Archive for June, 2007
“Having it all.” We hear it all the time. Too often. It sounds normal, a part of our everyday vernacular. And yet it is extremely fraught.
Especially for women, for mothers. In a country where paid maternity leave is not even close to guaranteed. Where a one-income family usually struggles to make ends meet. Where universal health care does not exist.
And especially for overachievers. In a culture where media, politicians, and even parents on the playground constantly tell us we need to do more, have more, be more. Where kids start competing academically in kindergarten with No Child Left Behind (and some even in preschool). Where college admissions counseling is a huge business. Where elite undergraduate institutions push elite graduate degrees as true success. And it goes on and on.
This blog is for anyone who wants to participate in a conversation about changing our definition of success in this culture, from “having it all” to “having enough.”
Now, I have a graduate degree focusing on feminist media/cultural studies. And, from my feminist-informed perspective, this issue is much larger than the deceptive and misused concept of individual choice. For me this conversation is about our personal attitudes and values, yes, but it is also and perhaps more importantly about looking critically at the systems and structures that perpetuate, while at the same time make impossible, the “have it all” myth.
“Having Enough” is about looking hard at how we define success, for our institutions (businesses, governments, schools), for our environment, for our families, for ourselves. It means thinking about fairness, about social justice, about media, about children, about the Earth. It is about whatever we decide to talk about.
I look forward to the conversation — thank you for joining me!