The Real Lesson of the ‘Opt-Out Generation’ [NY Mag: The Cut]

9 Aug

The Real Lesson of the ‘Opt-Out Generation’ [NY Mag: The Cut]

It’s not surprising that the struggle to reconcile children and career continues to transfix us. What’s shocking is that, even though the recession has made the workplace less flexible and more hostile to everyone, this dilemma remains one that is boiled down to women’s choices. When it comes time to cobble together solutions, most couples still seem to foist the burden of finding a solution onto mothers alone, rather than making realistic joint plans for raising children, paying bills, and seeking professional fulfillment. . . .

For a couple who wants kids, it stands to reason that at least one person’s professional life is going to have to take a back seat. And it no longer makes economic sense for women to default to a caretaker role and men to a breadwinner. It may be of bedrock importance in the abortion debate, but in the context of work and family, it’s her choice is a paradigm that doesn’t make sense anymore. My version of feminism isn’t about being left to my own devices to make a choice that will affect my entire family and then pick up the pieces if and when it doesn’t work out. I’d much rather be a truly equal partner in making a mutually agreed upon plan.

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