Yes, quite. (For the record, I'm a woman. And a now 37 year old career changer at that, albeit from a family who's always cooked professionally since three generations back. One grandfather in particular came up through the French brigade system in France to become a chef, so I'm hardly unfamiliar with the realities here.)
The kitchen I work in is a highly creative kitchen where the cooks enjoy a great degree of autonomy in terms of menu development, as long as we stay within the overall cuisine itself. I go into work excited about my day, every single day, because of all the ridiculously cool stuff we get to do. On our off days? Sometimes we come in anyway because there's some other idea we want to pursue, or some other skill we want to acquire.
It's hardly the slave labor situation people make it out to be, especially in light of our benefits, which mirror those enjoyed by the average civilian. We're one of the few (only?) kitchens where our owners provide 100% paid health insurance, as well as vacation and paid holidays, a much more equitable division of tips, plus other perks.
For myself, I've worked in places where I punched in and out for my hourly shifts for my 40 hours a week. While I don't regret anything I learned in those other kitchens, my current kitchen is the one where I've been happiest and most mentally engaged.
I'll ignore the ridiculous saber-rattling in this thread, and address the whole life-balance/burnout thing instead: when I was a clock-puncher, I sought out stages elsewhere all the time, just to keep learning, not get bored, and to learn faster. A few of us still do this on top of our 65+ hours a week, because food interests us, and we like it that way. Frankly, I wouldn't get to do all that we get to do in a place where all the cooks are on hourly, without seeking it out elsewhere anyway.
It's not for everybody, but it works well in this particular environment for these particular individuals. I'm more than content with my hands-on education, as well as the recognition we all enjoy for what we produce.
Yeah, I could go elsewhere where I only work 40 hours for x amount of dollars per hour, but I don't want to. This is way more interesting.