Stepping back from the non-moms for a minute, though, what are we talking about when we imagine “having it all”? If I tried to articulate the implied expectations, it might go something like this: A job should be challenging and fulfilling, putting your talents to their best possible use and nurturing your growth while also offering the flexibility and compensation to allow a rich life beyond the office. A romantic relationship should combine intellectual companionship with emotional support and sexual chemistry, ideally lasting for the next 50-plus years. Parenthood should reconfigure your soul, revealing new frontiers of selflessness and energy, while also producing gifted, healthy, and well-behaved children.
But this is crazy. These things aren’t baseline expectations; these are each impressive feats in themselves, and managing any one of them seems like cause for satisfaction.
“Part of the challenge of getting to the bottom of it for me,” he said, “is that I viewed it as so frivolous that it didn’t spark a lot of, like, ‘O.K., I started doing it on this day’ or ‘O.K., now I’m crossing a Rubicon.’ For a thoughtful person, it’s remarkable how little thought I really gave to it until it was too late. But I think a lot of it came down to: I was in a world and a profession that had me wanting people’s approval. By definition, when you are a politician, you want people to like you, you want people to respond to what you’re doing, you want to learn what they want to hear so you can say it to them. Twitter and Facebook allowed for me — not only could I go to a town-hall meeting or a senior center or in front of the TV camera, but now I could sit and hear what people were saying all around. Search your name on Google, begat read comments on your Facebook page, begat looking at what people are saying about you on Twitter, to then trying to engage them. ‘Oh, you should like me!’ ‘No, that’s wrong!’ or ‘Thank you very much!’ And it just started to blur into this desire to engage in it all the time. Someone stops me in the airport and says, ‘Wow, you’re amazing.’ Well, O.K., now, at 2 o’clock in the morning, I can come home from playing hockey and I can find someone saying, ‘Oh, that was great’ or ‘You’re an idiot.’ So somewhere in there it got to a place where I was trying to engage people in nothing about being a politician. Or sometimes it would start out about politics and then, ‘You’re a great guy.’ ‘Oh, thanks, you’re great, too.’ ‘I think you’re handsome.’ ‘Oh, that’s great.’ And there just wasn’t much of me who was smart enough, sensitive enough, in touch with my own things, understanding enough about the disrespect and how dishonorable it was to be doing that. It didn’t seem to occupy a real space in my feelings. I think it would be pretty surprising to a lot of people: What was he thinking?” He scrunched up his face and shoulders. “I wasn’t really thinking. What does this mean that I’m doing this? Is this risky behavior? Is this smart behavior? To me, it was just another way to feed this notion that I want to be liked and admired.”
Then he went back to the idea that Twitter and its ilk provided such easy access to the feedback loop. “You know, like spin the wheel! Find someone to say something to you! And if it wasn’t 2011 and it didn’t exist, it’s not like I would have gone out cruising bars or something like that. It was just something that technology made possible and it became possible for me to do stupid things. I mean, the thing I did, and the damage that I did, not only hadn’t it been done before, but it wasn’t possible to do it before.”
also known as, “i’m so sorry, my blood sugar was just really low.”
From the article Here’s the New York Post with the Most Sexist Headline of the Year on the New York Post’s cover of Hillary Clinton (with a scared-looking Bill in the corner) testifying during the congressional hearing over the embassy attack in Benghazi. (via lcucinotta)
sigh. i find this quote particularly apropos today - disregarding the fact that this rundown of credentials is not in any way accurate vis-a-vis me, but noting, in particular, the point behind the rundown. i find myself being super defensive at work. i noticed that i try, at nearly every turn, to affirm my intelligence and the fact that i belong where i am. as a woman, and particularly as a black woman, i’m always super aware of how it is i’m being perceived by my peers and supervisors. it sucks to think that one small detour from the script - a demonstration of anger or frustration - could undo all that tedious, daily work.