Respone to “Why I Leave Office At 5.30”

Original article

I don’t agree with this article one bit. As a staunch male feminist & father of 2 daughters , I find it having faulty logic as well as find it regressive.

“many, many of my male colleagues have judged me and hinted that I’m a slacker.” <– Well people who work late by habit usually have a tendency to do this to everyone who leaves “early”. This is irrespective of gender. Ask a bachelor male…he is always EXPECTED to be in office. I have been explicitly asked to stay in office overnight because “you are a bachelor what will you do @home?”.

The next para talks about men who stay back late to waste their time. Well multiple problems
– No not all the people who stay late do that for timepass. Some of them actually like to work long and hard. This is again very gender neutral. Some “loosers” actually have no life outside work. So they like to work.

– Other fundamentally wrong assumption is that people who leave at 5:30 don’t waste time. In my experience I have seen ample examples of people who would leave the moment clock strikes but can be seen wandering around in cafeteria, chit chatting with colleagues on random topics, going out for 2 hour long luncheon etc. So while yes wasting time & staying late is bad, leaving at 5:30 doesn’t automatically qualify you to be the most focussed employee out there

– This is mighty disrepsectful of women who work long hours. These are the women who have fought  real hard battle of making their inlaws/society aware that “I work too…not just your son. I want to succeed too & my career is not secondary to you son’s”. It’s far easier to make a male colleague feel guilty & much more difficult to make your relatives/parents/inlaws respect your choices.

Second paragraph builds on a nice male stereotype …guy who doesn’t care about his kids,friends,parents. I guess someone needs to translate and sing marathi Song “Damlelya Babachi Kahani” (Stroy of a tired father) to her.Just like a man maybe can’t understand a mother’s heart, no woman can understand the pain a father goes through when he faces tear filled eyes of his 5 year old daughter.Almost all next paras are around putting forward a male stereotype and then….can go on & on but don’t feel it’s required.

As a staunch male feminist I find this article regressive.It is reinforcing the exact female stereotype that needs to be destroyed….”someone who will use her family limitations to limit commitment to work”. At a time when women are pushing envelope, wanting to do 24*7 jobs, joining armed forces, being part of commando operations. It is also being hugely disrespectful of women who have fought hard to get acceptance as professionals not just at work but also at home. They have fought long & hard to make their families understand that they are in a competitive world, they want to succeed & hence they will do whatever it takes. How do female athletes make it possible? how do female artists make it possible? How to entrepreneurial ladies make it possible? Do they all stop working at 5:30?

Whether one enjoys to work in a cut throat competitive environment or not is an individual choice. There was a time when I used to. There was a time when being “Code 1″(top 2% in 3,00,000 people organization) year after year used to give me a kick. And I worked with women who were equally motivated to play that game. Now I am no more interested in that. Tomorrow ..who knows? but I have no one to blame for long hours then & don’t have anyone else for a “slower” growth in later years.


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