June 25, 2009
The following is a critique of the widely prevalent notion that the ideal life for a woman is one of “balance,” the judicious mixing of career and home. I call this the “Balance Myth,” one of the central ideas of mainstream feminism.
On the face of it, “third-wave feminism,” as it is known, seems reasonable, an appealing counterpart to middle class virtue. In fact, it normalizes the radical tenets of feminism. Thanks to the Balance Myth, the casual neglect of children, marriage and home are now mainstream phenomena. This seemingly harmless idea wears a soft and pleasing exterior. But, it offends exactly what it purports to uphold: the intelligence of women and their innate desire for meaningful work.