One thing that struck me about the characters of The Cougar Club: A Novel is that they had very successful career lives, and were, at least in my opinion, with one exception, failures on the personal side. Can we have it all? Is the price of a high-powered, high-paying, high-profile job your personal life? Can a woman expect to be highly successful at the office, and a happily married mother? Men do it all the time, and often credit the support of their wives as a factor in their success, but many of the successful women you see do not have husbands. Sarah Palin seems to have it all. Is she a role model, proof that it can be done, or is she an anomaly, someone setting a standard the normal woman cannot hope to match? Is Condoleezza Rice, who has never married, more the norm for a successful career woman? What do you think? Leave a comment, (remember substantive comments get you a chance to win The Cougar Club: A Novel) giving your views on this subject, or blog about it yourself, and leave me a link.
In my opinion, the main problem with those high-powered, high-paying, high-status jobs is that, for the most part, they are very time-consuming. I haven't met anyone yet who can be in two places at the same time. I have a boss who has a daughter the same age as my little one. There have been several things in which her daughter has been involved that I know she wanted to attend, but she couldn't, because she had something at work that she just couldn't get out of. I realize there are some lower-class moms who couldn't have afforded to miss work, so would have missed the same events, but I've noticed that those of us in the middle generally are able to arrange our schedules to be there when our kids want us there. As far as husbands go, I think it is hard to find a man who can both handle a woman being very successful and yet be the kind of man she wants around. To find a man like that who is willing to be the primary caretaker of children is practically impossible. So, in general, no I don't think it is possible to have it all, at least for most women. Looking at the women who have reached the pinnacle of many professions shows a group of women who are single and/or childless in much greater numbers than the men in the same positions. It's not fair, but it seems to me to be the way it is.