I caught this program and discussion on C-Span.org called Why Women Still Can’t Have It All. I’ll link to the program but it’s an interview with Former State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter regarding her cover story in The Atlantic by the same name. I don’t think she meant to have the effect on me she has, but it is what it is.
Since I didn’t start at a young age, it’s very unlikely that I’ll ever be hired by an academic institution in any level that matters. Plus, I’ll certainly never be a CEO. Since I made the choices to stay at home with my kids, even though I ran a small business out of my home pretty much the entire time, and obtained a high level of education, it’s just not going to happen to me. Not because of me, but because of society.
If you’re wealthy you’re going to have more opportunities to be a stay at home mom and then still obtain a high level career. But, for most women it’s going to be a lot harder than that due to the fact that we don’t have equal pay for equal work, or the same type of respect for women who make choices for the kids. Even though we’ve made huge strides, we still have a long way to go. Since I’m already 46 years old, it’s not likely it’ll happen in my lifetime in a way that will affect my personal life.
But, I sincerely hope it does happen for my girls. I’m afraid I have raised them to value time at home with their young children to a point that they’ll probably make the same “sacrifices” as I made without even knowing I am making a trade off. I really didn’t know I was. I really did believe that I could stay home, be a young mom, and start my career at midlife. I thought I could. I believed it completely. But, it’s just not based on facts. Facts are, women who make my choice, in my financial level of life (lower middle class) will probably never rise above their station in life without starting my own business and essentially buying a position. That’s hard to do when you’re lower middle class so it is also unlikely.
Here’s the link: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/WhyWo
I’d love it if you’d watch it, and give me some feedback about what you think? I’ll write more tomorrow about what this revelation means to me.