Having gained momentum with the iconic Rosie the Riveter at the head, feminism has made great strides throughout the past century. Women have garnered the right to vote, middle and upper class women began to join the working world, and women as a whole have pretty much made a stand of independence. Recently, there have been new feminist ideas, the head runners of these being Princton University professor Marie-Anne Slaughter and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
New feminist idea number one: Slaughter believes women should be able to basically design their work schedule. In most workplaces, you are given a work schedule and expected to follow it. That makes sense, right? However, when you are raising a family and you are attempting to fully pursue a career, that’s the same as working two full-time jobs. Slaughter says the woman “can’t have it all” in the sense that having a career and a family do not mix.
Feminist idea number two: Sandberg takes on a different stance. She argues (not directly toward Slaughter) that there is such thing as a balance between family and career. There is no need to choose just one. She believes that employers can enable employees, women or men, to be able to keep up with their family and still achieve career goals. They could do this by allowing more schedule flexibility in more jobs. Let’s take a moment here.
Feminism was originally conceived to provide equal rights to work and get an education for women specifically. Since then it has spread to various aspects of culture, and feminist movements are taking place in developing countries. Now we have two women, hardcore feminists by the looks of it, and two different approaches to the work-life balance. Since the beginning of feminism, our country has made advances. We are not so concerned about women getting an education or being able to have a job anymore. We are now looking into how women can have a job and a family.
It really all boils down to choice. Some people, like Slaughter, believe there is an either/or choice between home and work. Others, like Sandberg, believe there is such thing as a balance. I am going to just point out that Sandberg makes an interesting move with her idea of having jobs become more flexible. We do live in an extremely technological world where this is a very possible endeavor. It would be nice to further take advantage of the technology available to us. We are witnessing feminism branching out to newer areas, which could, for some of us, be completely terrifying or purely of interest.
Feminism can be scary, but it is interesting to see that it is something that does not sit. It is constantly growing and reaching out. Sandberg and Slaughter bring up the point that does not seem to be addressed very well: the work-home balance. It is something that needs to be looked at more. It is a choice the employee has to make, whether to pursue ambition and help run a family or to choose one or the other. But I don’t think this new idea will die out for a while.