The October issue of First Things has very bad news for women. In a discursive essay on the skills required for career and for motherhood, Elizabeth Corey, the associate professor of political science in the Honors College at Baylor University, concludes that efforts to balance parenting and professional work have a fatal flaw.
Young female students frequently mention concerns about their future to her: whether they “should apply to medical school or take the less demanding physician’s assistant route,” whether to “marry right away and move with” a husband or pursue their own opportunities. In short, they struggle with whether and how to pursue both family and career.
The “pursuit of excellence” and the “desire to care for others” are both part of a full life, she says. One requires “persistence, self-confidence, drive, courage, and initiative.” The other requires “attention, focus, care, patience, and self-sacrifice.” They are not happily harmonized, she writes: