scorecardThis Stay-At-Home Feminist Has No Interest In 'Having It All'
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This Stay-At-Home Feminist Has No Interest In 'Having It All'

This Stay-At-Home Feminist Has No Interest In 'Having It All'
StrategyStrategy2 min read

New York Magazine's new cover story inflames the debate over women "having it all." Reporter Lisa Miller talked to a few women who consider themselves feminist housewives, including Kelly Makino:

Kelly calls herself “a flaming liberal” and a feminist, too. “I want my daughter to be able to do anything she wants,” she says. “But I also want to say, ‘Have a career that you can walk away from at the drop of a hat.’” And she is not alone. Far from the Bible Belt’s conservative territories, in blue-state cities and suburbs, young, educated, married mothers find themselves not uninterested in the metaconversation about “having it all” but untouched by it.

Makino, 33, originally wanted to be a "power couple" with her husband, but has since changed her mind:

[She] believes that every household needs one primary caretaker, that women are, broadly speaking, better at that job than men, and that no amount of professional success could possibly console her if she felt her two young children—Connor, 5, and Lillie, 4—were not being looked after the right way. The maternal instinct is a real thing, Kelly argues: Girls play with dolls from childhood, so “women are raised from the get-go to raise children successfully. When we are moms, we have a better toolbox.” Women, she believes, are conditioned to be more patient with children, to be better multitaskers, to be more tolerant of the quotidian grind of playdates and temper tantrums; “women,” she says, “keep it together better than guys do.”

Ultimately, Makino made the choice because she says it was too stressful and unhappy a life when she and her husband were both working and caring for kids.

Anne-Marie Slaughter makes this point in her popular article, "Why Women Can't Have It All," and ultimately blames the system.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg takes a different approach. She argues that we're in a "stalled revolution" and that women need to take more responsibility for their own success.

This debate is far from over, and probably never will be, until, in Sandberg's terms, we're in a 50/50 world.

Read the full New York Magazine article here.