Chelsea Clinton Makes The Case That Women Don't Have To Have It All To Do It All
One Clinton made a big announcement yesterday — and it wasn’t Hillary putting speculation to rest and declaring that she’d be running for president in 2016.
Instead, at an understated “No Ceilings” event on the Lower East Side in New York City, Chelsea Clinton made headlines with the news that she and husband Marc Mezvinsky were expecting their first child.
Now it’s clear that Chelsea Clinton has a lot of things to juggle in her life: She’s a correspondent for NBC News, is active in assisting with her parents’ philanthropic foundations, and given her family history in politics, she’ll undoubtedly be a strong player in the 2016 presidential campaign, no matter the ultimate Democratic nominee.
If we’re counting, that’s a job, outside interests and now a baby on the way to add to her list of responsibilities.
But with all the noise out there on women “having it all,” the pressure that comes with such considerations didn’t really seem like a big factor for Chelsea. Instead, she followed her announcement with optimism for the future:
“I certainly feel all the better, whether it's a girl or a boy, that she or he will grow up in a world full of so many strong young female leaders.”
Amidst all the talk of the feasibility behind being a mother and a successful professional — reaching new heights of crazy with the suggestion that working women should freeze their eggs in order to secure a family later on — these things are concerning Millennial women like Chelsea Clinton less and less.
It doesn’t faze Millennial women that we have to wonder if we can “have it all” — we’re simply doing it all, getting sh*t done without the complications that come with fretting over if we can be ambitious in the board room and nurturing in our future kids’ bedrooms.
And that’s a good thing. We’ll give credit where credit is due — the conversations that stemmed from arguments posited by the likes of Sheryl Sandberg and Melissa Mayer made it possible for us to learn about the difficulties that women faced and continue to face, both as professionals and mothers.
We’ve heard the facts, and although these issues are still of concern to us, we’re also OK with just getting out there and doing it — making these things work for us, and not just despite our femininity, but in tandem with it.
Clinton admittedly copped to being very deliberate about her desire to have kids, and to time it well (Perhaps to coincide with optimal baby cuteness for a certain grandma-to-be’s 2016 run?) with everything else going on in her and her spouse’s life.
But unlike the Princeton Mom’s mandate that women must start family planning in college, Clinton made that decision later on, once she had found her partner (who she hadn’t spent 75 percent of her time at a sunny little school known as Stanford University trying to lock down, BTW).
Understandably, Clinton certainly falls into the “privileged white woman” caste that many of Mayers and Sandbergs biggest critics claim is wrong with their elite form of feminism.
But Clinton might be paving a way for a Millennial form of feminism, one that isn’t so clearly drawn along socioeconomic lines.
As likely the most entrepreneurial generation (and hopefully, the most egalitarian) yet, Millennial women are more preoccupied with engaging their communities (even if those are typically accessed via online social channels, like Facebook and Instagram) and producing innovative products and solutions.
Chelsea stands poised to be a Millennial example that you can strive for these things, while also reserving yourself for motherhood somewhere down the line. And being a mother doesn’t automatically mean giving up the rest.
Will Chelsea continue to work after her first-born arrives? It’s anybody’s guess, but it’s also not the point.
It’s simply important that we women have the choice, the opportunities and the knowledge to know it's OK, to pursue whatever it is that we want — even if it’s the elusive “everything.”
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