DSpar Writes Another (Really Good) Article About Women

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Controversial women making controversial statements from another time

Yesterday, Barnard’s new campus news-monitors (which apparently are still welcoming the Class of 2015) proudly paraded a new happening on campus. On behalf of Newsweek, the Daily Beast published DSpar’s latest musings on “Why Women Should Stop Trying to Be Perfect.” Bwog’s Barnard brigadier Renée Kraiem writes…

Responding to perhaps equally controversial assertions in the media about whether or not women can and cannot “have it all,” DSpar’s answer is, most plainly, no—even if you’re strong,  bold and beautiful. The worst news, ladies, is that right now it’s all the (single, and these with a ring on it) ladies that are making it harder on themselves.

Indeed, rather than leaping with glee at the liberation that has befallen women since the 1960s, we are laboring instead under a double whammy of impossible a expectations…The result? We have become a generation desperate to be perfect wives, mothers, and professionals—Tiger Moms who prepare organic quinoa each evening after waltzing home from the IPO in our Manolo Blahnik heels. Even worse, we somehow believe that we need to do all of this at once, and without any help.

Is this you? Doesn’t matter, says DSpar, because the way to move forward is for everybody to do it together (aww).  Through what she refers to as “the bleak roster of numbers that tell this story,” DSpar has some answers for all of us.

So what, then, are we to do?…We must instead forge partnerships with those around us, and begin to dismantle the myth of solitary perfection.

To begin with, we need to acknowledge that biology matters—not that it determines everything, but that it’s one of those areas of life that probably shouldn’t be ignored.

And what about the ladies?

Rather than wishing [the differences between men and women] away, or pretending they don’t exist, we need to analyze them, understand them, and then talk to one another about how to create a world shaped by a women’s skills and interests and passions as much as by men’s.

Wish that DSpar could make those choices for you? There’s good news and bad news. She did, but only in that way where your mother told you you could stay out the night before your final, if that’s how you evaluate your priorities, and everything…

Today, women have choices that their grandmothers could not have imagined. The challenge lies in recognizing that having choices carries the responsibility to make them wisely, striving not for perfection or the ephemeral all, but for lives and loves that matter.

Women wanting choices via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. BC'13  

    Maybe it's just because I've become more aware that this particular feminist debate is limited to those women who are 1) wealthy (or at least well-off) 2) married (or at least want to be married), 3) straight and 4) with children, but I wasn't as impressed with this particular DSpar article as I have been with others in the past. That's not to say that she entirely ignores these facts -- she does briefly mention some of them. And it's also not to say that I don't agree with her. I live my life at Barnard and in the world at large knowing that I can't have it all and it can't all be perfect, but that's only because my own mother came to that realization and passed her knowledge on to me. Prioritization and collaboration are key to taking advantage of the opportunities given to us, but the dilemma described by DSpar is really only pertinent to those of us who are privileged enough to have these problems AND choose this lifestyle (straight, married or at least committed, with kids) . Which is really not that many people. Just sayin'.

    Or maybe I'm just expecting too nuanced a debate from Newsweek.

    • CC '14  

      Why do I feel as a man that I can have it all, and it can all be perfect? Is your "it" more expansive? Are you more restricted? Or just less optimistic?

      Why does nobody take issue with young boys being told that they can do anything they want to if they work hard enough?

  2. Anonymous  

    I don't know how women do it! They should make a movie about this starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Greg Kinnear or something.

  3. Maybe  

    DSpar should try to "forge a partnership" with the dorm access attendants and administrative assistants, instead of trying to cut their maternity leave, freeze their wages, and cut their health care benefits. Sign the petition in support of the workers at

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