Lean Cuisine started a having it all hashtag on twitter a few weeks ago with this tweet:
Lean Cuisine has always been committed to helping women achieve their all. What does having
#ItAll mean to you?
I responded and while I was definitely making a point, I didn’t think my tweet was too terribly controversial:
#ItAll as a women would be if no one asked women how to “have it all”. Does anyone ask men how to have it all? No. No, they do not.
Nobody has it all. Nobody.
Since we can’t possibly “have it all” asking how we can suggests we are approaching this from a deficit.
How many commercials have we seen over the years that show women as superheros getting through the day? Remember the Enjoli commercial?
I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let you forget you’re a man.
We earn the money, do the cooking, and then make sure our spouse doesn’t have a crisis by “forgetting” he’s a man.
I mean, that would actually be easy. Just make saying “Hey, you’re a man” part of your daily routine. Unless that part of the commercial was cleverly disguising sex. Also, this doesn’t work if you are in a same sex marriage. Or if you are a man married to a woman. In both cases, saying “Hey, you’re a man” every day would be confusing and probably cause some arguments.
As it turns out, my tweet angered a few people.
I heard from a few men that they get pressured to “have it all” and I don’t know what I’m talking about.
I should also be less angry and stop bringing my baggage to Twitter. Also, I am a bitter bitch and am ruining the world with my scary feminism.
Yeah, there were approximately 700 jillion to 1 articles about women having it all versus men having it all and they all had titles like these:
Are women who work ruining humankind?
Stay At Home Moms: Lazy or Brain dead?
Are Part Time Mothers Prepared To Handle Full Time Problems?
Why Are Female Executives Bitter, Empty Shells?
I’ve been reading these articles for decades now. No matter what, women are dropping some ball somewhere. And not only were these articles designed to make us feel bad about ourselves, they pit women against each other. We’re still not even close to fixing that issue. Which is super frustrating. If women could just stop attacking each other, we’d fix so much shit.
But I digress.
I am not suggesting men don’t feel societal pressure.
I am saying women have shouldered a great deal of the whole “having it all” burden.
And the shitty thing is, we will never get to put this burden down. Not in my lifetime at least.
We’re still trying gain control of our actual bodies, it might be a while before we can address the basic language we use that not so subtly keeps women subjugated.
This must happen, though. We have to examine our word choices and phrases that we use. We must stop perpetuating ideas that are designed to make women feel like failures. Or feel like we can’t fight back. Or feel that we must remain silent.
At best, the Lean Cuisine hashtag was tone deaf.
Photo courtesy of Carol Carter.