The Atlantic, your home for ladies complaining about how hard it is being ladies (We kid! Sort of!) had a polarizing essay this week by Anne-Marie Slaughter, entitled “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” Only seven months after Kate Bolick taught all us females that we didn’t have to settle for second best in the marriage department, we’re now getting the flip side of the coin: apparently it doesn’t matter how great our significant others are, because if you try to have a career and a kid in this economy, you’ll find yourself miserably torn between the two. And then you’ll chose your kids. Obviously.
Originally, we thought the simple solution would be to wait until your career goals are met until procreating, but as that New York cover story taught us, this is probably an unhealthy excuse for desperate old people. (It also makes for way grosser images than a hot MILF breastfeeding her overgrown son.)
While Ms. Slaughter’s article has some critics bristling at the assumption that “having it all” automatically include wet-naps and progeny, or that men don’t face the exact same issues when they spawn (or even the implied white privilege that comes from the phrase “having it all“), the significance of the article goes much deeper than “work vs. children.” Women still have to claw their way up to the same level of respect as men in the workplace, and gGd forbid they show any weakness or stop raising their hands in meetings, as Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg cautions against expectant mothers. Eventually, all women will have to quit their jobs at the White House to take care of their children and write a book about it, a la Mary Matalin, whose Midlife Crisis at 30 is quoted in The Atlantic article:
I finally asked myself, “Who needs me more?” And that’s when I realized, it’s somebody else’s turn to do this job. I’m indispensable to my kids, but I’m not close to indispensable to the White House.
As Ms. Matalin’s job title included “President Bush’s assistant and Vice President Cheney’s counselor,” we are inclined to agree with her decision. But besides our slight qualms with the piece (i.e. Why do most of the women quoted work in government, as if that was the only territory a woman can really make her mark? Just look at how Katie Rosman is balancing her life!), perhaps the best illustration of Ms. Slaughter’s 12320-word uphill battle comes courtesy of The Atlantic‘s comment section.
Yes, this is the very first comment on the piece, which now has generated over 50k Facebook “Likes” in under 24 hours.
Women will never have it all, it appears, until they learn how to copy-edit their own damn work. Go back to filing school, Joan! You’ll never make partner!
Might as well just give up now and start having babies…at least that way we can cash in on our book deal.
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