Ann Slaughter’s June piece in the Atlantic entitled by the editors as “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All” — undoubtedly to appease the PageView Gods — has generated more Google Juice than Kim Kardashian’s love life.
But I’m not going to let that stop me from weighing in:
My thoughts’ on Ann Slaughter, and “Having it All”:
One could summarize Slaughter’s piece as her “Is that all there is?” moment, the mid-career crisis written about, talked of, and divorced over for, by men for centuries. Her “Cat’s in the Cradle” swan-song. And in choosing that view, we can see Ann’s turning point as an achievement — women now experiencing the same existential low-point reached by countless fathers before her, who only lifted their heads up from their desks as the kids were leaving for college.
I don’t begrudge Ann her insight — but writing from that POV when stepping down from a government position, a JOB — in a time when hundreds of thousands of Americans remain unemployed for 2+ years, and/or facing foreclosure — is, in the least, in poor form.
Ms. Slaughter’s caveat to privilege is inappropriate, here. She had the opportunity to see her personal struggle as the same, collective struggle of working mothers and fathers everywhere — and moreover, to recognize that she had both the power and responsibility to advance positive change for all families, at a high level.
Enough Op-Eds from Marie Antoinette. No more crying in our champagne glasses. Let’s work on the problem of redesigning our public institutions and policies to reflect the change in our culture. Women work. Men work. Children need care. The era of guaranteed, unpaid childcare done by women is OVER. None of us will advance — not as individuals in pursuit of success, or this country as a world leader — until we acknowledge that reality and do something to address it.