AMEN: “The ‘Having It All’ Debate Should Include Women Who Have Nothing”


Having It All Working Girl The Atlantic

In the Arab World, domestic help is easy to come by. Even in Lebanon,  where the GDP is only about $14,000 per capita, households can commonly  afford a live-in maid. It takes as little as $150 a month to hire women  flocking to the region from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and various  places in Africa. For the most part, rich and poor families alike  throughout the Arab World have the luxury of inexpensive, readily  available domestic help. I felt it was an unfortunate oversight on the  part of the presenter to have ignored the fact that she more than likely has several maids and nannies doing her cleaning and laundry, preparing her family’s food, and taking care of her children.

At that  moment, I vowed to always be honest about the fact that I would spend  the next decades of my life building my family and career on the backs  of other women who were simply looking for ways to help their families  survive. The women who were then helping me care for my infant while I  earned my degree didn’t have the luxury of debating which career path  best suited their ambitions or family commitments.

Personally, I feel we are not owed nirvana because we exist or excel. We are owed the right to try, fail, succeed, tweak and try again until our personal idea of balance feels like it fits.  And then to begin anew.  Because perfection is a myth. The discussion about what it means to have it all is never ending because there are so many definitions to what that can mean….just as there are so many different types of people. 

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