Working Nine to Five

There has been quite a stir over at the Atlantic this week over Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All”; ( the article has over 97,000 likes on facebook and about 1,900 comments on the discussion board). The article discusses Slaughter’s experience attempting to balance a high-powered working career with her her equally-challenging role as a mother; she also addresses her conversations with young women who aim to create a sort of work/family balance for their futures.

Check out Slaughter’s article, but also read Lori Gottlieb’s response ( also on the Atlantic); after comparing Slaughter’s overall assumptions to those of a spoiled child, Gottlieb makes some interesting conclusions:

The real problem here isn’t about women and their options. The real problem is that technology has made it possible to work 24/7, so that the boundary between work and our personal lives has disappeared. Our cubicles are in our pockets, at the dinner table, next to our beds and even next to our children’s beds as we’re tucking them in. In many households, one income isn’t enough, and both men and women have to work long hours — longer hours than ever before — to make ends meet. The women Slaughter cites as being efficient – who wake up at 4 am each day, who punch in 1:11 or 2:22 on the microwave rather than waste the millisecond to punch in 1:00 or 2:00, who put their babies in front of the computer while they type rather than savor that tiny infant in their lap – made me want to cry. How terribly sad those lives are. But to make this about women misses the point. The problem here is that many people work too much — not just women, and not just parents.

Give me your thought Salvo readers. How have the ideas of career and work changed over the years? Has technology really given us the upper hand or have we lost something in the modernizing process?

One thought on “Working Nine to Five

  1. That’s an excellent point about the changing nature of work. It’s really an extension of Allan Carlson’s (and others’) point that the Industrial and now the Technological Revolutions have altered the home economy and the relations between man and woman and their children. Maybe the Amish saw all this coming…..

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