Before she became a lightning rod for the work/life balance debate, Anne-Marie Slaughter was a below-the-radar Princeton professor and foreign policy wonk. Then last summer she wrote a very personal article in The Atlantic in which she detailed her decision to leave a job at the State Department because, as she put it, “I could no longer be both the parent and the professional I wanted to be—at least not with a child experiencing a rocky adolescence.” That conclusion was neither original nor unique, but her argument, and particularly the article’s title—Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”—was felt both as a betrayal to working mothers (and fathers) and a vindication to those who had compromised careers to raise children. In other words, everyone had a horse in this race, and the subsequent debate raged for weeks. Slaughter has since acknowledged that the phrase “have it all” was somewhat inflammatory and has sworn off using it, which will no doubt make coming up with a title for her subsequent book on the subject to be published next year that much more difficult.
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