June 25, 2012
Bethany adds some needed perspective to this article, which had my head hurting with some of its presuppositions (e.g., that being a tenured professor is 'settling.') Not that I would have expected Christlikeness to show up in an article like this, but it's a welcome splash of water to the face.
If believers really did orient themselves in the direction of Christlikeness, the world would still be changed for the better, perhaps much better than merely by having a high-level job at the State Department.
I think you nailed it, Bethany. I also liked all the suggestions she had for the workplace to begin adapting to all workers' other needs. However, I also wished she had acknowledged--or maybe she doesn't realize--the number of people that are doing these things on their own in this economy. Perhaps it's the freelance circles I run in, but I know very few people that work in the kind of places Slaughter describes. Even those who have more traditional jobs also enjoy some creative flexibility on most days.
I'm also frustrated by the assumption that men "have it all" but women do not. There may very well still be some blatant or unintended sexism in the workplace, but I bet if you polled the children of these "top-tier" dads, you'd find a lot of kids that wish their dads were around more. Producing offspring that someone else cares for/knows intimately while you climb to the top isn't exactly "having it all."
Nonetheless, I love your call for us to remember Christ, who is our all. There's so much freedom to be had when we acknowledge that He is the Person we're striving for, not the perfect work/life balance.
There are a lot of interesting responses to here. A few good ones are summarized here: http://theweek.com/article/index/229808/the-atlantics-women-cant-have-it-all-manifesto-the-backlash
What is assumed is the secular frame that life is lived in our short zero to 90ish lifespan. Slaughter's quest is all about time. She's got images of a preferred life and her self-goal is to accomplish these during this period.
I think part of a Christian response illuminates the filters causing the narrative. What is "good"? How does a Christian theology of the resurrection alter her assumptions?
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