From ultra-ego to humility. From rebellion to contentment. From radical to rational. For those who’ve gained wisdom along side an impressive resume, this is the full circle often traveled by women whose life experience re-writes the hubris of youth. There has been a lot of debate lately about the work-life balance for career women. Recent articles published by two similarly successful career women endorse very different perspectives on the issue. The feminist doctrine says that women are oppressed and victimized by not having full throttle careers. Experience may say otherwise.
Erin Callan, a former CFO for Lehman Brothers reflects on her late coming insight in a New York Times article entitled ‘Is There Life After Work?’ In it Callan seems to say that she had no feeling of distinction as she appraised the personal return on her career investment. It’s interesting that the debate on ‘work-life’ balance names the two so diametrically apposed to each other. Aren’t we told that work outside of the home is ‘life’? Callan continues; “I did not know how to value who I was versus what I did. What I did was who I was.” It is a sad conclusion indeed to realize that career success may give only a brief and deciduous sense of worth at best. Mrs. Callan finally suggests that her regret is that she wishes she could have had a “better version of a personal life” and that she “missed having a child of my own”. But for many women the fruits of an all-encompassing career are grief and regret, because what is often lost in the attempt for ‘balance’ cannot be recovered.
The flip side of the coin calls on women to speed ahead toward ‘success’ in the labor force. One leading voice is Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg whose new book asks Women to ‘lean in’. (‘Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead’ [March 2013]). In it she laments that women are “held back by bias, by lack of flexibility, by lack of opportunity,” Perhaps the bias is that women will demand flexibility where men don’t. There is a competitive element in business and if you don’t have it – you lose. Somehow, it is an unpleasant truth that ‘equality’ does not include favor and handicaps, while a woman’s contribution in the home is unchanging, unequaled and paramount to the emotional health of the entire family, including her own.
It is this imperishable truth that suffers at the hands of a feminist culture. As Sandberg continues, she uncovers another goal as she writes:
“Part of what I’m hoping ‘Lean In’ will do is really start a conversation in every workplace, in every company, in every school, to start thinking about gender differently … I believe the world would be a better place if half our companies and half our countries were run by women, and half our homes were run by men.”
Once again we see clearly the liberal intent to redefine and change everything. A clear agenda to purge what is innate, created and thoughtfully designed. And we thought all they wanted was our guns and soda. The left complains that corporate America is a national evil, yet they ask women to devote their entire life to it. The open declaration to train our kids to think about gender ‘differently’ should raise an alarm. The left doesn’t just offer a variant to a change of thought. They have successfully implemented policy to effect this change.
One thing is certain, no one on their deathbed hopes to see it surrounded by board members. The most heartbreaking consequences of the lie operating as feminism is the painful realization of what is permanently lost for a total devotion to career. Of course, it is certainly a good thing that every woman can make her own choice. But real choice includes an honest list of pro’s and con’s. Curiously the cons are part of the choice that feminism would rather bury.
Written by Jackie Anderson Christensen