I asked you to e-mail me your stories from "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day," a day dedicated to showing tomorrow’s leaders some of the many opportunities available to them in life, in the hopes that they will dream big. One e-mail was a stark reminder that you can never please all of the people all of the time.
I mean, here is a day set aside to build youngsters’ self-esteem and at the same time provide an out-of-the-ordinary bonding experience between them and their parents. Nobody could disparage that? Right? Sadly, wrong. Very.
Here’s the e-mail that proves it:
Having experienced 40 years of abusive, obnoxious "feminism," there will be minimal support from Men for "Take your daughter to work day and let your son tag along."
Recent history has poisoned the relationship between men and women for generations to come.
I can assure you that the Ms. Foundation for Women didn’t begin this tradition in any way to abuse or poison you. The organization works to build opportunities for women, because, as they say on their Web site: “We know that when we invest in women and girls, helping them develop their voices and skills, everyone benefits — men, boys, families, and communities.”
It was only for fundamental reasons that the group originally launched the program just for girls. It was not a move to exclude little boys. When it became known that little boys would like to participate, they were invited to partake and the name of the day was changed to reflect as much.
Walking through midtown Manhattan yesterday, I saw many eager faces of both boys and girls walking side-by-side with their working moms and dads. It didn’t look to me like anything or anyone had been poisoned. Instead, it looked quite the opposite.
I’m going to share two e-mails that further my point:
I work as a network support engineer at Verizon Business and I brought my 10-year-old son to work with me today. Tonight, when I asked him what he learned, he said, “It’s boring. I should quit school now and join the circus!” (Maybe he got the idea from one of my coworkers?)
It was good for him to see that an adult’s workday is longer than his school day. And like kids in school, adults also have work projects that must be done on time.
I asked him what he wants to do for a living when he grows up. He says he wants to be a fighter pilot.
Sandy S.'s 10-year-old daughter wrote the following thank-you note after going to work with her mom at the hospital:
I love you a lot. I hope I can come to your work more. Your work is the best. I would help in anything; you wouldn’t even have to pay me.
Love your daughter,
Baton Rouge, La.
"Minding Her Business" is a column that covers issues affecting women in business and in the workplace. Female professionals (and male, too, if they wish) can use this resource to network, ask questions, receive and offer advice, share personal experiences … and you don’t ever have to leave your office. Just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mails are subject to editing for length and content.