The cover Story in this month’s The Atlantic has garnered national attention. This conversation of family and life structure is all over the news discourse, in coffee shops, and even in job interviews. As I wrote about in my April 25th post, the face of the American family is changing; there is more diversity in both structure and roles. Amen and Hallelujah!
The focus of The Atlantic article is women and having it all – professional career, families, toned body and upward mobility, loving husband and well adjusted children… all while whipping up a zesty quinoa. The article’s author, über superwoman Anne-Marie Slaughter, contends the story feminism told us- that we could have it all- is simply not true.
This definition of “having it all” inflates my loathing of women being forced to define success and power in stale and antiquated terms. A 9-5 work week, family here/work there, achievement equals being a CEO, if you can’t work 80 hours a week get out of the boardroom – why are these things we want to strive for? These ideals stipulate that a dedication to your family has to diminish achievements and curtail success.
The trailblazing overachieving superwomen who have started to question this ideal have opened the conversation for women to examine and re-define success, fulfillment and happiness. These conversations are exploding the definition of success and the path one must take and life she must achieve to get there.
That said. I want to spend some time exploring these issues among the women of Northwest Philadelphia. I want to know how the women of the area feel about family and career. What is our definition of success? What is the implication of these standard, limiting ideals of family/professional balance? What effect has this had on our lives and choices?
If you or someone you know would be interested in an interview to talk about this, please let me know. Over the next few weeks, I am going to be talking to women all over the area.
Lets keep the conversation going!
Northwest Philly Parents is a partnership between Newsworks and Germantown Avenue Parents.