Gregg Easterbrook writes a football column for ESPN interspersed with political and cultural commentary. In his NFL predictions column (written in haiku), he has this tidbit on what he calls “après-feminism” that is appearing in dead-tree version of The Atlantic Monthly:
Then this year came “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” a cover by Anne-Marie Slaughter, a Princeton dean and recent State Department official. Slaughter filled 14 magazine pages with angst about how despite a high-paying super-elite job with lifetime tenure, personal connections in the White House and a husband who does the child care, despite writing about herself for the cover of the world’s most important magazine, nevertheless she feels troubled that every moment of her days is not precisely what she wants.
The assertion that women “can’t have it all” was received as earthshaking by the commentariate, a magazine article making the front page of The New York Times. Living a favored life and yet looking for something to complain about is part of the Upper West Side mindset, so perhaps the Slaughter article appealed to the part of the Times demographic that searches desperately for new complaints.
Some of Slaughter’s points were solid, but they were the grievances of the 1 percent — 99 of 100 women would love to have what Slaughter presented as her burdens to bear.
Read Easterbook’s first paragraph again. I would be embarrassed to write about my problems if I were as privileged as Anne-Marie Slaughter. More than a decade ago Danielle Crittenden wrote a book that explained women can’t have it all although they were sold the deception that they could. What’s pathetic is that Slaughter, who almost has it all, still complains.