A big part of the gender discussion is identifying and decrying double standards. This is a story about someone doing just that.
This time it’s feminist icon Hillary Clinton telling women to stop whining about their own life choices. Suck on that, all you Hillary-haters.
Secretary Clinton made her remarks perhaps in reply to but certainly in the context of Anne-Marie Slaughter’s recent article in the Atlantic “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”.
That article was all about double standards, as in moaning that there wasn’t one in this case. The base assumption was that men can go out and work 80 weeks and center their lives around career ambitions and then come home and have a family life, but poor, oppressed women don’t get to do that. When they go out and have careers, they get “penalized.” And it’s just sooooo unfair!!!
The truth is that men who work 80 – or 90/100/120 – weeks and center their lives around their careers do not have any kind of family life and what little they have they have at the sufferance of the wives they are supporting, and they can be dismissed from these lives at a moment’s notice by their wives completely unilateral decision. The wife they have been supporting will be deemed the “primary caregiver” (even though she couldn’t even caregive herself well enough to be self-supporting) and that will be dispositive in awarding child custody – and there goes his right to raise his children, there goes his family life. So no.
That article was attacked for its privilege blindness in complaining about the trade-offs women have to make, as if men haven’t been making the same trade-offs for centuries, generally without anything like the same degree of choice.
Quoted from the Marie Claire article:
“I can’t stand whining,” Clinton told Marie Claire. “I can’t stand the kind of paralysis that some people fall into because they’re not happy with the choices they’ve made. You live in a time when there are endless choices. … Money certainly helps, and having that kind of financial privilege goes a long way, but you don’t even have to have money for it. But you have to work on yourself. … Do something!”
She goes on to say that different people can handle different levels of stress and complexity and that’s about that – something she should know quite a bit about.
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