I feel obligated to make a comment during this week of the Woman's Conference. There were women supporting their families and this nation before Madison Avenue created the slogan of women aspiring to "have it all". The world is full of women, with children, and husbands, who work multiple jobs to keep their families afloat. These jobs often involve physical exertions, are without health insurance, and are of the sort that dock pay if absent from work. Consequently, a child who needs to stay home from school with a cold poses a challenge wrought with conflict, heartache and, of course potential financial penalty should the woman choose to stay home with her child. These women "have it all" - career, husbands and children. This is not the Madison Avenue campaign I remember.
These women are not the Maria Shrivers of the world. They are not me. They have no choices.
I grew up with brothers and parents who made sure I had the same advantages as the boys. This meant I had the same education, had to learn Judo, and was the only girl in my Manhattan high school class who was forced to get a driver's license as my father insisted I drive myself on dates with boys. Yes, I took advantage of all of this, went to law school, invested in my career and, yes, when it was time to have a family I had resources and choices to allow me to "have it all". I could also choose not to "have it all". The key is the freedom to choose - a freedom that many women lack. I had help and opportunities that many women who live a backbreaking existence in order to sustain their families do not have. Like all working mothers, I agonize over work and missing a school event - but my family's survival doesn't hang on my decision.
These women, who have no choice but to "do it all" must be saluted and supported. Many of them would not be allowed off from work to attend the conference without losing pay.