Can't have it all?
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Cross-posted at Jezebel . I’ve been watching the response to Anne-Marie Slaughter’s Why Women Still Can’t Have It All roll out across the web. Commentators are making excellent points, but E.J.
By Guest Contributor Tressie McMillan Cottom, cross-posted from TressieMC What do you think? Courtesy: kveller.com This is one of those posts that can go nowhere but down. There are things you simply cannot do in this life and slaying unicorns is one of them. What do I mean by “slaying unicorns”?
Anne-Marie Slaughter, a professor at Princeton University and former Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department, recently made a splash when the Atlantic published an article she wrote entitled " Why Women Still Can't Have It All ". The piece is problematic, not for the excellent conclusions that it draws but for the premises from which it flows. Slaughter, a highly distinguished professor and, from what it sounds like, a committed and loving mother, makes the case for the many ways in which "The Workplace" can be adapted to accommodate the many peculiar needs that working mothers face. Slaughter is particularly concerned that women are having children later in life, causing the children's most difficult years to coincide with the peak of their mothers' careers.
It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says a woman who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed. If we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women, here’s what has to change. Phillip Toledano E ighteen months into my job as the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department, a foreign-policy dream job that traces its origins back to George Kennan, I found myself in New York, at the United Nations’ annual assemblage of every foreign minister and head of state in the world.
The author of this month's controversial cover story says the public reaction to her piece has changed how she thinks about work-life balance. Wikimedia Commons Since the publication of her cover story in The Atlantic , " Why Women Still Can't Have It All ," Anne-Marie Slaughter's provocative ideas have journeyed to the center of the Internet's maw, whose writers eagerly dissected and decried the piece. On Friday morning, readers had the chance to direct their frustration and appreciation to the person who orchestrated all of this in the first place: Slaughter herself.
Princeton professor and former state department official Anne-Marie Slaughter, whose frank account of the difficulty of 'having it all' has reignited feminist debate When Anne-Marie Slaughter's article "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" hit the web this week, the reaction was what you have come to expect with any in-your-face article about gender : polarized, vitriolic, and most of all, extensive. There was both stinging criticism and emphatic praise for Slaughter's piece, which argues that women cannot excel both as high-powered professionals and moms in America today ("having it all"), as we have been long promised by feminists. And, as detailed by the New York Times , Slaughter's assessment has furthered debate into how moms should handle work, and contrasts with Facebook exec's Sheryl Sandberg's "higher-harder-faster school of female achievement".
A magazine article by a former Obama administration official has blown up into an instant debate about a new conundrum of female success: women have greater status than ever before in human history, even outpacing men in education, yet the lineup at the top of most fields is still stubbornly male. Is that new gender gap caused by women who give up too easily, unsympathetic employers or just nature itself? The article in The Atlantic, by Anne-Marie Slaughter, a Princeton professor who recently left a job at the State Department, added to a renewed feminist conversation that is bringing fresh twists to bear on longstanding concerns about status, opportunity and family.
This has been the week of backlash against feminism. In fairness, it is always backlash week against feminism but Anne-Marie Slaughter’s piece at The Atlantic, Why women still can’t have it all , has revived some of those sentiments. Feminism has failed us, she implies.
The extraordinarily important nugget you missed in Anne Marie Slaughter’s Atlantic piece about gender equality and careers | Live from Planet PaolaTalk about work-life balance: it is only today, several days after its publication, that I’ve had the time to read Anne Marie Slaughter’s cover story in the July 2012 issue of The Atlantic , “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” (which, as of today, has been recommended on Facebook approximately 178,000 times), as well as her first response to the storm of comments that flooded in as soon as readers saw it, “The ‘Having It All’ Debate Convinced Me To Stop Saying ‘Having It All’” . (Suggested alternative tags: #StumblingTowardParity, #PushingForBetter, #StillWorkingOnIt, #GuysThisIsYourProblemToo, #DemandingMoreForMoreOfUs, #Feminism). What an extraordinary woman! What a privilege to have had such role models as Hillary Clinton.
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The New Definition of Feminism A debate was staged around my dinner table last week. My sister-in-law and I were discussing Anne-Marie Slaughter’s recent article in The Atlantic , " Why Women Still Can’t Have it All ," when my mother walked into the kitchen. We were busy bemoaning the fact that Slaughter (tenured and published professor, foreign policy analyst, mother of two, wife of one, likewise tenured and published) does seem to have, well, it all . In this post-lib age of working moms, career-family balance has become a women’s issue, discussed by women in various stages of life, who’ve achieved various levels of career success, and made various choices about how to navigate the dichotomy. Sure, men are just as confused about how to balance career and family these days, but let’s face it, this crossroads between the domestic and the professional is the destination of the feminist agenda, and it remains a feminist (or can we call it post-feminist?)
January 2006 The paper, “The Personal Is Political,” was originally published in Notes from the Second Year: Women’s Liberation in 1970 and was widely reprinted and passed around the Movement and beyond in the next several years. I didn’t know just how much it had gotten around until I did a Google search and found it being discussed in many different languages. I’d like to clarify for the record that I did not give the paper its title, “The Personal Is Political.” As far as I know, that was done by Notes from the Second Year editors Shulie Firestone and Anne Koedt after Kathie Sarachild brought it to their attention as a possible paper to be printed in that early collection.
Whew. Just reading about Slaughter’s pared-down, family-friendlier schedule left me exhausted. This hardly seems proof, as the headline claims, of “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” Actually, it seems like proof that Women Can Have Really, Really a Lot.
<img src="http://timeopinions.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/600_id_office_0625.jpg?w=480&h=320&crop=1" alt="600_id_office_0625" title="600_id_office_0625"/> Every high-level professional woman who reads Anne-Marie Slaughter’s much discussed article in the Atlantic , “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” is bound to have a personal story that intersects with that of the author. For me, it was the time I spent as a foreign correspondent in Europe, where I also had my two children, now ages 5 and 9.
Anne-Marie Slaughter ist als Mitarbeiterin von Hillary Clinton zurückgetreten, der Kinder wegen. Feministinnen empfinden ihre Begründung als Verrat. Jetzt wehrt sie sich.