Tag Archives: Wonder Women

Wonder Women: Sex, Power and the Quest for Perfection.

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[When asked to solve the Women’s problem at Harvard}  I didn’t solve the problem. But I did realize that there was one. Or, more precisely, that women across even the top tiers of American society were struggling, continuously and consistently, to make it in a world that remained predominantly male, a world that, despite decades of scrutiny and attention, was still stacked against them.

Many of the women who operated in this world were phenomenally successful. They ran universities and hedge funds, hospitals and museums, investment banking divisions and legal practices. Very few of them complained of gender bias or described themselves as feminists. But outside the boardroom, in bathrooms and book clubs across the country, even the most successful of these women were railing quietly against the “women’s problem.” They were acknowledging that even if they “had it all,” they still had lives that were fundamentally different from and more difficult than men’s. They were still, almost always, in the minority. They were still dodging comments and innuendoes that took them aback. They were juggling playdates and dental appointments and flute recitals, all of which were somehow absent from the to-do lists of their male partners. And they were still worrying about how they looked. (Debora L Spar, Wonder Women: Sex, Power and the Quest for Perfection).

I had a lovely email from Jamie, the above author’s Special Assistant, asking me to tell you about Debora L. Spar’s new book. This was because of previous posts on feminist books and the issues they raise, such as Lean In and Wifework. After being thrilled to hear from him and that he liked some of my post,s I then had to decide what to do. I haven’t read the book, unfortunately Jamie wasn’t asking for my home address so that he could send me a free copy and there was always the chance I would hate it!

Hence began my research, and although I have only read a little bit (thank you Amazon) I love what I read and look forward to reading more. As far as I can make out Debora Spar’s argument is that we can’t do it all and that we shouldn’t try to! No man tries to do it all. My Sister was quick to point out that even if a Dad has his children, long-term or short-term, in her experience, he parents very differently to a woman. So he should we say, he’s a Man, we don’t want him to be like a woman. Yet if honest, how many of us women are trying to be like both?

I love that Michelle Obama coined the term Mom-In-Chief which no one can deny is as important a role within their family as her husband’s role is outside of it. And of course she does a lot more besides and is a highly educated, wealthy, successful and powerful woman in her own right. As a role model of mine, I can only hope that she is able to achieve all of these things on her own terms and within her own comfort zone. In that way she can help me one day to do the same!

Can’t wait to read the book!

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