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Archive for the ‘maternity leave’ Category

Jane Gilmore has written a piece at King’s Tribune, “The glorified baby bonus” in response to my article about Abbott’s more generous parental leave scheme in The Guardian.

Let’s start with a quick overview of my opinion on Abbott’s parental leave scheme because apparently my thinking can be quite “muddled”.

For the record, I don’t think the scheme is the highest priority for working parents right now. It’s progressive in that it equates parental leave with sick leave (and this is important when parental leave is too often described as a ‘holiday for mums’), but in doing so it is tilted towards higher income parents.. However, I do think more generous parental leave is better than paltry parental leave, and a scheme based on minimum wage is, let’s be honest, very modest, particularly in light of international comparisons. And if we’re going to be debating parental leave, then I’m predicting there will be plenty of accusations that it is all a complete waste of money and if that happens then let it be known that I disagree strongly.. and the economic data supports me.

Now, on to Gilmore’s article. For starters, I’ve spoken to Gilmore and we’re both of the mind that it is something to celebrate when this topic gets discussed and we’re both enthusiastic participants in that discussion. I enjoy Gilmore’s writing a great deal, and there’s plenty I agree with in her piece, too.

The way forward for so many problems in terms of equity, including inside the workplace and inside the home, is more flexible working conditions for both men and women. I am in full agreement with that statement. That to make a difference flexible working conditions need to be offered to more than white-collar professionals and that they need to be taken up by senior levels of management too, for them to be seen as truly acceptable. Complete agreement. That flexible working conditions should be championed by everyone, not just parents, because everyone has important shit to do in their lives. Complete agreement.

And to some degree, I also agree with Gilmore that juggling work and family responsibilities is seen as a women’s issue and that this both stigmatises the topic and also means that men get to remove themselves from a sense of responsibility for the solutions. It also makes it difficult for those men who are already attempting to take on a more equitable share of child rearing and paid work in their families to do so.

I’d go further than Gilmore’s piece and suggest that if we’re thinking feminist revolutions we could do more than thinking about legislating this stuff just for the public sector.. for instance, introducing something legislatively stronger than the right to request part-time work upon returning to work after a baby for everyone would be a game changer.

Now, here’s where my views differ significantly from Gilmore’s.

Unlike Gilmore, I believe parental leave is, in part, a women’s issue and I think parental leave is about a range of objectives including, but not limited to, “closing the gender pay gap”. Parental leave is about broader goals than just workplace participation and some of the measures include not just outcomes for women but also for children. Giving birth, establishing breastfeeding and forming an attachment with an infant require time and rest. They’re all standard aspects of reproduction (and they all have economic benefits), and it says something about how patriarchal our society is that such standard aspects of reproduction are not catered for when we organise the commercial marketplace.

I suspect a critical difference in Gilmore’s and my feminism is covered in this post, “Why we should be careful taking the ‘maternity’ out of ‘parental leave'”, quoting Julie Stephens:

This, however, taps into a productivist ethos entirely consistent with the demands of the neoliberal marketplace, with caregivers replaceable or interchangeable in much the same way as employees in workplaces. In addition, a feminism promoting gender neutrality (in the name of equality) denies the bodily experience of women after they have given birth. Though a boon to the productive workplace, the breast pump may not necessarily protect the emotional needs of women and babies. To deny that baby leave is a women’s issue, to decouple ‘maternity’ from ‘leave’, is also to conceal human vulnerability and dependence. It reproduces what Iris Young has called ‘the normalising but impossible ideal’ that we are autonomous, unencumbered self-sufficient individuals, somehow beyond human dependency.

However, parental leave as public policy is obviously also about keeping women attached to the workforce. This goes some of the way towards ensuring long-term security for women but by no means can a single policy turn back the entire tide of structural inequality for women, and I think it is unfair for Gilmore to use that as its measure. No individual policy will “keep women in the work place and support their earning capacity”, it is always going to require a combination of strategies. And I note that Gilmore’s path to equality is predicated on the assumption that women must be participating in paid work. There is no mention of institutional changes that could benefit women’s financial security when they specialise (by choice or otherwise) in unpaid care.

Gilmore believes for equality to be achieved that the responsibilities of child-rearing need to be shared and I agree with her. In her article, Gilmore refers to data indicating that unless countries legislate for some of the parental leave to be used by fathers then regardless of other benefits of maternity leave, women tend to get stuck on a ‘mummy track’. (There’s an implicit assumption here I’m uncomfortable with that financial earnings, rather than work life balance, is the key to fulfillment, but I’ll leave that aside for the moment). The ‘mummy track’ includes not just taking parental leave when babies are born, but also opting for career-limiting moves, like taking part-time, low-level jobs and being the parent to take ‘sick leave’ when children are home ill. This becomes a long-term problem because one parent’s career progresses while the other’s stalls, and eventually it can appear pointless for a household to do anything other than rally resources behind furthering the higher income parent’s career. Split up and the consequences can be disastrous for women.

For the record, I support the case for generous parental leave schemes to include legislated time-sharing between men and women (it normalises care work in the workplace), and I agree that such schemes accelerate progress towards more equitable divisions of child-rearing and income-earning responsibilities. But by no means does this imply that parental leave for mothers is “nothing more than a feminist cause celebre that makes a symbolic nod to the significant gender differences in wealth”.

Gilmore takes particular issue with the fact that I focused my article around parental leave as an issue for women rather than one for both women and men. I understand this criticism. I considered preemptively addressing it in the article but subsequently decided I couldn’t afford the ‘words’ given there was a tight limit and I already wanted to cover a number of angles on the topic of Abbott’s parental leave scheme.

Although there are plenty of instances where I have talked about  ‘work and family juggling’ as a topic involving both men and women, none the less, this concern comes up quite a bit here. I realise that some feminists (including many readers of this blog) feel strongly that the discussion should be gender-neutral and I have a lot of sympathy for that opinion; however, I remain of the view that while this juggling act dominates women’s lives I will often address the topic with women as the focus. And as I mentioned above, I have some concerns with seeing women and men as completely interchangeable parts in the experience of parenthood.

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Editor: Do you have an opinion on Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme?

Me: Why yes, I have several.

From here:

The introduction of a universal scheme in this country was about helping those women and their babies catch up to the rest of us. For one to now argue, when advocating for Abbott’s scheme, that what is most needed by mothers is to transform the entitlement so that the greater your income the greater the amount you receive requires tricky lines. Just ask Abbott.

Even economics writer Jessica Irvine floundered: “But why pay wealthy women more than poorer women for performing essentially the same act of raising a child?”, she asked. “High income earning women embody a lot of skills and know how that boosts not only their own economic productivity but that of their children. Studies show that the children of highly educated women have better income prospects themselves.”

That’s nice, but the reason children with wealthier mothers perform better isn’t good breeding – it is because of the advantages afforded by wealth. If anything, this is an argument for financial assistance for children of poor families, not wealthy ones. Women in rural areas are among those more likely to become low income parents, which is why some National Party members are also troubled by Abbott’s scheme.

There is also a greater good with generous paid parental leave. It keeps women attached to the workforce. As a nation, it makes economic sense to support generous paid parental leave for everyone because it fosters growth, generates tax revenue and reduces retirement welfare expenditure.

 

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1.

Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme is progressive because it treats maternity leave with the same degree of legitimacy as sick leave for women in the workforce, and his scheme also provides more generous leave entitlements for parents and their newborns. (Hopefully the scheme also helps encourage women with great career potential to stay attached to the workforce long enough to rise to positions of seniority where they can remove institutional barriers that are holding back disadvantaged women). But for goodness sake, I know what Abbott meant when he said ‘women of that calibre’ and it was not a clumsy way of saying ‘I hear you sisters, ‘work life balance’ is crazy difficult and we must do what we can to assist you all’. Abbott’s comment was transparent snobbery. It should alarm us as feminists because the conservative side of politics has a long history of promoting motherhood to patriarchy-approved women – ie. white, married, middle-to-high income – while not only denying support for, but actively undermining, mothers outside that spectrum – eg. single, disabled, non-white, incarcerated, poor. I’m not suggesting that the parental leave scheme is harmful to poor mothers but it isn’t immediately helpful to them, and particularly not if it is sold with the overt message that some mothers are more equal than others.

2.

Angelina Jolie wrote a perfectly sound (and engagingly heartfelt) article about her decision to have a double mastectomy.  Her article will be beneficial for women encountering the choice in similar circumstances, and also for destigmatising mastectomies generally. But it is not a particularly insightful piece. The screening Jolie promotes in her article is unaffordable to many in the US and the preventative surgery she ultimately decided upon has problems of its own that are not explored in the piece. Her article also emphasizes genetic risk at the expense of environmental factors which are far more significant in contributing to cancer rates. This is a concern because genetic factors are corporation-friendly but environmental factors are decidedly not. (For an excellent overview of this criticism of the breast cancer campaign I recommend Barbara Ehrenreich’s essay “Cancerland”). Jolie is not a writer or a medical specialist, she is an actor, so there is nothing offensive to me about her article being relatively narrow and personal in focus, but the response to it almost everywhere has been somewhat.. star-struck. Jolie didn’t write the bravest and most important story for women this year – can’t we just be satisfied with her writing a significant story?

3.

Australia has a problem with anti-intellectualism but this bold article, “Why Australia hates thinkers” doesn’t prove it. Credit to Alecia Simmonds, the author of the piece for getting people talking and also for naming names when she makes her criticisms. Both of those achievements are important but Simmonds’ article reads like having dinner with a scoffing ex-pat. And I should know, I have dinner with such an ex-pat every year when they come back to Australia to visit. (Love you, Dad).

In her article, Simmonds cherry picks a handful of idiot commentators from Australia and then unfavourably compares us to the cultures of France and England. But having been to both those countries I know that these lovely places have their share of over-exposed buffoons, too. Australia’s anti-intellectualism could be demonstrated with less anecdotes and more identifiable measures. I find Simmonds’ swipe at Andrew Bolt for dropping out of a university degree depressing also. His views are repellent but so are those of Dr Steven Kates (ie. “the damaged women” vote), and Kates completed a couple of degrees and teaches in a university. Judgementalism about education levels is a perfect way to prove that anti-intellectualism is justifiable in Australia.

And while we’re madly dividing between us and them, those of us with higher degrees would do well to be careful of defensive statements like those in Simmonds’ article about how poorly paid and noble academic professions are compared to other jobs. I agree that such jobs are paid less than the general public understands but neither description plays too well to the 50 per cent of the Australian workforce who work in full-time jobs for less than $58,000 a year. Some wages truly are embarrassingly humble and so are the working conditions, which can include plenty of unpaid overtime but with none of the autonomy of academic jobs. And who is going to tell a childcare worker her job isn’t a noble one? We’d be better to say that there is a squeeze on workplace conditions that many occupations and industries, including academia have in common.

The article has some very tired old Australian stereotypes, too, that could benefit from re-examination; like, are children here still ashamed of being smart? A huge surge in private tutoring and an obsession with NAPLAN testing among parents suggests otherwise to me. And what of the idea that Twitter is no place for academic thinkers – my feed is teeming with them and links to their work.

But I absolutely agree with Simmonds’ belief that there is a problem with anti-intellectualism in Australia, I just don’t find her article terribly convincing of the fact. Anyway, if you haven’t had enough of this complaint then Jeff Sparrow makes some of these arguments and others in a great response, “Why Andrew Bolt is not an imbecile” at New Matilda.

And to finish up.. a less controversial view of mine? This article is well worth reading. Anne-Marie Slaughter’s “How to make the U.S. a better place for carers” in The Atlantic:

Focusing on infant mortality is not typically on a white feminist agenda in the U.S.; the babies at risk are children of poverty, who are in turn more likely to be rural whites and ethnic minorities. But an infrastructure of care must provide care for everyone, just as roads and bridges provide transport for anyone who can drive or afford a bus ticket. Care is for the vulnerable, the sick, the disabled, and the dependent. All of us, rich or poor, qualify as vulnerable and dependent for at least some period after birth and before death.

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“Feminism and the terrifying dependency of children” by Cristy Clark over at Larvatus Prodeo. Cristy and I have long been expressing our increasing frustration to one another with the dominance of liberal feminism over motherhood and I’m so pleased she wrote this post about it. This post of Cristy’s should be essential reading for any feminist writer before she dips her toe into motherhood topics.

Liberal feminism has failed to adequately respond to the realities of motherhood, because it has primarily focused on helping women to overcome their historic status as second-class citizens by becoming independent. This vision of equality has led to the struggle for a range of positive measures for women, including:

  • the rights to education, to work and to receive equal pay;
  • the right own property;
  • the right to participate in public life by voting and running for political office; and
  • the right to bodily autonomy, including the right to refuse to consent to sex and to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

All of these rights are important prerequisites to equality and all of them have historically been denied to women, particularly after marriage. The struggle for these rights is also an ongoing one, as they continue to be denied to the majority of women across the globe and remain under threat even where they have been achieved. Nonetheless, this vision of equality falls down when the reality of dependency enters the picture. For women who are, or become, dependent on partners, families or the State, liberal feminism’s vision of equality through independence becomes unattainable.

The right to education, to work, or to participate in public life is of limited value, for example, when participation requires that you disencumber yourself from dependents of your own.

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I love my work and I’m terribly grateful for the flexibility my employer provides. I’ve had the benefit of maternity leave (both paid and unpaid), some flexibility in my start and finish times, and occasional work-from-home days in emergency situations. It has made all the difference; I have a career and two children and I do not feel torn in half by the process. And my appreciation makes me a very loyal employee, too, so it’s win-win. So I must share a confession: if I had been asked to write this article a couple of years ago, here’s where my conclusions about working part-time would have ended. But I would be lying if I said it has all been easy.

Combining work outside the home with the work of rearing children and running a household has often been a grind. Working part-time has been the best of both worlds, and in some ways a taste of the worst of both, too. We frequently fall short of money, I’m exhausted, the house is disorganised, often I fight a sense of not being taken seriously in the workplace, the children sometimes feel ignored, my after-school care arrangements are in a permanent state of near collapse, and I’m getting increasingly petty about wanting the corner office again. Like the Wall Street Journal article, the workplace is both encouraging and discouraging of mothers returning to work.

Essential Baby asked me to comment on the Wall Street Journal article and write about what it was like for me returning to work after maternity leave.  My article is here.

Update: Corrected the link, sorry everyone.

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There have been several critical replies to the “Retro Wife” article, but they’ve either sought to make the argument that Makino is misrepresented or to make the argument that the trend is overblown, not that her sentiments about stay-at-home mothering, even the more gushing ones, could possibly be valid. There is a great tendency in us to see the desire to reach our potential as being in opposition to mothering. You can either be finding yourself and achieving your goals or you can be nurturing children. In this false binary either a woman’s energy is for herself or her baby, but in reality our lives and loves are more complicated than this.

From my article in Daily Life here.

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The absent baby in such discussions is matched by an equally absent mother in other public commentary. Feminist writer and ethicist Leslie Cannold is a case in point. She is a key public advocate promoting the removal of references to ‘maternity’ in discussions of family leave. In an article for the Melbourne Age entitled ‘Baby leave is not a women’s issue’– and in other interventions on this topic – Cannold argues that, in the interests of gender equity, the maternal should, once and for all, be written out of the leave equation.

Cannold promotes a conservative and conventional model of the contemporary family as dual-income and dual-carer that fits in perfectly with today’s workplaces. One parent is encouraged to take leave and look after the baby, so that the other can swiftly return to work. At first glance, this seems ideal – an important step towards emancipating women from an unequal care burden. Few would argue against the social, family and personal benefits of men accessing leave to better contribute to the care of their children. Dramatic shifts in conditions around employment and care are well overdue.

There are, however, problems with the model. It presents care as a transferable and marketable commodity, further marginalising questions about the impact different forms may have on those who depend on care the most (in this case, babies). It also fails to challenge work-practices that demand impossibly long working hours, and measurements of performance that ultimately devalue children and caring responsibilities.

Moreover, as an example of a dominant strand of feminism in Australia, the gender-equity paradigm is paradoxically de-gendered. Indeed, Cannold argues for ‘the parenthood conundrum’ to be ‘articulated in gender-neutral ways’. This, however, taps into a productivist ethos entirely consistent with the demands of the neoliberal marketplace, with caregivers replaceable or interchangeable in much the same way as employees in workplaces. In addition, a feminism promoting gender neutrality (in the name of equality) denies the bodily experience of women after they have given birth. Though a boon to the productive workplace, the breast pump may not necessarily protect the emotional needs of women and babies. To deny that baby leave is a women’s issue, to decouple ‘maternity’ from ‘leave’, is also to conceal human vulnerability and dependence. It reproduces what Iris Young has called ‘the normalising but impossible ideal’ that we are autonomous, unencumbered self-sufficient individuals, somehow beyond human dependency.

While researching an article I am writing I came across this and so am only now catching up on a 2010 article by Australian academic, Julie Stephens, “The Industrialised Breast” at Overland. (My use of bold in the above). I recently properly discovered Stephens’ work – I think we met briefly at a conference once – and I am thoroughly enjoying her writing. I agree with Stephens’ scepticism about certain aspects of gender-neutral parenting.

These two ways of feminism approaching issues of maternity leave and mothers working outside the home more broadly, reflect a deeper split in feminism in coming to terms with motherhood. It’s no surprise this division is deep – it’s decades old. I’ve talked about that here before with “How to explain desire”, “The split”“Let’s get something straight about maternity leave” and “Feminists, a little perspective please”.

 

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Oh hey USA, I do like to see you campaigning for a paid maternity leave scheme for yourselves.

That’s ultimately the problem for working moms at every income level—maternity leave, if it’s offered at all, is all too brief. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that new mothers breast-feed exclusively for six months and continue breast-feeding until the child is a year old. That’s much easier when you’re in the same room as your kid. The Family and Medical Leave Act requires companies to give employees only 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave, and that applies only to companies with more than 50 employees and workers who’ve been with a company for more than a year.

If Americans are committed to encouraging women to breast-feed, the biggest help won’t be covering the cost of breast pumps. It will be catching up with the rest of the industrialized world by offering paid maternity leave for longer than a scant three months. (For perspective: Uzbek mothers get 18 months; Iranians receive 16.) Until then, we’ll be waiting here in this cramped pumping room.

From the Bloomberg Businessweek.

(More of my thoughts on maternity leave: Why you should support paid maternity leave? Because I already have it and you deserve it; Maternity leave as a human rights issue; We must not walk away from this fight; and Let’s get something straight about maternity leave).

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Wheeeee! I am very pleased to have an article published at The Wheeler Centre – “The Most Powerful Pregnant Woman on the Planet”, where I am discussing the controversy around Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer’s pregnancy announcement: “I like to stay in the rhythm of things. My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it” .

Mayer is taking maternity leave (or not taking it) in one of only four countries remaining without a universal paid parental leave scheme. Australia has not long left that dismal list. When Mayer talks about maternity leave as something brief and something that she can work throughout, and her quote receives international attention, you can forgive mothers in the US for being a little jumpy.

Her statement, as well as communicating a sense of work pressure, also suggests a couple of things about mothering. The first is that mothering is not all that captivating; it will not compete with the rewards of a CEO job. The second is that mothering is, if not easy, then at least not particularly skilled work, because it is something that can be combined (even in the first weeks) with another, more demanding, job. In fact, mothering may be ideally complemented by – how shall we say it? – a more cerebral job.

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Jill with “Having it all: Not a women’s issue” at Feministe:

As an aside, I have a secret fantasy of gathering a team of men to go to every male-dominated discussion (on specific issues in the law or a certain genre of film or investigative journalism or whatever) and when it’s Q& A time, earnestly ask the male panelists how they balance work and family.

Pat Mainardi with “The politics of housework” at The CWLU Herstory Website:

Participatory democracy begins at home. If you are planning to implement your politics, there are certain things to remember.

1. He is feeling it more than you. He’s losing some leisure and you’re gaining it. The measure of your oppression is his resistance.

Jessica Valenti with “The Daddy Wars” at The Nation:

Dismissing socialization and gender roles as piddling compared to this amorphous idea of “maternal imperative” is part of the reason progress is stalled for family-friendly policies. I don’t believe we must ignore how much we love our kids and want to be with them in order to effectively fight for better parenting policies—but the assumption that women want to be mothers above all other callings in their life directly impacts the way we talk and work on these issues.

If we accept the gendered narrative that says women do care work and stay-at-home because it’s fulfilling—rather than because it’s necessary—then we support the idea that it’s women, not men, who should be doing the bulk of domestic work and that we need no policies to support us. Because, hey, taking care of our kids is reward enough!

Flavia Dzodan with “We cannot have it all because we no longer have dreams” at Tiger Beatdown.

The truth is, we no longer seem to have dreams. We have abandoned the creative potential of political reverie to embrace the siren call of “breaking the glass ceiling”. Mainstream feminism (and by this, I mean, the feminist discourse that has the most presence and power across media, be it corporate or independent) has become a tool to enforce the current system of inequalities. We no longer present an alternative. We want full participation in what already is. And again, I say bullshit to that. I want my feminism to be a feminism of daydreaming.

Suzanne Turner with “Where are all the men in the ‘have it all’ debate?” at Role Reboot.

What surprised me most about these friend’s stories was that—with the exception of having careers to leave—their stories sound eerily like those of my and my childhood friends’ mothers. Once the kids were raised, our Dads uniformly ran off with their secretaries or their golfing buddies or just didn’t come home from a business trip.

And—here’s the punch line—feminism actually helped these men as they helped our own mothers. Laws put into place to protect stay-at-home mothers ensured these guys got their fair share of marital assets and shared custody of their children.

Jeremy Adam Smith with “Should women thank men for doing the dishes?” at Greater Good, Berkeley.

Researchers Jess Alberts and Angela Threthewey put Hochschild’s “economy of gratitude” theory to the test in a series of focus groups, interviews, and surveys of heterosexual and same-sex couples. They “found evidence that gratitude isn’t just a way to mitigate the negative effects of an unequal division of labor. Rather, a lack of gratitude may be connected to why that division of labor is so unequal to begin with,” as they write in their Greater Good essay, “Love, Honor, and Thank.”

So when a spouse expresses gratitude to an “under-performing” partner for picking his socks up off the floor, he’s reminded that it’s not fair that she’s usually the one who does that. “And since people who receive gifts typically feel obligated to reciprocate, this insight can lead the under-performing partner to offer ‘gifts’ of his own by contributing more to household tasks. In addition, the over-performing partner is likely to experience less resentment and frustration once her efforts are recognized and appreciated.”

Lenore Taylor with “Who framed feminism?” in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Surely the only reasonable question is whether laws and attitudes are flexible enough for couples to choose how they combine ambition, money earning, parenthood and free time … OK, for most working families you can forget about free time … but at least to choose the extent to which each partner pursues a career, and whether one or other stays out of the paid workforce. If parents can answer those questions and balance those demands in whatever way they want then, by my understanding, the demands of feminism are satisfied because both partners will have equal opportunity.

But if the question becomes, ”Can feminism find a way for a woman to hold down a hugely demanding job and still be primarily responsible for her household and her kids?” then the answer will be no, and the woman, and feminism, will unfairly be deemed to have failed.

Second, without the emotional connection it became easier, I think, to read the piece as just another op-ed, which is how I read it. That’s how I could get hung-up on the “trickle down” perspective mentioned above and later by Slate magazine. Ann-Marie Slaughter’s argument appears to be that when powerful women are in power, en masse, their relationships with their family demands will necessitate that certain accommodations be made. Those accommodations will, in turn, become organizational policies that will spur policy positions that will positively affect all women i.e. powerful feminism will trickle down to the rest of us.

Ok … look.

I’m going to take this as deliberately as I know how.

That could happen.

Rebecca Traister with “Can modern women ‘have it all’?” at Salon.

No, my proposal is this: We should immediately strike the phrase “have it all” from the feminist lexicon and never, ever use it again.

Here is what is wrong, what has always been wrong, with equating feminist success with “having it all”: It’s a misrepresentation of a revolutionary social movement. The notion that female achievement should be measured by women’s ability to “have it all” recasts a righteous struggle for greater political, economic, social, sexual and political parity as a piggy and acquisitive project.

Anne-Marie Slaughter with “The ‘having it all’ debate convinced me to stop saying ‘having it all'” at The Atlantic.

As much as reframing is needed, we cannot take our eyes off the central fact that motivated my decision to speak out. It is women who are leaving the career fast track in large numbers as they have children, which is why the pools of women for big leadership jobs are still distressingly small. So let’s start right there, by giving women the all-important flexibility they need to make their work and family work together. It is very striking that two very hostile attacks on my piece, by Linda Hirshman on this site and Katie Roiphe in the Financial Times, are both from women who are themselves academics and thus who have precisely the ability to manage their own schedules that made it possible for me to juggle work and family all the way up through a deanship and again today.

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