The Thinking 

Oh My, We Can’t Have it All — Yet

June 22, 2012


A PRINCETON professor who left her job in the State Department because it was wrecking havoc on the lives of her teenage sons, has tiresomely written about it in Atlantic Magazine, as if reporting on this type of conflict for the very first time. Joining the ever-swelling ranks of women who exploit their personal lives for journalistic fame and fortune, Anne-Marie Slaughter has created a virtual firestorm of controversy, however, because she states that it is hard for women to have it all. What is the solution? Slaughter asks.

The solution is this. Women can have it all, she says, but only when women have it all. Yes, friends, this is the startling crux of her argument. She writes:

The best hope for improving the lot of all women, and for closing what Wolfers and Stevenson call a “new gender gap”—measured by well-being rather than wages—is to close the leadership gap: to elect a woman president and 50 women senators; to ensure that women are equally represented in the ranks of corporate executives and judicial leaders. Only when women wield power in sufficient numbers will we create a society that genuinely works for all women. That will be a society that works for everyone.

The essay is no less oblivious and dishonest than the mountains of other pieces by whining feminists.

I suspect one reason it has caused such a storm, and Slaughter is viewed as something of a traitor despite her full support for feminism, is that she has had the audacity to speak of the difficulty of raising even teenage children with a high-powered and well-paying job. That’s a no-no.

Slaughter’s focus, of course, is on the happiness of women and not on the ultimate effects of their decisions on their dependents, on the mood and temper of society at large, or on employers forced to tolerate the relatively low retention rate and “flexibility” of women employees.

—Comments —

Daniel S. writes:

On what basis does one have any reasons to assume that if all political power and corporate leadership positions (I wonder what the original Marxian feminists would think of their ideology being used to co-opt women into the capitalist system) were divided equally between men and women that it would lead to a society that “genuinely works for all women” (whatever that even means)? Are female politicians and CEOs (think Nancy Pelosi) any less prone to avarice, corruption, and megalomania than male politicians and CEOs? Would should I regard such claims as anything other than pie-in-the-sky utopian rhetoric?

Also, I cannot help but notice that feminism defines a successful or happy woman purely in the terms of material success and political power, thus leading me to suspect that at its core feminism is nothing more than the spirit of resentment and greed (as most -isms are). It is doubtful that even fifty percent of all political and corporate positions would satisfy the green-eyed jealousy of the feminists, for when their ideal feminized society failed to come about (as it most certainly would) they would be compelled to demand more power and redistribution of wealth. There is no end to their hate and madness.

Laura writes:

What Slaughter does not acknowledge is that such equality could only be achieved through state-enforced compulsion. Businesses must be restricted in their freedom to hire on merit alone. This is totalitarian and does not bode well for business success, which ultimately harms — oh no! — women.

And the equality Slaughter envisions clearly doesn’t work out for women at large. More women live alone. More women are in debt. More women are childless. More women have sexual diseases. More women are desperately seeking husbands. More women do not come into existence in the first place. More women are victims of sexual violence. More women suffer an economy in which the State takes over so many of the functions of the family that it is bankrupt. And on, and on, and on.

In her book, Adam and Eve: After the Pill, Mary Eberstadt makes the point that the general denial of societal breakdown now held by Western intellectuals is remarkably similar to their obliviousness regarding Communism up until the very fall of the Berlin Wall. Eberstadt calls this the “will to disbelieve.”

Mary writes:

Since they believe in nothing transcendent and consequently they have no heaven, all of their spiritual energy is refocused earthward. Though they still crave heaven, they misinterpret that craving as a need that can be satisfied by temporal things. But it never can, leaving them feeling constantly restless and unfulfilled, no matter what “advances” are made in their cause; on the contrary, the “advances” only increase their unquenchable thirst – they have no peace. I’m tempted to say that must be what hell is like. But they just keep refocusing their energies and set about creating what they perceive will be heaven on earth with, ironically, religious zeal.

The insatiability of feminists (and homosexuals for that matter) can be read as a cautionary tale, reminding us of the horror of spiritual barrenness.

Paul writes:

Her solution to her flawed logic is society should be a tyranny run by women. Her logic is women are incapable of being equally represented in all spheres of human activity, but women must be equally represented in all spheres. Her logic is flawed because her premise is flawed. She gives no reason to conclude women must be equally represented in all spheres. She thinks being unfair to men cures being unfair to women. She cannot argue out of her box because she has no transcendent truth to rely on.

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