Follow-Up: “Having It All”: The Abridged Version
Every time my coworkers and I find another op-ed about Slaughter’s essay, it invariably focuses on the fact that “this is not a women’s issue”.
So here’s the abridged version of what needs to be said here:
- It is totally true that men and women are both asked to make serious trade-offs in balancing family and work obligations
- There are still more barriers to women even getting into serious careers, because of the assumption that they will choose family over work. This is an unfair assumption and introduces a gender bias into the workplace. These barriers include hiring barriers, lack of investment in women, and reluctance to promote women.
- Women are socialized to feel that if they DON’T prioritize their families over their careers, they are bad mothers.
- Women are ALSO socialized that they NEED to make sacrifices in terms of time with their families if they want to succeed in the workplace.
- Women also STILL do more work at home than their male counterparts.
- So you see, there might be a few extra barriers to women balancing a career and a family. Anyone unclear as to where the problem here is?
- MEN AND WOMEN BOTH need to push for more flexible work schedules and policies that allow them to balance their lives.
- And if men want to say it’s “just as hard”, then they should take fatherhood as seriously as women are expected to take motherhood.