Suzanne Fields
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She repeats the naive suggestion that the best hope for helping all women to feel better about themselves is "to elect a woman president and 50 women senators; to ensure that women are equally represented in the ranks of corporate executives and judicial leaders." But even a Princeton professor knows that's not likely to happen.

She's not the first nor will she be the last educated woman to slink away from visions of Utopia when motherhood clashes with career. There are too many paradoxes in such a paradise of parental desire. You might call these the unintended consequences of female reality.

She thinks a supportive mate "may be a necessary condition" for raising children -- and she has one -- but that's far from enough. Consider how feminist ascendancy coincides with the diminishing pool of eligible men. She observes how career women of her generation chose to establish themselves professionally before having children, and then many of them confronted unexpected fertility problems that further delayed pregnancy, and often required expensive procedures for conception in a womb of one's own. Mother Nature is not particularly a fan of feminist rhetoric.

Slaughter is criticized for condescension because she lectures her sisters from the perspective of a job with lots of flextime. But she insists that society can change values, too. Research paves the way for further opportunities for women, showing positive performance levels, as well as job satisfaction in organizations with family friendly policies. High-tech innovations make it easier for women to work at home.

The most strident cries of the feminist elites against Slaughter's solution are that it's reactionary, a backlash, a setback for women everywhere who want both career and children. Jonathan Swift might update his classic, "A Modest Proposal," solving the Irish famine by eating the children, by adding recipes for gourmet sauces.

Ironically, the feminists who have stirred this tempest in a teacup, with their furious e-mailing, have been taking time away from their jobs and children. Utopia is as distant as ever.

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Suzanne Fields

Suzanne Fields is currently working on a book that will revisit John Milton's 'Paradise Lost.'

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