A fleeting moment and some small talk has pissed women off everywhere. Kate Winslet paid a visit to Buckingham Palace earlier this year to collect her CBE award for her accomplishments in drama. She meets the Queen. Chitchat ensues. The Queen asks about her enjoyment of acting. Winslet tells The Telegraph, “”I said yes I liked it but not as much as being a mother.” The Queen responds, “It is the best job.”
The Internet explodes.
A popular feminist blogger who calls herself Glosswitch, writes for the New Statesman:
So the Queen told Kate Winslet that motherhood is “the best job”. Why do I find this so annoying? I am a mother. I do think mothers are undervalued. All the same, I’d rather not be told I have “the best job”. Particularly not if Hollywood actresses and heads of state are claiming it’s their dream job, too.
She makes a damn good point. While I do love my child, I don’t think parenting him is the best “job” in the world. Clearly, the best job would be to be the maternal version of Anthony Bourdain – being paid to travel the globe, eat, and write. Oh, and insult people on Top Chef. How fantastic would that be?
The Telegraph‘s Jemima Lewis says of the Queen’s remarks:
A job is a position for which you must compete. You need qualifications, experience or, at the very least, decent personal hygiene.
Critically, a job is something for which you get paid. If you’re good at it, you might get promoted up the ranks and become an expert in your field.
By contrast, any moron or sociopath can become a mother. There’s no line manager to assess your performance, and no hierarchy to ascend. You might think of yourself as an expert, but other mothers won’t thank you for telling them what to do.
It’s true! Any moron or sociopath can become a mother! But I disagree with her assessment that a job is something for which you get paid. Not always.
Haven’t you ever heard the term “labor of love?” This doesn’t just refer to choices like motherhood, which obviously don’t have a paycheck. I know plenty of people who are passionate about a field, usually artists, who spend years and years cultivating a career before they get a payoff. I guess I approach motherhood in the same way.
I always wanted a child. Now, I want to do my best to cultivate a little person who can grow into a happy, confident decision maker. Do I think it’s the best job? Probably not. Am I happy I have it? Absolutely.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Queen was just attempting to make small talk. Let’s give her a break. I’m pretty sure she thinks being the Queen is more awesome than being a mom.