Monday, April 12, 2010

F is for Feminism

You remind me of Peggy from Mad Men because of her determination to compete on an equal level with the men in her office yet still sleep with the sleaziest one

Anyone that knows me at all knows that I spend an unhealthy amount of time watching Bravo programming. And I noticed recently that almost all of the women in these shows, from the vapid housewives in The Real Housewives of Orange County to industry women I really actually admire like Kelly Cutrone and Rachel Zoe are constantly fretting about whether they are making the right decisions when it comes to prioritizing their careers and their family lives.

I watch this recurring story play out in various shows time and time again: Rachel Zoe doesn't have children and stresses over her career so much she's not sure she'll ever be able to fit kids in, even though she wants them, because as is she doesn't spend enough time with her husband. Kelly Cutrone, a single mom, has to make work sacrifices to make sure she picks up her daughter every day from school. Kelly Bensimon worries about the psychological toll that her posing in Playboy will have on her daughters. (Ok that one wasn't really a dilemma. Just keep your boobs covered you hussy!)

In college, I was a hardcore feminist. I took it so far that I minored in Women and Gender Studies and took any occasion I could to rant about how the definition of feminism is that women and men should be treated equally and that you don't have to be a crazy "Fem Nazi" to believe that.

Well, now that I'm older, I think that feminism has royally fucked over my generation.

We were fed this idea that we could be and do anything that we wanted, that it was possible to have a successful career, get dinner on the table, and then put on something sexy for the perfect husband after the kids were asleep.

Which is, frankly, a load of horse shit.

Every girl that I know has had that life-altering dilemma to face: do I focus on my career and make it up the corporate ladder or do I try to have a family. And in many cases, it's one or the other: doing both isn't an option.

I have oscillated between the two. At some point I thought I would rather be a wife and mom and then subsequently decided that my career was my priority, no matter the detriment to my social life and relationships. And now I have settled somewhere in the middle. I want to have a fulfilling career and someday be a mom, but am aware that by doing both, I will be doing neither to my greatest capability.

There is no way to have it all it seems.

Yes, I think it is possible to have a career and to have a family. It has been done before and millions of awesome women continue to do it every day. However, I think there is inevitably a certain amount of guilt that comes with doing both, whether it's because you missed picking up the kids from school because of work, or you couldn't get that promotion because you had a family life.

What I resent is the expectation that a woman is supposed to be Superwoman, that she can do both at the same time. No matter what anyone says, men are not held to that high standard yet. As long as they can provide for their families and have a degree of success in their work-life, they are still considered winners.

As I get older, I can feel not only my biological clock starting to tick, but the consequences of whatever decision I make starting to resonate with me. Only time will tell if I my friends and I will be able to pull off the balancing tightrope of managing a career and children, all while having some semblance of a personal life.

Or I can find an awesomely hot, intelligent man who is so secure in himself he would like to devote his life to being a stay-at-home dad. Let him cart the kids around to soccer practice, make me dinner, and then put something sexy on for me! A girl can only dream...

1 comment:

Ch said...

Trophy House Husband!