Can Women Have It All?
By :Tiffani Cordner
The debate over whether or not women can have it all has been continually argued for YEARS.
While the definitive answer remains to be seen with a simple yes or no, arguments continue over the topic in online forums, blogs and media outlets more often than not. Women’s magazines continue to hypnotize us with their flashy “Having it all and then some” headlines they continue to print monthly on their covers with Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Michelle Obama as the Poster Gals, in hopes that we will give into the stereotype/trend and buy their magazine, taking in their words as gospel.
And just one week ago the question was posed once more on richdad.com as to whether or not women can “have it all”.
Having it all in our society’s terms is a hard enough goal to accomplish as it is. With all that goes on in our life daily, trying to make it all fit and go perfectly the way it is supposedly supposed to is a hard concept. Seeing celebrity moms and business women like Beyonce (covering the issue of GQ looking oh so fit and fine and fabulous), the First Lady of the United States, and international superstar Alicia Keys, make it look all so easy. I mean if they can do it, why can’t we?
But despite how much you prepare, something is always bound to come up that turns our lives upside down throwing us off course and falling behind. We always come back to being two steps behind by Saturday- just in time to start all over Sunday morning.
In any case, Rich Dad’s articlewent something like this: Can women have it all?
Can we have the career we desire with financial freedom and the family we cherish while taking care of our own well-being, health and sanity?
Can we really have everything that we want?
Oprah says we can have it all, just not all at the same time. Hanna Rosin, the author of “The End of Men, The Rise of Women”, gave an emphatic, “No!” when I asked her this question on The Rich Dad Radio Show recently… There was an article recently in The Atlantic written by Anne-Marie Slaughter, entitled, “While Women Still Can’t Have It All.” She summed it by saying, “the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed.” Anne-Marie went on to say, “The minute I found myself in a job that is typical for the vast majority of working women (and men), working long hours on someone else’s schedule, I could no longer be both the parent and the professional I wanted to be… Having it all, at least for me, depended almost entirely on what type of job I had.”
Mary Matalin, who spent two years as an assistant to George W. Bush and the counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney before stepping down to spend more time with her daughters, stated in the same article, “Having control over your schedule is the only way that women who want to have a career and a family can make it work.”
The author continues on to basically reiterate those three basic principles :having it all depends on the type of job you have, the type of lifestyle you live and the type of schedule (of time) you keep.
But how exactly is “having it all” defined?
Most of the time it is loosely classified as having a family, a career, a happy fulfilling marriage, strong solid bonds with friends, family and colleagues, and financial security.
Or is “having it all” really subjective? For example, what about the woman who “has it all” with the exception of children with no intentions of starting a family. Does that mean she is exempt from reaching the “Having it all” threshold?
Is having it all just another trend? Or is it just another to do list that needs to be completed?
Perhaps having it all isn’t meant to be definitive but is simply a starting off point. A way to get our brains churning about what it means to live a happy, meaningful and fulfilling life. Whether that’s living your life as an eternal bachelorette with a thriving career and no kids, or living your life as a full time mother and wife.
Take It Back
Having it all now as opposed to 60 years was vastly different. One could argue that back then, the idea of having a “complete” and satisfied life for a woman was based solely on her home life-keeping her children well taken care of, her house nice and tidy, and her husband fully satisfied. That’s it. There were no options or choices as to whether the woman could work AND hold down a household, her finances and her social life. She was confined to the idea that having it all was not entirely up to what she wanted for her life but what others(namely her children and husband) wanted from her for her life.
These days though the modern woman has an abundance of choices and options that allow her to pick and choose the full life she wants to create for herself. We have been able to reshape what it means to have it all, picking and choosing and creating the perfect life we aspire to fully live for ourselves.
We Can “Have It All”…and then some
This all leads me to my final point.
With more than 60+ years of hard work and fighting behind us, we can properly sculpt our lives to how we see fit. Perhaps we shouldn’t put so much pressure on ourselves to achieve the “Have it all” standard that society has placed upon us. Perhaps instead, we should focus more or less on the fact that we can control it and manufacture our lives for ourselves and just enjoy the ride as we work towards our “Have It Alls.”