Speaker: Anne-Marie Slaughter
Date: June 2013
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Description from TED website:
Public policy expert Anne-Marie Slaughter made waves with her 2012 article, “Why women still can’t have it all.” But really, is this only a question for women? Here Slaughter expands her ideas and explains why shifts in work culture, public policy, and social mores can lead to more equality — for men, women, all of us.
My Review / Notes / Thoughts
This speaker raises some interesting points about equality when it comes to men and women. She discusses the feminist movement and states that today, women actually have more choices than men. Women can choose to be breadwinners or caregivers… and no one thinks twice about it. However, for a man to choose caregiver over breadwinner, it has a tendency to affect his ‘manhood’. That is not equality.
What does this mean? According to the speaker, this means we need to start teaching children that it is ok to be either or both. That it doesn’t affect their man- or womanhood. That it doesn’t make them less attractive as a person or partner.
She also discussed equality in terms of the workplace. She stated that “real equality means valuing family just as much as work, and understanding that the two reinforce each other.” In other words, places of business should encourage their employees to value their families, to find as much balance as possible. Because the end result for the workplace is that the employees will perform better, more efficiently, and be more results-focused.
Policy terms is another area she focused on in her talk. In regards to policy, she stated that “real equality means recognizing that the work that women have traditionally done is just as important as the work that men have traditionally done, no matter who does it.” Because human survival depends on both breadwinning and caregiving – we need both to exist.
Please take the time to watch the video for yourself and reflect on the concepts she brings up. It’s one thing for us to pursue the work-life balance for ourselves – its something else for us to figure out how to find the balance for society as a whole.
Until next time … live long life-learner!