Being single and having no children, I try to stay out of the mommy wars. The essay of Ann-Marie Slaughter, the former director of policy planning in Hilary Clinton's State Department, "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" recently published in the Atlantic Magazine reeked of so much smug entitlement that I felt I need to mention it.
Apparently, Slaughter believes in her alienable right to the pursuit of happiness even more than Mr. Big, the Lothario character in "Sex in the City". She thinks she deserves an interesting job that pays well, mind bowing orgasms every night, dry cleaning that magically appears in her closet, a Mr. Mom husband that is also a dynamo in his chosen profession, and two perfect children.
Salon's Rebecca Traister request to ban the phrase having it all from the feminist lexicon was perhaps the most eloquent response to Slaughter's article.
Feminism is not just a movement for Hillary and her acolytes. Slaughter seemed completely out of touch with the concerns of the average woman. Better daycare programs and longer school hours are a nice idea, but where is the money going to come from in the current political and economic climate where basic aid programs are being cut? Mothers in Philadelphia, who are struggling to keep their children in school in a city that has a 40% drop out rate, are too busy to join the fight for longer school hours.
By focusing so much oxygen on the problems of elite women, the feminist movement is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of the general public. I do not care that Slaughter had to leave her high powered job at the State Department to return to her job as a college professor at an Ivy League University. I am more concerned when a single mother, who is the sole support of her family, is unable to work at all due to a lack of daycare for her children.
I am also not sure that Slaughter's son is better off having her home. Nowhere in the essay did she mention the joy that she derives from motherhood and marriage.
Not having children, I am often shocked how mothers invade their children's privacy and exploit them in their writing. I was startled to read that Slaughter specifically mentioned that her son's unruliness as the reason she was forced to quit her job. He will forever carry the burden of knowing that his mother was forced to give up her dream job for him. No child should have to carry that burden.
Elizabeth Wurzel's Atlantic essay, "1% Wives Are Helping Kill Feminism And Making The War on Feminism Possible",was similarly objectionable. My own anecdotal research, at least, indicates that her premise is right. Having interviewed many of the 1%, many have commented on how lazy their wives are.