Lizz Winstead is a comedian and writer based in New York. She was a co-creator of “The Daily Show.” Her newest book, Lizz Free Or Die: Essays comes out on May 10. Pre-order it here.
I don’t know what the “hardest job in the world” is, but I am in the camp that motherhood is near the top, along with coal miner, President of the United States, and porn theater janitor. Some disagree and have other ideas, like this guy who makes the case that simply being a man qualifies as the hardest.
Now with all of these jobs – yes, even the job of angry white guy — to excel at any of them, you have to possess a specific skill set, combined with a tireless resilience that I simply was not born with.
So I chose to opt out of all of the above, because I know, in no uncertain terms, society would not be a better place if I were doing any of them.
Yet with only one of those jobs, motherhood, I am judged about my decision not to pursue it. Instead of saying, “Thank you for realizing you don’t have the selflessness it takes to raise a child,” I am, ironically, often called selfish.
And I resent it.
It seems to me that motherhood is the only job that people seem to confuse having the equipment to do it with having all the skills that go along with being good at it. And it is only a woman’s natural born equipment that seems to be put under such scrutiny. The uterus is the only non-vital organ many think we are inherently born to utilize.
I have never heard anyone declare, “If you are born with a penis, you instinctively want to make children with it.” Why the double standard? I mean, after all, men alone make one of the, shall we say, ingredients required to make another human.
Of what other job, besides motherhood, do we say, “Just because you can physically do it, do it, we will impose it upon you, regardless of how ill-prepared, incompetent or disinterested you are?
The answer: NONE OF THEM.