Dear Tell All: I agree with your letter writer who was disgusted with Anne-Marie Slaughter's article in the Atlantic called "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" ("Women Can Have It All," 7/20/2012). Slaughter argues that it's impossible to work at the State Department or other high-level jobs and also be a good mother, even with a supportive partner.
Sigh. Though Slaughter makes some decent points about workplace reform from a feminist point of view, the packaging of the article was downright offensive. The poor baby on the cover is stuffed into a briefcase while the mean mommy in pantyhose heads off to work. Can you imagine such a sensationalistic treatment of men who presume to have both families and high-level careers?
Plus, the whole question of "can women have it all?" is so bogus. Women can do everything men can do, if the playing field is level. And of course, it isn't. So the question we should be asking is: "What else can we do to advance gender equality?" That's an Atlantic article I'd like to see, sans an obnoxious cover image.
Suzanne B. Anthony
Dear Tell All: As a woman who does have it all, I am a living refutation of the title of that Atlantic article. Thanks to the hard work of my feminist forebears, I'm able to have a satisfying career and (with help from my partner and babysitters) be a perfectly good mother.
Will the Atlantic call me up to profile me for the cover of their next issue? I doubt it. Making modern women look hopeless or misguided is what sells magazines, unfortunately.
Dear Tell All: Plain and simple, the young woman who wrote you about "having it all" is naive. The truth of the Atlantic article is that the new brand of feminism is truth. And the truth is, any woman (or man for that matter) cannot be the completely together mom and the completely together career woman and be completely happy, because some of those things are mutually exclusive.