32 Anne-Marie Slaughter: For Arguing That Women Can't Have It All-And Explaining Why We'd Be Better off Admitting It

Foreign Policy, December 2012 | Go to article overview

32 Anne-Marie Slaughter: For Arguing That Women Can't Have It All-And Explaining Why We'd Be Better off Admitting It


Political scientist | Princeton, N.J.

Anne-Marie Slaughter has been a dean at Princeton University and a top official at the U.S. State Department, where she oversaw the first-ever attempt to review and rationalize the sprawling bureaucracy's overseas priorities. She has been a passionate advocate for intervention in Syria. And she is an innovative and prolific scholar, arguing in numerous books and articles that the stodgy foreign policy of old is being transformed by the new realities of a networked world. But it was in another role--as a mom and disaffected global policymaker--that she catapulted herself into the public eye this year.

Slaughter's summer cover article in the Atlantic, "Why Women Still Can't Have It All," chronicles her two years juggling her high-level Washington job with the needs of two teenage boys back in New Jersey--a balancing act she concluded "was not possible." At more than 12,500 words, her essay on the inflexible work environment for even the planet's most successful women sparked a viral debate about the harsh reality of the glass ceiling in the U.S. workplace and around the world. Her critics zeroed in on the phrase "having it all" as implausible or even indulgent, and even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded that while "some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs. …

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