Professional moms need to give Secretary of State Hillary Clinton an atta girl for standing up for women’s abilities to have it all as they say.
Marie Claire magazine had asked the former first lady about a controversial Atlantic magazine cover story headlined “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” in which an author explained how she couldn’t juggle high-level government work and the needs of two teen-age sons. Before leaving, Anne-Marie Slaughter, was the first female director of policy planning at the State Department. Her much-talked about piece ignited yet another round of hand wringing over the age-old question as to whether or not it's possible to really have it all. (Yes, it is. Lots of women manage just fine.)
Here’s what Clinton told Marie Claire: “Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs,” she said. “Other women don’t break a sweat. …They have four or five, six kids. They’re highly organized, they have very supportive networks.”
In other words, Yes, you can have it all. Just because it's impossible for some women, doesn't mean the same is true for others. And no, Clinton didn’t call Slaughter a whiner as has been reported. According to an interview transcript released by the State Department, Clinton was referring to a fictional character in the novel, “Catcher in the Rye,” when she said, “I can’t stand whining.”
“With all due respect to JD Salinger,” Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said in a press release. “it’s clear as day from the transcript that the only person being called a whiner is his fictional character Holden Caulfield.
“It’s outlandish and misleading for Marie Clare to imply anything else.”
Marie Claire has since issued a clarification.
Too bad that all of the back and forth over what was said has obscured the much more important issue which is Clinton’s pushback against the old-heads who insist on clinging to the notion that professional women have to choose. On behalf of women who can and do, do it all, I say thank you Hillary Clinton.