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Work or Love: Did Grey's Anatomy Actually Hit on Something Important?

Work or Love: Did Grey's Anatomy Actually Hit on Something Important?

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Published by Tom Matlack
Freud said Work and Love is all there is, but how the hell do you balance both whether your a man or a woman in 2010?
Freud said Work and Love is all there is, but how the hell do you balance both whether your a man or a woman in 2010?

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Published by: Tom Matlack on Jan 22, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/18/2013

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Work or Love: Did
Grey’s Anatomy 
Hit onSomething Profound? It Can’t Be…
Last night I was forced to watch yet another episode of the pretty boysand girls playing at doctoring while sleeping with each other (I oncesaw an amazing diagram in
TV Guide
showing the love connections of every character of Grey's Anatomy proving that literally everycharacter had at one time slept with every other character no matterhow unlikely the connection). I was shocked to realize that in its own juvenile way the show was getting at something really important.Cristina, played by Sandra Oh (okay, she is a serious and good actor) iscaught in a love triangle--the standard plot line on the show--that putsher in a bind. Her heart surgeon mentor is in love with her boyfrienddoctor. The upshot is she can't keep her mentor and her lover. Shehas to choose, love or surgery. That becomes the mantra for theepisode, "love or surgery" asked of every character male or female.It was Sigmund Freud who famously said, “Love and work... work andlove, that's all there is.”What he had now way of anticipating is the complexity of engaging inboth simultaneously in the modern world. Feminism was born out of women's desire to be moms and workers (and to be treated fairly inboth roles).I would argue much of the dilemma faced by men in 2010 is caused bytheir inability to reconcile love and work. 1 in 5 men make less thantheir wives. 70% of job loss in the recession has been men. 1 in 3men are less educated than their wives.But those numbers only scratch the surface. As men we are asked toroll on the ground with our kids, change diapers, and share ouremotions with our spouses in ways that just wasn't part of the deal forour fathers. At the same time the expectation to excel professionallyhas accelerated. A man's worth continues to be judged primarily byhis checkbook in our society. John Edwards and Tiger Woods are extreme examples of thepublic/private quagmire many men find themselves in. How to besuperhuman at work and at home? It's not easy. It requirescompromise and a level of honesty about our shortcomings most mendon't like to admit ("Babe, I just don't know if I can do this" are notwords most men will utter to their wives without a gun pointed at theirheads).So all this was swirling in my head as I lay in bed next to my beautiful

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