Ever since Anne-Marie Slaughter's article Why Women Still Can't Have It All appeared in the July issue of The Atlantic, I've been fired up and pissed off ... because she's absolutely right.
First, let's define what Slaughter means by "having it all." She's referring to that constant juggling act of having a thriving and high-powered professional career outside the home and a loving, supportive husband and children at home. Again, by that definition, I agree with her. But here's what rattled my cage about her article: Slaughter's definition of having it all assumes that all women want the same thing.
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And it's not just Slaughter. With all of the advances to women's rights in the 20th and 21st centuries, including our new normal of out earning men, it seems as though society and the author has decided that women all want and choose the same life path. First comes career, then comes love, then comes baby. Investigating Your Perfection
Correct me if I'm wrong, but last time I checked, the only thing a one-size-fits-all approach applies to across all women of the world is tampons and maxi pads. And even then, I wonder.
Never having been a one-size-fits-all kind of woman (like the majority of women I know, including those with husbands, children and careers), I made the conscious choice years ago — long before I'd met my husband — not to have children. I also made the conscious choice to rock a red wedding dress when I got married because the idea of walking down the aisle in white felt like it'd been done to death.
My reason for not wanting children? When I looked at my girlfriends who had children with their husbands, what was reflected back to me did not in any way align with my life vision or values.
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I did not want to share my husband with a child. I did not want a good portion of my disposable income to go to feeding, clothing and educating a child for the next 18-plus years. I did not want to give up sleep, sex, travel, my ambition, a clean house or my personal freedom. Many have called me selfish. I call it the new woman's right to choose.
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