Sunday, September 24, 2023

Can Women Have It All?

August 30, 2013 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Relationships, Sista Talk, Weekly Columns

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( A while back when some in the media were debating whether or not women can have it all, I thought to myself: here we go again!  It seems the whole conversation started with a book titled:  Lean In  written by Sandberg, a Harvard-educated chief operating officer of Facebook, who Connie Schultz a writer for the Washington Post described as, “a self-avowed feminist who wants to transform the role of women in the workplace…..”  

But really, can women have it all? Many have tried to answer that question and unfortunately many have failed.  Elsa Walsh who wrote a piece for the Washington Post back in April titled: “Why women should embrace a ‘good enough’ life” had this to say:
 In my years as a journalist, I have written and spoken a great deal about women’s lives and struggles, and wrote a book about the conflicts facing successful female professionals. But today, 16 years into life as a working mother and 23 years into a marriage, I’ve come to question many of the truths I once held dear. The woman I wanted to be at 22 is not the woman I wanted to be at 38 — not even close — and she is certainly not who I am now at 55. 
As you can imagine, I struggled for weeks with this very important question: can women have it all?  After much soul searching I came to the conclusion that women can’t  have it all.   Not because as women we can’t have it all,  but because all things being equal it’s not meant to be. Bluntly put, It’s unnatural.  Something or someone is bound to surfer.   Even the most successful women will tell you that its easier said than done.  In my opinion, I believe women have to compromise more in order to have it all while missing out on other important everyday life. Now, I understand that in certain situation like inmother and daughter laughing single-parent homes many have no choice when it comes to work and family.  And personally I know too well about having little choice but to work. When I was a single mother I felt such guilt that I had to work instead of being at home raising my girls.  And to this day, I don’t think I ever got over it.  
I’m not alone in my feelings.  Katharine Weymouthmy, the Publisher and Chief  Executive of The Washington Post wrote in a piece, “My eldest daughter told me she hated me when she was in the second grade. It was her school’s “Museum Night,” something the kids build up to all year, and I missed it because I had to be out of town for work. Her dad went…didn’t excuse my absence in her mind…” And in a piece in The Atlantic titled: “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” Annie-Marie Slaughter wrote, “…when this is over, I’m going to write an op-ed titled ‘Women Can’t Have It All’…”  
Like Slaughter I hated to admit, “women can’t have it all for fear that it might be true and reach impresional minds.”  And I didn’t want, “to pull the wool from this or the next generation’s head.”   No, I didn’t want to be a party pooper.  I had no right to crush someone’s else dream of becoming  the first female President.   However, the reality is you have to pick.  And some of us are coming to that conclusion quicker than others. In  ‘Why women should embrace a ‘good enough’ life’  Walsh wrote:  

Parenthood and family are much more central to our lives than this conversation lets on. The debate has become twisted and simplistic, as if we’re merely trying to figure out how women can become more like men. Instead, let’s ask: How can women have full lives, not just one squeezed around a career?

In other words, family should always come first.  Don’t make room for your family, make room for your career.   On the other hand, I say, if you are going to be married to your career than do it.  Of course if you want the family too, that’s also fine, but don’t complain if your career is demanding and it is not family friendly.   Yes I agree women don’t get the recognition they deserve in the work place.  We work twice as hard trying to prove ourselves to our bosses, (some of whom are women) while our men counterpart go home at five and still get the promotion.  
So nothing’s change and since all the feminists have left the building, nothing will ever change.  So, what’s the point of this debate? It’s not that we don’t want it all,  we just simply can’t have it all.  Not when having it all means something or someone will always suffer.   I know saying that doesn’t sound progressive, but I much rather be stressing over what to make for dinner than worry about getting fired.  
While you are trying to answer the question, I say take note from our former Secretary of State Mrs. Clinton who I recently learned did not fully get into politics until her daughter, Chelsea was in college.  One writer noted this quote from one of Mrs. Clinton staffers, “And I had it better than many of my peers in D.C.; Secretary Clinton deliberately came in around 8 a.m. and left around 7 p.m., to allow her close staff to have morning and evening time with their families (although of course she worked earlier and later, from home).”  Clearly, even Hillary knew the importance of balancing family and career.
Finally, before you decide what it means for women to have it all, I believe it’s important to keep in mind that one woman’s  idea of having it all is not the same as another woman.  To some having it all might be marriage and children, but meanwhile to some others having it all might be making it to the top of the corporate latter.  I say, to each is own.   
Staff Writer; Kency Desmangles
One can also connect with this sister via Facebook; K. Desmangles.



7 Responses to “Can Women Have It All?”
  1. Kency says:

    Yolanda, you made my day today! Thank for the funny! Sister you are talented, don’t waste it being so negative. Would love it if you read my other piece, ‘self-help’ and share your thoughts. Meanwhile, ‘Stay in peace, not in pieces.’ -Iyanla Vanzant.

  2. Yolanda says:

    Wow talk about a guilt trip!! Poor Katharine Weymouthmy should realize that what ever comes out of a 2nd graders mouth cannot be taken to heart and certainly not carried around for a lifetime. I wonder what else could’ve caused this child to be so disrespectful and demanding. I would like to know if Katherine ever told her daughter she hated her for not being able to go to the mall or dinner, lol.

    I don’t know what the writer’s intent is here but I think it’s a bit hypocritical given that when she’s writing she is putting her career first, someone might need something to eat!!! P.S. Use your spell check, it’s free.

  3. Dcarter910 says:

    Have it all? Hmm.. I never met anyone that “had it all” and they were truly happy. They were miserable, the most beautiful hell with a smile painted on their face in the same manner as a circus clown.

    But I have met those who seemingly had next to nothing and yet with family and small joys in life, they were content.

    In short, I would like for this writer or any writer to write an article about how this “world” has constantly tried to define “what it means to have it all” to the detriment of those foolish enough to believe and ultimately to benefit the promoter of such a horribly false concept.

  4. toomanygrandkids says:

    Yes, women can have all the she can handle without complaining about the sacrifices.

  5. Eleanie says:

    Awww the first question that came to mind was “what does it mean to have it all? I suppose it would depend on who you ask. I attended grad school with a little baby while working full time and I have a busy life, but I’m happy. I still do what I love to do (ie my writing and blogging) and I never sacrifice time with my child.

    So I guess I can say yes we can have it all.

    Not that it’s a breeze and easy to do, but it can be done.

  6. Kency says:

    Yes, @hoodgirl you are right, it’s all relative and that is we have redefine what it means to ‘have it all’. Thank you for your comment. ????

  7. hoodgirl says:

    It’s great that this Article concluded that “having it all” is relative. Taking that into consideration, women CAN have it all.

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