Why Some Women Still Can't Have It All

In other words, Slaughter’s piece doesn’t simply burst the feminist bubble, it’s an indictment against all of us who misprioritize work over family. It’s an indictment against workaholism. It’s far too easy for many of us to read Slaughter’s piece and feel a bit of satisfaction that even committed feminists cannot escape God’s hard-wiring—God created mothers to mother—while neglecting the fact that God created fathers to father.

We may think that Slaughter’s decision to leave her family for a high-profile job in D.C. is deplorable, but we may not have felt the same moral outrage had Slaughter been a male, a father. The fact remains that too many men neglect their families in the interests of their careers and too many Christian men justify their neglect under the guise that they’re fulfilling their God-given role as “breadwinner.”

Jared Compton at DBTS responds to Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” The Atlantic has a Rebuttal article by James Joyner, managing editor of The Atlantic Council and who writes at www.outsidethebeltway.com.

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Comparing the roles of fahter and mother requires that we take the trouble to understand that "neglect" has different meanings with respect to the two roles. A father who doesn't act like a mother is not neglecting his family... and vice versa. If his God-given role is to be "breadwinner" the standard of comparison for the two roles is clearly different.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

MClark's picture

A father's God-given role is to be a father, which implies several responsibilities, including breadwinning. Breadwinning is not the role, nor is breadwinner the identity. I don't think it takes that much trouble to understand neglect. "Neglect" is not difficult to define, no matter which parent is neglecting his/her children: 

ne·glect·ed, ne·glect·ing, ne·glects

1. To pay little or no attention to; fail to heed; disregard.

2. To fail to care for or attend to properly.

3. To fail to do or carry out, as through carelessness or oversight. (American Heritage Dictionary)

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I don't really disagree with that. Neglect always needs clarifying in two directions (or more) though: neglect of what and neglect in what form? If a father doesn't provide for his family he is "neglecting" them, even if he plays charades with them all day instead. By the same token, if he works "away" all the time and they don't even know who he is, he's obviously neglecting in another way. He is not just a funding source. But influence and care take a wide variety of forms and fatherly influence and care are not inferior for being unlike motherly unfluence.

I guess the reason I'm pushing back on this one a little is that I think many today don't realize that feminism has produced harm in more than one direction. The role-confusion for women is more obvious and more often talked about. But we've also seen increasing feminization of our "good man/good father" ideal. So, there is a tendency to judge the effectiveness of a dad by how much he is--well, like a mom. But our families are hindered to the degree we don't give kids good versions of these two very different things. I sometimes think the more different, the better.

We've got a male immaturity problem pretty much culture-wide. Sadly, while recognizing the problem, many have tended to think that the solution is for immature men to become more like mature women rather than to become more like mature men.

I realize I'm generlizing... and I'd be hard pressed to prove these points. I think it's not my imagination though. Maybe an accumulation of small observations over years.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.