Friday, September 07, 2012

Why Women Still Can't Have It All

There's an old adage that says, 'you can't have your cake and eat it too'. For many women, striking the right 'work-family' balance is a bit like walking on a tightrope. We want to forge a career for ouselves, but we often feel guilty for the time that we invariably have to spend away from our children. Often, unsatisfactory compromises are made - particularly for women with high-powered jobs, who may find that maintaining a balanced lifestyle is just an elusive pipe dream.

Anne-Marie Slaughter (2012, p.85) makes the claim that 'the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed'. Slaughter, a Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, speaks from experience. She has in the past held down a job as the first woman Director of Policy Planning at the State Department. During that time, she agonised over being away from her two sons -particularly her 14 year old son, who had started skipping homework, disrupting classes and failing maths.

Slaughter (2012, p. 102) emphasises that if we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women, changes must occur within our society and 'that means respecting, enabling, and indeed celebrating the full range of women's choices'. If you would like to read this fascinating article, you can borrow the July/August 2012 edition of The Atlantic from Hurstville City Library.


Slaughter, A. (2012, July/August). Why women still can't have it all. The Atlantic, 85-102.

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