Thursday, February 17, 2005

The myth of having it all

Lileks is a genius!

But then if you're reading me, you probably already knew that.

Ok this is going to be a long one because, well, I'm both long winded and extremely bitter about this topic thankyouverymuch.

Gloria Steinem ruined America.

Gloria Steinem, and Helen Reddy, and Carole king, and anyone else who told women "Yes you really can have it all".

They convinced women that not only COULD they have it all, but if they didn't, there was something wrong with them.

They convinced women that they needed to have amazing careers, and amazing hsubands (who ALSO had great careers AND helped out with the housework), and great families, and great sex, and hell they could even get a little on the side 'cuz the men did it so why not them. They even convinced women that they could do everything in the military that men could.


They were selling women a fairy tale no different from a knight in shining armor on a white horse.

Men have know for... well just about forever... that there are tradeoffs to be made.

There are three life areas, social and personal life, marriage and family, and work life. If you are going to be successful in any one area, you need to compromise on the other two. There isn't time enough in your life to be highly successful in your job, to raise two great kids and have a great marriage, and be a champion origami folder all at the same time.

In the '70s and early eighties women decided that they could have their careers, but more importantly they could be "personally fulfilled", and to "find themselves" over and above their families. Those women made the excerable Charlene song "I've never been to me" a number one hit, and then raised kids like me and my brother. I love my mother, but she was a horrible mother. She tried to be my friend. She read progressive books. She never punished us...

I could go on, but basically my mom was ms. new age mom, and it NEVER EVER WORKED. We, and many millions of people my age, never actually had parents.

Then in the mid to late 80's women started worrying entirely about their careers. Power suits, and BMW's and day planners and filofaxes. 80 hour work weeks. Divorces, cocaine, bad sex...

Yeah my mom went there too. Never saw her, she was working all the time. She would punish me when my younger brother got in trouble, because I was supposed to make sure he didn't.

Then the 90's come around and Martha Stewart and Lynette jennings become the superwoman icons.

Once again, I could go on, but we all know how it turned out. We get parents scheduling quality time, and play dates, and kids who have so many before school, and after school and during school, aactivities, their lives are scheduled down to the instant by their control freak career moms. We get kids injuring themselves just so they can take a day off from swimming lessons and dance lessons and horseback lessons and... and....

It's called projection BTW. Parents are feeling unfuliflled in their lives, so they project that feeling onto their kids and MAKE them "get the most out of life".

How about we let women be women, men be men, and kids be kids? Think that might work out? I mean it worked for thousands of years before the 1970's

More to come on this subject, but Im too irritated right now.

UPDATE: Let me just say, men don't get let off the hook with me either. I'm'na do a post on the little boys in mens bodies who dont know how to be dads, dont try, or at best mail it in. They're jsut as bad as the supermommies if not worse.