Here’s how this week’s art and culture column begins:
Recently I was on a friend’s podcast discussing my essay collection “RAVISHED: Notes on Womanhood.
He and I talked a bit about my former life as a Beverly Hills attorney. After several agonizing years of soul-searching I gave up that job, along with the money, benefits and prestige, in favor of the precarious existence of a creative writer.
“What would you say to the woman who works in a law firm and hits the glass ceiling?” my friend asked at one point.
My mind short-circuited. “I guess…uh…I can’t imagine wanting to move up the ladder in a law firm,” I laughingly stammered.
“That’s not a slur against lawyers,” I continued. “It’s a reflection of the fact that I absolutely was not called to be a lawyer. But I guess I’d say give it everything you have but if you can’t move up any further, look at it as a blessing in disguise. Because maybe you want to order your life to something other than power, property and prestige. And if you’re a lawyer for the right reason—which is because the law is your vocation and your way to give to the world—then you’ll figure out a way to do it no matter how much or how little money you make.”
Afterward I pondered his question for a long time. “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s,” said Christ. In a way, moving up the corporate ladder is a question for Caesar. Of course we’re all entitled to make a living. Of course our expertise and gifts should be equally remunerated whether we’re women or men.
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