Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mommy Wars, Daddy Wars, and Having it All

From the time I heard Anne-Marie Slaughter's interview on NPR, back in late June, and found my Atlantic Magazine copy waiting for me in my office later the same day, there with the by now much-ballyhooed article, Why Women Still Can't Have It All, which she had just discussed with Terry Gross on air, I have been thinking quite a bit about the issues raised.

I thank her for her provocative contribution to the dialogue among the chattering classes on issues of gender roles, feminism, motherhood, and fatherhood.   I must say, however, that I reacted to her article much as I did to the seminal work of Betty Friedan upon my first encounter with it back in college: I appreciated its historical contribution, but its focus seemed too bourgeois for someone with my more radical sensibilities.

I have since enjoyed reading and learning from many of the varied reactions to that Atlantic Magazine article.  Two of my favorites, which I will pass on without comment, are The Daddy Wars, by Jessica Valenti, and Why Can't All Parents Have More, by KJ Dell'Antonia.