ENOUGH ABOUT “HAVING IT ALL”!
“Having it all” is probably the most misunderstood phrase since, as the late great Erma Bombeck once said about the ERA, “one size fits all.” It has come up whenever there is a backlash — and there have been many — against the increasing empowerment of women. The implication that the women’s movement promised or even endorsed that greedy notion is still with us.
Having It All is the Straw (wo)man knocked down in Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article in the Atlantic that caused a hurricane of comment. In her smart and honest article, Slaughter, who resigned her position in the State Department to spend more time with her children, describes the unremitting conflicts that confront a woman who wants to have a high-reward job and combine it with her family life. And she rightly blames the system (outdated school schedules that are totally incompatible with workdays and workplace inflexibility) but, I want to ask her, who ever said it could be done and without pain and conflict?