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:

  1. It is totally true that men and women are both asked to make serious trade-offs in balancing family and work obligations
  2. 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.
  3. Women are socialized to feel that if they DON’T prioritize their families over their careers, they are bad mothers.
  4. 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.
  5. Women also STILL do more work at home than their male counterparts.
  6. 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?
  7. MEN AND WOMEN BOTH need to push for more flexible work schedules and policies that allow them to balance their lives.
  8. 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.

 

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~ by Randi Saunders on June 26, 2012.

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