Having It All Versus Having Enough
By Nikki Stern
Feb. 26, 2013
Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg hopes her new book “Lean In” will start a second wave of feminism. Fine by me, as long as working-class women don’t get swept out to sea.
Sandberg is the latest iteration of post-feminism, we’re told, less militant, more upbeat. One of the few topic-tier female managers in America, her aspirations extend far beyond book sales; she wants to empower entrepreneurial women through collective consciousness-raising.
She follows on the designer heels of another high-powered professional with something to say about achievement at the pinnacle of success. Anne-Marie Slaughter has even parlayed her attention-grabbing article for the Atlantic, “Why Women Can’t Have It All,” into a new career: she now gives speeches on the mirage that is having it all, at least for women. It should be noted Slaughter seemed to being doing well as she ascended, at least within the rarified academic community at Princeton. Then she entered the high stakes, high-stress world of diplomacy via an upper-level State Department appointment. A move to Washington left her separated from her family and working without rest, a balance she found she couldn’t sustain, especially with two teenagers who needed her attention. Some things are harder even than corporate ladder-climbing; public service tends to consume its favorite sons and daughters.
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