Why “Having It All” Is A Stupid Concept


“See? Give it up, ladies, and get back into the kitchen after you soothe that crying baby!” – The Patriarchy

I was reading an article recently about how Millennials apparently long for more traditional gender roles than their predecessors, based on studies and whatnot. The author speculated as to why this could be; perhaps young men are now beginning to fear women taking their jobs, and are resentful of having to compete with their female counterparts in a shrinking job market. Or, perhaps it’s a backlash to the new-wave feminism of the 90’s (whatever that is).

However, instead of ending on a relatively objective note, the author takes a hard-right into sexism when she notes, “Maybe women have finally realized they can’t have it all, and the newest generation is becoming content to accept that men and women have different aptitudes for different things. Maybe there is hope for the Millennials after all.”

Yes, Millennials must be learning to accept the fact that a woman deserves to be paid less than a man for doing the same job because…of ovaries and vaginas, I guess. Why can’t us old new-wave feminist bitches just accept our naturally inferior status already? Must be too much estrogen.

Putting aside the fact that you should never accept being told you are equal while being treated as less than equal because of some innate trait attributed to your gender/race/religion/etc., who is honestly lamenting the fact they can’t have it all? What does “having it all” even mean? Is it success in your work and personal life? And why is this something women must struggle with, but not men?

If we’re going to honestly unpack it, the gist is that women who work outside the home are also supposed to want to do all the usual traditional lady chores as well, like cooking and cleaning and laundry – and they should feel bad if they can’t do it all anymore because they’re working. Of course, nobody really wants to do these things, but since they usually fall on women to accomplish then we should feel obligated to do them, I guess.

Or maybe it’s just the kid-specific stuff, like chaperoning playdates and gazing lovingly at your beautiful child as he frolics in the dirt and whatnot, which women are supposed to feel bad for not doing.

But men have been working outside the home for all of human existence, and they don’t cry about not “having it all.”

Basically, much like women are slut-shamed for daring to have sex just for fun, this whole “having it all” concept is a passive-aggressive way to shame women for daring to work outside the home and be happy with their decision.

“Oh, you’re a bank exec. Sounds high-powered – good for you! Must be long hours, though. Don’t you feel bad about not being able to spend more time with your kids? Well don’t you? It’s so hard to have it all, right?”

“Having it all” is code for “being a good mother while holding down sometimes-demanding outside employment,” and it’s something we can’t have.

Except I know a lot of women with full-time jobs and a family, who are somehow happy with their lives and manage to raise well-adjusted children – myself included (fingers crossed my kids stay well-adjusted; they seem fine for now, anyway).

So screw “having it all.” If you’re happy with your life, then you already have it.

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