In a recent interview with Elle because of her new book “My Life on the Road,” Jewish feminist icon Gloria Steinem explained why the pressure for women to succeed at a young age is not only unhealthy, but presents a double standard. It’s like she’s speaking directly to us when she says that. And we can’t thank her more.
She basically tells women to just chill and let yourself go on self-seeking adventures. Um, yes. She also explains how the pressure for women to start huge careers before they have children is part of the problem, stating:
“That is such bullshit. Listen, I am 81-years-old. I never expected to be even busier at 81, and doing more of what I love, than when I was 30. And your generation is going to live even longer, statistically speaking. You have even more time! It’s especially ridiculous to think you have to be successful when you’re so young. You should be able to adventure and not worry so much about achievement. Don’t you think it’s partly that young women think they have to have these big careers before they have a child? Don’t you think that’s part of it?”
When it comes to the eternal debate on how women can achieve it all (hello work/life balance), she had the perfect response: You can’t, and why would you want to? Again, she states in all her Gloria Steinem wisdom:
“But nobody can have it all if it means doing it all. And anyway, who wants it all? Frankly, it sounds terrible. You’re a unique person. You should do what you’re suited to do. We all should. It’s the only way to be happy. That pressure is all outside. It’s external.”
Thanks for giving us hope for the future, and not letting us feel like failures just because we didn’t achieve 30 million things by a certain age, or because we didn’t follow a conversational life path.
Don’t forget to read the rest of the interview over at Elle.