Welcome to my blog where I will post commentary on issues ranging from fiction to public policy. Tucked away in the Idea Boxes are “how to” tips on a variety of projects that have become part of our family’s culture over the years. I hope you’ll find some useful ideas there. My blog will take you through the fantastic journey of writing and publishing fiction, as well as commentary on politics, cultural trends, book reviews and family.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Commentary on "Why Women Still Can't Have It All"

Anne-Marie Slaughter’s Atlantic article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” has engendered renewed discussion and debate about the conflicting roles women try to play as business leaders and mothers.   The issues are not new, but each successive generation of women is surprised by the obstacles faced in the workplace and at home as they try to meet these all-consuming, competing demands.

Truth is, men can’t “have it all” either.   The human animal has only so many hours a day and only so much energy.  Sure, some people are better multi-taskers, some need less sleep, some have prodigious memories or masterful organizational skills.  But even those people have to make choices. 

We’ve added another third to our life expectancy over the last hundred years, but we are still expected to squeeze all the critical work into the second quarter of our lives:  establishing a career, buying a house, having babies, raising the kids, saving for retirement.  We need to find a way to spread out some of those responsibilities over a longer period, so that we can focus more of our time on raising kids during one decade, but still freely return to the workplace with a chance to succeed at a high level a decade later.  The idea that you must establish yourself professionally by the time you’re 40 or 45, when many of us will live to be a hundred, is ridiculous.

We can’t have it all, at least not simultaneously, but there are enough productive decades in our lives to enable us to focus on a career, or the children, for five or ten years, without being locked out of opportunities later on.

No comments:

Post a Comment