By MIA FREEDMAN
Hello, I have it all. Nice to meet you.
Said nobody ever.
After decades of hearing the tedious phrase ‘having it all’ used to frame debates about women’s lives, I’ve had a gutful. Hush now. It’s enough. Can we please consign this phrase to the circular file marked Dumb, Lazy, Meaningless Cliches That Have No Bearing On Actual Life.
Because it’s rubbish and it belongs in the bin.
If anyone has Isla Fisher’s mobile number could they please send her a text to this effect? Because here’s what the 37-year-old actress just said in an interview with Gotham magazine about the break she took from acting to look after her two daughters, Olive (5) and Elula (2).
‘I took three years off. It’s not like you’re taking a break and looking on IMDbPro to see your StarMeter falling. You’re doing the most important, incredible thing. When you come back in, the perspective has changed. I truly believe you can’t have it all and you shouldn’t want to.’There is so much wrong with that last sentence that it’s hard to know where to start because I may never finish and your ears might fall off. Instead, I will put Isla carefully aside and simply focus on that heinous phrase ‘having it all’.
Here are the 3 reasons I hate it:
1. Nobody ever writes angsty articles about men ‘having it all’. That phrase is NEVER used about blokes. Men just have jobs and kids. Or they don’t. The end.
2. ‘Having It All’ is shorthand for ‘Having Kids & A Career’. Which explicitly suggests the only way a woman can be truly happy and complete is to have both. It also presupposes all women want to have both. Or should have both. Not true.