Women, Work and Family = The Enjoli Woman Venn Diagram

Warning: Anyone reading this that was born after 1980 might not understand the humor.

I saw all the uproar over Anne-Marie Slaughter’s recent Atlantic Monthly cover story “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All,” but mostly avoided reading much of it. It’s not a new topic (I touched on it back in 2008  in the first month I started this blog) and I wasn’t sure I had the energy for the debate. However, this week I went back and pulled up the original to take a look with new eyes.

What prompted me to do this was the email from my summer sitter saying she was heading off to college earlier than planned. This coming just a week after my husband had his second surgery in two months. While the two weeks notice came with an alternate plan, so myself and the other moms who share the sitter weren’t left in the lurch with another month before school starts, it did prompt me to reassess my family’s needs.

So, after several days of reading – hey, it’s more than an article, it’s like a freaking dissertation and all moms know how hard it is to find a large chunk of free, uninterrupted time to just read – I finally finished it today.

It’s definitely not as inflammatory as I thought it would be by the headline and the level of noise it created. Many parts had me shaking my head YES, rather than shaking it in sadness.

But rather than go through it point-by-point or try to give you the Cliff Notes, what hit me as I mulled it over in the shower this morning was a more humorous take.

Anyone familiar with project management, software development or graphic design will have encountered by now the famous Project Management Triangle – which tells us that while we may all want something done good, fast and cheap, we can really only get two out of three.

So today I bring you the Enjoli Woman Venn Diagram – ta da!Women-Can’t-Have-It-All_Enjoli-Woman-Venn-Diagram

I was about the same age my daughter is now when that commercial came out and it definitely influenced my ideas about what I should be when I grew up. Was I sold a bill of goods?

Maybe. But, I don’t think we just give up. Instead we all need to adjust. This statement from Anne-Marie Slaughter’s story put it well, I think:

“If women are ever to achieve real equality as leaders, then we have to stop accepting male behavior and male choices as the default and the ideal.”

That doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t even happen in a generation or two. But, I still hold out hope that my daughter’s generation might realize it.

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