By now everyone who cares, and some who don't, have heard about Ann-Marie Slaughter's exhaustive Atlantic cover story, "Why Women Still Can't Have it All." The sub-blurb heightens the controversy:
It's time to stop fooling ourselves …. The women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed. If we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women, here's what has to change.
I've always found cheerleading inexplicable, but while reading Slaughter's 12,000+-word treatise, I felt a powerful urge to don a flippy skirt, grab a pom-pom, and lead a stadium of women in a cheer: "Sis Boom Bah! No More La-Dee-Dah!" Slaughter, who broke several glass ceilings as the first woman dean at Woodrow Wilson School of Law and as first woman director of policy planning under Hillary Clinton, dared to do the unthinkable: She stepped down from her high-level position to spend more time with her struggling teenage sons.
Slaughter boldly takes on the myths of feminism perpetuated most recently by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Both women are addressing the persistently low numbers of women in high levels of government and corporate leadership, despite decades of feminist ideology and greater gains among women in education and influence. Sandberg blames it on an "ambition gap." Women are giving up positions of power to prioritize their families, but they can do better. If they're committed enough, if they marry the right person, if they sequence their childbearing correctly, they can have it all. Or so goes the mantra.
But Slaughter effectively guts these myths. The real obstacles to successfully managing both a career and ...1
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