The real issue is not a one-off appreciation dinner or annual holiday party, though, but instead the way travel, client meetings, and other off-the-clock, out-of-the-office parts of the job are structured under the assumption that every employee has someone who is willing and able to keep the home fires burning. Babysitting isn’t generally understood as a billable expenses because bosses assume it will be taken care of by their employees’ wives.
I’ll use a pair of metaphors to frame the argument. Metaphor one is the notion of thoughts in the brain resembling the cache in a computer — what feels to us like real time thinking is probably just our brains retrieving stored memories in response to particular triggers. Metaphor two is a bit wordier — it imagines a concept as a dynamic, catalytic thing surrounded by a sphere of hypothetical variations of what that concept could become. Bear with me, it will (hopefully) make sense in context. The gist is that each “new” idea is a variation of preexisting concepts, which themselves are variations of other preexisting concepts.