I’ve been a self-proclaimed feminist since my years of single-digit birthdays. Before I knew it had a label or that there would be a pigeonhole effect (read: all feminists hate men), I believed in gender equality. And like piss on grass, being opinionated comes with the territory.
I also have the pleasure of coming from a very tight-knit family that engages in a daily article email chain. My dad, the founder and driver behind the exchange, recently shared one from Time’s April 7th edition entitled, “Fast-Track Girls Finish Best”. Intrigued by such a staunch review from Dad, I eagerly clicked on the link and restlessly waited for the article to load.
Charlotte Alter uses Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean in for Graduates and Susan Patton’s Marry Smart, both timely new book releases, as the core of her commentary. Alter concludes that for a post-college female, whether seeking a perfect husband, dynamite career or both, pickings are slim and time is the enemy. She says there’s “no dillydallying in the worlds of Patton and Sandberg, since their guidance is underscored by the persistent beat of our biological clocks” and while, “men have the luxury of time, most women who want careers and families don’t.”
Alter surrenders to the stereotype that having a family, while managing a career are female-only problems. Our societal norms perpetuate the cycle by continuing to force-feed young women the notion that they cannot have it all. It’s 2014, creating a balanced home life is on the table and it’s time for a honest discussion.
I reached my breaking point after reading one of the final points: “young women are on a timeline, one that leaves no room for error, while young men have room to experiment.” Sure, I can’t fight biology and as a twenty-four year old woman, I am aware of my fertility, it swells with pride. Women do have more to consider if they want the best of both worlds, but no one should surrender to a life void of error or experimentation. The wonder and wisdom of being a twentysomething is dreaming big and learning along the way. Our world needs more dreamers.
The conversation on creating a fundamental shift, one which challenges the stereotypical patriarchal society is ongoing. Life is all about perspective, and as Audrey Hepburn once said, nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible.