Women Still Can’t Have It All--A Fact Or Fallacy
An old debate was re-opened recently on a trite feminist expression--along the lines of, “women still can’t have it all”--a sentiment expressed by a highly educated Obama administration official who left her prized position to be more “present” in her family’s life.
Ann Marie Slaughter, A Princeton professor, who, recently left her job at the State Department to be closer to home and provide guidance to her two adolescent boys, wrote the article in the Atlantic column. She related her personal struggles of juggling prestige with family and stating clearly her opinion on a deeply rooted argument. Slaughter’s article immediately sparked renewed passions on whether women give up too easily in positions of opportunity and whether this whole balancing act was perhaps euphemism, which never really had any solid base.
Can women really have it all--balancing a professional career and family--and do a great job at both? Facebook’s admirable chief executive officer, Sheryl Sandberg, seems to think so. It was she who had re-empowered women a little over a year ago with her winning three rule formula to getting in and staying in positions of opportunity: “require your partner to do half the work at home; don’t underestimate your own abilities; and don’t cut back on ambition out of fear that you won’t be able to balance work and children.”
Sandberg became an internet sensation after her speech went viral, hitting home to women of varied demographics. Many women, frustrated with the push and pulls of family life and career felt that that this message was a breath of fresh air.
Funny enough, this refreshed discourse has all but turned on its heels. Now it’s women like Ann Marie Slaughter, who, having broken a few glass ceilings herself, and who has served in the highest rungs of her profession as dean of Princeton’s Public and International Affairs, is stirring up the conversation that this balancing act is not possible and is a fascade.Continued on the next page