Anne-Marie Slaughter served as the Director of Policy Planning for the US Department of State from 2009-2011, and was the first woman to hold that position. TED Bio
Prior to her government service, Slaughter was the dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs from 2002-2009 and the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School from 1994-2002.
At the conclusion of her two-year public service leave as Director of Policy Planning, Slaughter returned to Princeton University and later wrote, “I hurried home as fast as I could.”
“In a 2012 article for the Atlantic that became the magazine’s most-read ever, Slaughter dismantles the recently-popularized notion that women who fail to “have it all” lack the ambition to do so. Instead, she argues that the way most top jobs are structured, including the expectations of workers regardless of gender, uphold slavish devotion to work above family life or other passions…It is unacceptable, she argues, that a desire to spend time with one’s family should be cause for shame.” -TED.com
The article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” attracted a barrage of media attention and debate from around the world. Describing the reactions of those who questioned her on her decision to leave government Anne-Marie writes,
“…the underlying assumption that my choice was somehow sad or unfortunate, was irksome enough. But it was the second set of reactions—those implying that my parenting and/or my commitment to my profession were somehow substandard—that triggered a blind fury.” -Anne-Marie Slaughter
Thoughts & Questions for Discussion:
• Does gender inequality still exist in America today?
• Are women forced to choose between career and family?
• Do men hold women back – or women themselves?
• Sheryl Sandberg argues that women need to “Lean In”.
• Is “leaning back” instinctive for women? Sheryl at TED
• Is household division of labor at the center of gender inequality?
• What roles did your parent(s) play in your childhood home?
• Are gender scripts changing?
• Why does so much of this debate focus solely on women with a “career”?
[Aside: A media-hyped misconception on housework & sex? Science Debates]
More Resources & Ideas:
• Full video transcript at TED.com
• Time Magazine – 9 Things You didn’t know about swearing
• Anne-Marie Slaughter Princeton Bio
• Why we have too few women leaders – Sheryl Sandberg at TED.com
• New data on the rise of women – Hanna Rosin at TED.com
• Our century’s greatest injustice – Sheryl WuDunn at TED.com
A more global perspective – The Girl Effect
Keep the conversation going! Please leave additional thoughts and comments below.