you truly see her for all her fragile, yet resilient humanity. For her magnificence. For what she truly is-a woman. If it’s a woman struggling with a million things at once, engage the toddler. Try to stop it from screaming. Take some of her packages for her. Call her a cab. Maybe, buy her a cup of coffee. Look at her. Listen to her. Perhaps the one that said it best was the character Spike from Buffy, the Vampire Slayer as he’s explaining to Buffy, again, how much he loves her and why.

“You listen to me. I’ve been alive a bit longer than you. And dead a lot longer than that. I’ve seen things you couldn’t imagine. And done things I prefer you didn’t. I don’t exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood, which doesn’t exactly rush in the direction of my brain. So I make a lot of mistakes. A lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred-plus years and there’s only one thing I ever been sure of. You. Hey, look at me. I’m not asking you for anything. When I say that I love you, it’s not because I want you. Or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are. What you do. How you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you and I understand, with perfect clarity, exactly what you are. You’re a hell of a woman. You’re the One, Buffy.”

Just see her.

spikebuffy7

 

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