Comments on: We don’t want “it all:” we just want your slice. http://www.historiann.com/2012/06/22/we-dont-want-it-all-we-just-want-your-slice/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 21 Sep 2014 03:32:05 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Rachel http://www.historiann.com/2012/06/22/we-dont-want-it-all-we-just-want-your-slice/comment-page-1/#comment-1043770 Sun, 24 Jun 2012 03:50:12 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19061#comment-1043770 Life is a zero-sum game, right? Oh wait…

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By: Comradde PhysioProffe http://www.historiann.com/2012/06/22/we-dont-want-it-all-we-just-want-your-slice/comment-page-1/#comment-1043314 Sat, 23 Jun 2012 11:46:14 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19061#comment-1043314 I’m pretty sure the appeal of Mad Men is that it allows the viewer to revel in the good old days of gross misogyny and racism and boozeing and harrassing hotte chickes at work, while pretending to be ironic and critical and edgy.

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By: Doctor Cleveland http://www.historiann.com/2012/06/22/we-dont-want-it-all-we-just-want-your-slice/comment-page-1/#comment-1043301 Sat, 23 Jun 2012 11:22:39 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19061#comment-1043301 Is this even society’s definition of “having it all” for a man?

I think career + family = minimal expectations for straight American men. (Some don’t manage both, but the point is that they experiences themselves as not having lived up to expectations, if they’re reflective, or not having been given what they rightfully deserve, if they’re not.)

“Having it all” for straight men, in our current cultural script is more like career, family, various trophy possessions (such as cars), and at least one sexual partner that other straight men envy. That whole list is never explicitly acknowledged, but the script gets followed pretty clearly. One of the appeals of *Mad Men* is how it manages to disown that masculine version of “having at all” as something hopelessly outdated while allowing people to enjoy the male characters’ all-too-up-to-date version of “success.”

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By: Susan http://www.historiann.com/2012/06/22/we-dont-want-it-all-we-just-want-your-slice/comment-page-1/#comment-1043149 Sat, 23 Jun 2012 04:46:35 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19061#comment-1043149 I was going to say more or less what VL said – that the real problem with the idea of having it all is the illusion that you don’t /shouldn’t have to make any choices. And everyone makes choices – about profession, work, family, etc. I’ve known very few people whose lives have progressed in a way where they never had to make complicated trade-offs. They might not be unhappy about the outcome, but they couldn’t “have it all”.

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By: Comradde PhysioProffe http://www.historiann.com/2012/06/22/we-dont-want-it-all-we-just-want-your-slice/comment-page-1/#comment-1043093 Sat, 23 Jun 2012 02:18:17 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19061#comment-1043093 All is for fucken losers. I want all to the infinity power.

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By: Janice http://www.historiann.com/2012/06/22/we-dont-want-it-all-we-just-want-your-slice/comment-page-1/#comment-1043080 Sat, 23 Jun 2012 01:48:53 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19061#comment-1043080 I’d like to see the phrase canned, too. Everyone has it “all” if “all” is “life” and some of the hardest-working, most admirable people I know make hardly any money while they change lives in profound ways while others who’re conventionally successful alienate scores and ruin personal lives unthinkingly. Pardon me, but I’d rather live the first life than the second.

That said, I’m still mostly in sync with Slaughter’s point about how it remains particularly difficult for women to succeed at the highest levels due to the clash between the personal and the professional. I know that I’ve only been able to be as (moderately, nowhere NEAR superstar) successful as I am due to the relentless hard work and unswerving support of my underemployed spouse who’s answered the call time and again for keeping our kids on an even keel. Special needs doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Again, we seem to come back to a world where people are all too happy to judge others and loudly weigh in on how they’re doing it wrong. The old saying about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes to understand them? That ought to get a lot more play now that we’ve eliminated “having it all”, right?

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By: quixote http://www.historiann.com/2012/06/22/we-dont-want-it-all-we-just-want-your-slice/comment-page-1/#comment-1042992 Fri, 22 Jun 2012 22:53:20 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19061#comment-1042992 Exactly. Well said, Historiann and commenters!

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By: VL http://www.historiann.com/2012/06/22/we-dont-want-it-all-we-just-want-your-slice/comment-page-1/#comment-1042913 Fri, 22 Jun 2012 21:26:14 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19061#comment-1042913 I actually think “having it all” speaks to a deeper cultural current that affects not just women; the phrase has always reminded me of a peculiarly American obsession with limitless possibility. Think of the army marketing campaign: “Be all that you can be!” Or the sign at GWBush’s ranch, at least as featured in the campaign video in the first election [sic]: “The sky’s the limit.”

The problem is that it’s a myth: all of us have to make choices, and choices exclude. We may be born with numerous potentials, but they are not all fulfillable, given the limitations of time (not to mention opportunity, talent, money, etc), nor are they all harmonious. (E.g., one cannot be a professional gymnast and professional football player at the same time–the demands of each sport conflict).

I’m not sure why this would be more of an issue for Americans, but it seems to me that my friends from other parts of the world are much more realistic. Perhaps our capitalist/consumer culture encourages the idea of limitlessness in general, and limitless growth in particular?

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2012/06/22/we-dont-want-it-all-we-just-want-your-slice/comment-page-1/#comment-1042866 Fri, 22 Jun 2012 20:07:12 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19061#comment-1042866 Ladyprof: thanks for that. It was the Salon article of hers I linked to yesterday, actually. I should have credited her critique of it too, but I just threw up that post without reviewing what others have written.

And Nik: that’s exactly the line I was thinking of, but I thought “slice” was more in line with my plea for modesty about “having.” here. (Fratguy says that line all the time, about your half.)

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By: truffula http://www.historiann.com/2012/06/22/we-dont-want-it-all-we-just-want-your-slice/comment-page-1/#comment-1042838 Fri, 22 Jun 2012 19:24:51 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19061#comment-1042838 The chair of the Philosophy department here at Provincial State U often seeks, in meetings with our Dean, to distinguish between attributes of a process (it is transparent, it is inclusive, doughnuts are served, for example) and intended outcomes of a process (programatic investments are made, a vote is cast, for example). This is one of his several endearing qualities.

If the feminist project is successful, women get autonomy: bodily, socially, and politically. All else (a lactation room at work, for example) is an attribute of that state.

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