5th Edition of the Feminist Odyssey Blog Carnival: Having It All

I’m thrilled to share with you all the roundup of the 5th edition of the Feminist Odyssey Blog Carnival. Writers tackled the topic of Having It All and had a range of things to say about it.

Some of the bloggers who tackled this edition’s topic decided that “Can we have it all?” is the wrong question to be asking:

Perhaps we can have it all, just not in the way we’ve been “trained” to think. Ashley Lauren from Small Strokes challenges us to question whether we should have it all in her  post, It’s Not That We Can’t Have It All, It’s That We Shouldn’t.

You can’t do everything. Not all at once, anyway. You can, actually, have it all. Just not at the same time. And that means that you have to make choices, and you have to be at peace with those choices. And there’s nothing wrong or unfeminist about that.

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SchmoopyBaby’s Shana drives her point home right in the title of her post, “‘Do You Have It All?’ Is the Wrong Question.” Read on to find out what question we should be asking:

As I was thinking about the question “Do I Have it All?” and what does that mean to me, it occurred to me that the question that we are asking ourselves, I think, is all wrong. The question is not “Do you have it all?” or even “Should you have it all?” The question should be “Are you happy with what you have?” If the answer to the last question is yes, then the answer to the first question is also yes. The problem is that we are up to our eyeballs in click-bait mommy-war articles that tell us that unless we actually live in a perfect fairy tale world (as defined by ???) the answer to this basic fundamental question ought to be “No”.

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Other bloggers found themselves changing their own definitions of what it means to Have It All:

Melita from Jill in a Box flips the phrase on it’s head in her post Not Life Interrupted – Just Life,  as she talks about her life experiences that caused her to feel comfortable with “some of it all.”

I am aiming for “some of it all”. All my work, and any accolades I might (or might not) get for it, will be done with my children clinging to my legs (which is where they should be at their young age, and deserve to be) and my husband supporting me by also aiming to have “some of it all”.

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Melissa from Redefining Female connects having it all with the notion of being the perfect woman. Her post, “Redefining…”the perfect woman,” delves into what drives us to seek out perfection, but also offers some suggestions on how to deal with it all.

We need to start using our voices to speak truth into the lies the mythical woman would have us believe. We need to begin living into our own skin and encouraging others to do the same. We need to start telling the world the truth about us women, rather than letting the world tell us who we are.  And, we need to give each other permission to talk about when we have failed, because when we do, I am sure we will discover we are not alone.

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Raising A Girl’s Susan Morton found her own thoughts changing on the topic and lays out the reality of her life in connection to it, in her post, “Having It All”:

I’ve now changed my definition of “having it all,” or maybe now I just have one where I didn’t before —it’s the ability to choose what you do, regardless of what your individual choice might be. For me, that’s “having it all.”

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Over at the blog Tell Me Why The World Is Weird, Perfectnumber628 reflects on her own life in the post “Having It All… On My Own Terms.” 

I will not give anyone the power to dictate what I do with my life. I will not be driven by revenge for employers who reject me, comparisons with my peers who have more education than me, or advice about what would and would not be good for my career.

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Others still took the topic and went beyond the personal to talk about Having It All on a larger scale:

Despite admitting to not having an emotional reaction to The Atlantic’s article on Having It All, Tressie McMillan Cottom still had something powerful and important to say about it in her post, The Atlantic Article, Trickle Down Feminism, and my Twitter Mentions. God Help Us All.” Tressie’s analysis of the article, and her thoughtful discussion of “trickle-down feminism” provides a perspective that more than deserves a spot at the table when discussing having it all:

The article seemed to not only take for granted that all women have been told that they should have it all but that all women have, if not an intimate,  then definitely not an adversarial relationship with power. This could be because I am the daughter of a 70s revolutionary but my feelings about those who possess or embody power are decidedly adversarial. More often than not, power has worked to undermine my reality and my existence.

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Undercover in the Suburbs’ Lyla takes on maternity leave in the US – compared to the rest of the world – in her post, “I DO Want to “Have It All,” Starting With What Women in 178 Other Countries Have.” Lyla funnels her outrage and frustration into a post that looks at the difference between the US and the rest of the world when it comes to supporting families and particularly mothers.

If American mothers are driving themselves crazy, it’s because they are being fed an unrealistic and unnecessary ideal of motherhood and then being scapegoated when they can’t attain that ideal. They are being told they should be able to “achieve work-life balance” in a society that is structured to prevent that. It’s not Feminism playing this mind game on women, it’s the folks and forces who prefer the status quo. 

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Sally Deskins from Les Femmes Folles: Women in Art took to her community to ask fellow artists, “What does ‘Having it All’ Mean To You?”:

Artists tell what “having it all” means to them, giving a real-world perspective on the oft-used phrase that can, ironically, cause stress on “having it all.” From simple “Curiosity, courage, compassion, contentment” from painter Paula Wallace; to “basic human needs” from writer Kelly Madigan and more, along with photographs and art images, the post is meant to ignite honest human perspective instead of media’s hyped bias.

Please check out these posts, leave some thoughts and if you also have something to say about Having It All – let us know in the comments below!

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7 thoughts on “5th Edition of the Feminist Odyssey Blog Carnival: Having It All

  1. Great question. And I like what Ashley Lauren says, you can’t do everything at once. So true.I think it all comes down to being at peace with the choices you make, and not letting other people or society dictate those choices. That’s all it really can be. You have to feel good about what you’re doing in order to do it well, if that makes any sense. :) Thanks for this – more food for though.

    • “You have to feel good about what you’re doing in order to do it well, if that makes any sense.” <–for sure! but it also helps – in my estimation – if there are safeguards in place to help get us there (i.e. mandatory family leave, paid sick days, flexible working hours, etc…). I think there needs to be a combination of outside influences and internal reflection before we're even at a place where we can even honestly acknowledge something like "having it all."

  2. Pingback: Feminist Odyssey Blog Carnival: Fifth Edition | Small Strokes Fell Big Oaks

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