** Unfinished Business by Anne-Marie Slaughter

Anne-Marie Slaughter worked for Hillary Clinton as director of policy planning, her dream job, when she famously quit “for family reasons” — which she explains more fully in Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family. One of her sons was struggling and she felt it best to go back to her Princeton professor job so she could be home in the evening rather than in Washington, D.C. all week. She also tries to analyze how childcare complicated gender equality in the workplace, with mixed results in my opinion. First, her experience is that of a highly skilled, highly paid professional (with a matching husband) and when she tries to expand the discussion to low-paying jobs, it feel quite awkward. Second, she brings back the old chiches of women just wanting to be home with their children and wanting to be good housekeepers. I guess I did not fall into that particular cauldron when I was young (and she only supplies anecdotes to bolster her theory, not robust statistics).

Still, she has some excellent points, in particular about how we as a society are much more tolerant about girls taking on traditional masculine habits than the other way round, and how companies assume that their family-friendly policies are worth advertising to female candidates and not male candidates.

We’ve got a long way to go.


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