Thursday, March 27, 2008

Women, Work, and Autoimmune Disease: Keep Working Girlfriend!

By Rosalind Joffee

This is a book meant to encourage women who suffer from autoimmune disease, and help them navigate through the labyrinth of the workplace. It does this in a variety of helpful ways.This is an anecdotal offering, which I usually enjoy. Seeing how real people face a problem and deal with it can be very educational and uplifting, as well as encouraging. The stories included in this book are all of these. I began reading with great curiosity and hope that certain friends of mine would find the information helpful, and I am certain that some will.

In addition to suggesting ways that woman can work around their illnesses and continue in the workplace, if that is what they choose to do, it seems to push women in that direction, rather than just encouraging them to make their own choice. I was startled by what was said about young women who decide to choose their families over a career while their children are young. To work or not to work is a very individual decision, It is one based on any number of factors, which included family dynamics and child rearing preferences.

To not work is sometimes a difficult and painful decision. There were times that I felt the book was prejudiced in the direction of women belonging in the work for no matter what. I feel that it is difficult enough to choose to leave a career if it is what is best for your children and that choice should be applauded, not discouraged. At the very least it should be respected. I felt the same way about the slant given to those who may choose not to continue working, due to their illnesses.

The title does indeed lead one to expect that working is encouraged within the pages of the book, but I do feel that more respect should have been shown to those who choose to do otherwise.

Aside from that I feel that some women will find this a very helpful resource. It did seem as if this book was directed more at those who work in careers rather than day to day jobs where many more women in the workplace are found. The women who allowed their stories and solutions to be used should be applauded for their generosity of spirit.

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