For years, women have been told that they can have it all, and every day, women are reminded of how powerful they can be. This is especially pertinent with Hillary Clinton in the news, reminding women that the greatest of glass ceilings can be broken. But in spite of all of this, there are still expectations put on working mothers that can, quite frankly, at times be a little ridiculous. Thankfully, this "Work and Family Scale" video mocks those expectations — exposing all working moms' frustrations in the perfect way.
The two-minute long video, written and directed by Youtube user Honora Talbott, is a satirical infomercial poking fun of the "women can have it all" statement. The product being advertised? The work and family scale — a scale that weighs the importance of work and family — serving as a Magic 8 Ball for working women.
"I love my family and I love my job. But it hard to have it all where it feels like no matter what, I'm always letting someone down," the mom in the Youtube video states. This is true — from cooking dinner, to transporting kids to and from sports, to making sure the kids are ready to go to school in the morning — it is difficult to imagine that most moms have to fit in an 8-hour work shift in the middle of all of that. This is where the work and family scale comes in. (I don't know how my own mother did it all of those years for me and my sister.)
The scale has a pretty interesting balance — with work on one side, and family on the other and not much in between other than "having it all." Seriously — pause the video to see that the work scale goes from "no career" to "career plateau" and "unfit to be a mom" and "bad mom". Whatever happened to the in between?
The scale, made from the "sweat of feminist leaders" and the "bare feet of 1950's housewives" perfectly represents all of the ridiculous expectations for working moms just trying stay true to their feminist beliefs but also falling victim to society's expectations of them.
In 2012, Anne-Marie Slaughter brought up this paradigm in a highly discussed essay published in The Atlantic titled "Why Women Still Can't Have It All." Later, in 2015, Slaughter's book, Unfinished Business: Women, Men, Work, Family, elaborates more on how the structure of society is to blame, rather than mothers themselves: "We often cannot control the fate of our career and family," she wrote. "Insisting we can obscures the deeper structures and forces the shape of our lives and deflects attention from the larger changes that must be made."
While women can have it all, most of the time, there are crazy expectations placed upon working mothers. If only working mothers had this work and family scale to weigh their (ridiculous) options.