You know it is going to be a good Tuesday when you start the day off with a beautifully crafted and expertly executed article on the pursuit of perfection by today’s modern woman. Thank God for Debora Spar and this piece for the Daily Beast. It is Fruitloop Feminism at its finest.
Drilling down her argument into one crucial point, it is this: Having it all (whatever that means) was a lot more appealing when women were caged animals. Instead, we are all laboring to accomplish an impossible list of expectations and are desperate to be perfect wives, mothers, and professionals.
When I think about the typical day in my life, it feels like I am a little hamster running on a wheel (except in 4 inch heels and perpetually trying to fix my makeup). I wake up, I work out, I head to work, I work late, I come home, I do more work, I chat with my boyfriend, I sleep. Repeat. Exhausting (and boring) as this may be, I can’t even imagine adding a husband and kids to the mix. Which brings me to Ms. Spar’s next incredibly poignant and practical talking point…
“Almost by definition, a woman cannot work a 60-hour-per-week job and be the same kind of parent she would have been without the 60-hour-per-week job. No man can do this;no human can do this.”
By trying to rise above our role as women in our society we have wound up in a battle to prove we can in fact handle an un-human amount of responsibility and activity (and do it with ease). There is no more obvious place to dissect this attitude than in the media.
Poor Kim Kardashian, rich and beautiful but can’t seem to snag a good man or start that family she is after.
Poor Hilary Clinton, can’t seem to look the part (and what’s with those pants suits)?
On a personal note, I have to confess that I do hold quite a few qualities that people would deem as “perfectionist”. My desire for achievement and perfection is so deeply ingrained that the slightest of misstep (a bad review from my boss, a shun from a friend, a poor hair day) sends me into a tizzy. If I can’t do it perfect, I won’t do it. I shudder to think about how I’ll be when I have my own kids. I just hope I can break the perfection cycle before they come into the world.
Luckily, the article outlines clear ways for us as a society to alleviate the pursuit of perfection. If I could do her justice, I would summarize here. Just read it. Trust me.