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Can Women Have It All?

Since last Thursday, the hottest topic in the Birchbox offices hasn’t been glitter, nail art, or anything beauty-related: it’s about whether or not women can have it all. Anne-Marie Slaughter, the first female director of policy planning at the State Department and a Princeton professor, triggered the debate with her story, Why Women Still Can’t Have It All, in the July/August issue of The Atlantic. The thorough piece argues that the idea that women can have it all (if they have the right husband, enough ambition, etc.) just isn’t true, and this way of thinking is in fact detrimental to women. As someone who left her “dream job” in Washington after two years because she needed to be spending more time with her adolescent sons, Slaughter says feminists her age and older are unintentionally placing blame on their younger counterparts for not living up to their example. By insisting that women can have it all, the assumption is that if you don’t—you aren’t at the top of your career and at all of your children’s soccer games (and recitals, and parent-teacher conferences)—somehow the problem lies with you.

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To find other women who inspire us, check out our Birchbox Crush series.