Ah, to be a twenty-something, hopeful dreamer in today’s modern world! So many possibilities and doors and opportunities just waiting for us to grasp and turn into money-making, peace-spreading, belly-filling lemonade. It’s all out there for us to behold! Money, family, love, endless happiness!
YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL! ALL!
But, wait, let’s backpedal for a second there, shall we? What about this ‘it’ business? What exactly is this ‘it’ of which we do not only want a slivering slice but, as the beaten dead cliche goes, the whole enchilada? To a feminist (a la moi), ‘having it all’ denotes the most overworked and booo-ring mantra that every feminist is apparently supposed to hard-wire through their skull: That you can both have a successful career AND a truly devoted family life.
Well, speaking as one die-hard feminist (and otherwise normal human being), I’ve got to say that this all sounds like a bunch of absolute boo-hockey to me.
(Now, as a disclaimer, I should let you all know that I’m going to be sharing this point of view mostly from a woman’s perspective. Because, you know, I am one. But still… do read on, dudes! I promise some fine feminist bashing to come which I know you all enjoy.)
Look, no one’s completely and utterly and all-inclusively happy. No one. Not women, not men, not celebrities, not models, not royalty, not politicians, not children, not Disney characters. To assume that there is a universal “it” package which every woman (and possible man) on the planet wants is not only inaccurate but also kinda annoying. Some women are not happy staying at home (oh mon dieu!). Some women are. Some women find their life’s happiness in a worthwhile career. Or in pursuing some deeply artistic but mostly unprofitable ambition. Or in being Holly Housewife. Or even in being alone.
I mean, man or woman, I don’t know any person who’s only ever had one single life goal/dream/ambition to pursue. Yet, for some reason, feminism has sold women on the idea of some “it” package deal which, in reality, can’t really be defined.
And, correct me if I’m wrong but, if you really can’t strictly define a thing then odds are it probably doesn’t exist.
Yup, say it with me ladies and gents: THERE IS NO ‘IT.’ That’s right: complete satisfaction in all aspects of your human life is never going to happen. Say it loud, say it proud!
Now, don’t get me wrong. This post was not made in an attempt to demoralize you, make you pack up all your hopes and dreams in a cardboard box, and inspire you to see life as nothing but an endlessly dark passageway between this world and the next. In fact I’m here to tell you that this is good news. Especially for us women folk.
Because realizing that there is really no specific goal for all females to aspire to (i.e. being both a successful career gal and having a happy family) means that we can now free ourselves from the totally annoying definition of what “being a woman” means.
We can let go of the whole, “Oh! A woman can’t be successful in the workplace unless she’s smarter, tougher, and more dedicated than any of her male colleagues!” Or, “Oh! A woman can’t successfully raise a family unless she sacrifices a bunch of fun stuff and turns herself into a constant caregiver!”
Now we can finally live our lives based upon the fact that no one person is exactly the same as any other person and we can just figure out what works for us and makes us happy specifically. Basically, we can do whatever the hell we want and not feel bad for not achieving this elusive ‘it.’ Which, if you ask me, is as liberating as all get-out.
And, hey, I get it. Knowing that there is probably never going to be a way for women to live the dream both at home and at work totally sucks. No arguments there. But, when it comes down to it, does it even really matter?
All people–men or women–will always have to live their lives based on a series of choices. We all choose to live our lives one way and not another. This sacrifice is all a part of being an adult human being. Sometimes its going to suck and sometimes its not. All that matters is that we are given the right to choose.
Even better? The right to quit feeling bad about not choosing. To be okay with not choosing any pre-packaged, socially accepted concepts of ‘happiness.’ The right for men and women alike to not torture ourselves chasing the imaginary mirage of “having it all.”
All my love!