read: why women still can’t have it all

…In sum, having a supportive mate may well be a necessary condition if women are to have it all, but it is not sufficient. If women feel deeply that turning down a promotion that would involve more travel, for instance, is the right thing to do, then they will continue to do that. Ultimately, it is society that must change, coming to value choices to put family ahead of work just as much as those to put work ahead of family. If we really valued those choices, we would value the people who make them; if we valued the people who make them, we would do everything possible to hire and retain them; if we did everything possible to allow them to combine work and family equally over time, then the choices would get a lot easier…

this article is long and wonderful.  i’m fairly  obsessed with any and all things related to work-life balance and the prioritization of professional and private lives among women and men in various cultures.

thanks for passing along the link, laura!

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2 Comments to “read: why women still can’t have it all”

  1. I think this is a really good topic to think about, but I feel the media spends far too much time on it. As a result, when issues of pay disparity comes up, it’s automatically assumed that women are paid less because they’re too busy juggling their homelife and are therefore turning down promotions (therefore, fundamental discrimination against women isn’t a piece of the puzzle). A recent study of female physician-researchers argues against this idea. The study showed that women were paid significantly less than men for doing the exact same job, which has gotten a lot of press, BUT, here’s the more interesting part of the original study that hasn’t been picked up by popular media: the women were significantly less likely to be married than the men, as well as less likely to have children. And they were still paid less, for the exact same job. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/12/us-women-doctors-pay-idUSBRE85B1DN20120612

    A Slate discussion on this (http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/06/22/anne_marie_slaughter_s_atlantic_cover_story_and_having_it_all_a_chat.html) also has lots of good points that struck very close to home for me, including:
    – “Realistically, I think the idea that we’re going to have a work-family arrangement that functions optimally for people at the very peak of political and business hierarchies—and that it’ll filter down to everyone—doesn’t make sense. The highest rungs of professional success seem to be just inherently incompatible with the highest aspirations of parenting in a way that’s even true by the more relaxed standards to which men are held. If you’re secretary of state and the president orders you to fly to Indonesia to attend an emergency summit to help resolve a border dispute in the South China Sea, you have to go even if it means missing your kid’s graduation. That’s going to be sad for your kids and it’s a tension that would exist even if we had totally optimal childcare and parental leave policies in the United States. Setting the bar for what needs to be done so high seems likely to induce unnecessary panic in the minds of people for whom “having it all” means “having a good job” rather than “running the foreign policy of the mightiest empire the world has ever known,” while inducing an unnecessary pessimism about the feasibility of useful political change.”

    – “What does “having it all” even mean? Affordable childcare or a nanny who speaks Mandarin? Decent school lunches or organic string cheese? A windowed office or a higher minimum wage? Public transportation that reliably gets you to work or a driver who will whisk you from kindergarten dropoff in time for the board meeting? Does it mean never feeling stress or guilt? Does it mean feeling satisfied all the time?”

    Okay, time to go take a shower 😀 Have a good day!!!

  2. i completely agree and love your comment, kait! it all goes along with the philosophy that it’s possible to have it all, just not at the same time.

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