Friday, October 12, 2012

The Myth of Work-Life Balance - A Debate on Career and Motherhood (The Atlantic and Artinfo)

Jennifer Dalton, "How Do Artists Live?" (2006)
Jennifer Dalton, "How Do Artists Live?" (2006)
Have women been buying into a myth for the past 40 years? Or has the next generation simply lost touch with the ideals of feminism? How would gender equality look in a perfect world? The Atlantic asked writers from a range of professional backgrounds and family situations to comment on The Myth of Work-Life Balance - A Debate on Career and Motherhood by Anne-Marie Slaughter. She describes her own experience of stepping down from a high-level State Department position to teach at Princeton and spend more time with her children. In the process, she came to an uncomfortable realization: No matter what well-meaning feminists might say, women really can't have it all. "Not today," she writes, "not with the way America's economy and society are currently structured."

Inspired by the debate around Anne-Marie Slaughter's Atlantic article "Why Women Still Can't Have It All," ARTINFO reached out to women in the art world for their thoughts of balancing career and family, from successful gallerists to international artists. Specifically, they asked three questions:

1. Slaughter claims that society's competitive work conditions make it difficult, and arguably impossible, to "have it all," with regards to a healthy life balance of family and work. Does this kind of sentiment resonate with your experience?

2. Do you think there are specific issues facing women in the art world? Is it a field in which it is easier or more difficult for women to have families and high-profile careers?

3. If there were anything you would change about the field so that women could more easily balance the choice of having both a family and a career, what would it be?

Read further on: The "Having It All" Debate: RoseLee Goldberg, Lisa Phillips, and Others on Career and Family in the Art World - Artinfo.