The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


May 18, 2013

Balancing work, family is men's dilemma too

“Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” was the provocative title of Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article for The Atlantic last summer. With her autobiographical piece, Slaughter joined the growing chorus of commentators who have decided that women who want to be mothers while still pursuing challenging, high-profile careers face challenges unique enough to merit lengthy and repetitive discourse.

In the piece, Slaughter wrote about the glittering world she inhabited as a policy director at the State Department, but noted that, even as she sipped champagne and rubbed shoulders with foreign dignitaries, “I could not stop thinking about my 14-year-old son, who had started eighth grade three weeks earlier.”

It was moments such as this one that prompted Slaughter to leave her government post to spend more time with her family. Locally, we recently saw a similar choice, as Otsego County Economic Developer Carolyn Lewis stepped aside after more than a decade in her post.

Let’s make one thing clear: I have no quarrel with these women’s decisions. Decisions about parenting and career are deeply personal ones for which there is no obvious template. Each family must negotiate its own unique needs, taking into consideration a staggering array of variables. No longer simply a question of who the chief wage earner is, work-life balance is today informed by questions such as access to day care, health insurance, travel to and from work, and potential career trajectories.

But that’s exactly my problem with articles like Slaughter’s. The supposition that this is a uniquely female problem does a huge disservice to parents of both genders.

First of all, portraying this as a women’s issue gives the still-predominantly-male power structure a really good excuse for ignoring it. Less than a quarter of the members of Congress are women; the percentage of women executives at top Fortune 500 companies is even smaller. So decisions about wages, about paid time off and family leave, about child care, are still being made by men. And if we keep telling these men that this is a women’s issue — well, then, it’s not really their problem, is it?

Text Only
Big Chuck D'Imperio
Cary Brunswick

Chuck Pinkey
Guest Column

Lisa Miller

Mark Simonson
Rick Brockway

Sam Pollak
William Masters
  • Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues

    As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.

    September 18, 2012

  • Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner

    An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.

    September 4, 2012

  • Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity

    Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.

    August 21, 2012

  • Romney shows little regard for common man

    The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.

    August 7, 2012

  • Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists

    The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.

    July 24, 2012

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service

Do you plan to attend the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction?

Not sure
     View Results