Debora Spar and the Ivy League Women Blues

I was just thinking the other day, “I need another successful Ivy League woman reminding me how much my life sucks.”

On the (high) heels of Sheryl Sandberg and Anne Marie Slaughter, Barnard College president Debora Spar is out with her new book “Wonder Women”. You can guess from the title things still haven’t improved for us ladies.

Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books

Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books

For those keeping score, Slaughter declared women can’t have it all and Sandberg advised women to lean into their high profile careers. Spar’s take is that the feminist movement of the 1960’s and 70’s has backfired. The expectations women put on themselves today to have the perfect family, home, career and good looks are all too overwhelming, making our lives difficult and making us unhappy.

I don’t know about you but I’m secretly hoping there is a woman out there with a SUNY diploma who has figured out this whole work / family conundrum and just hasn’t gotten around to telling the rest of us because she’s too busy enjoying her life.

Until then, for the fun of it, since Spar and I are both born the same year let’s compare our lives:

Spar is president of a prestigious women’s college, she has a doctorate from Harvard, she has written six books, she is married and has three children. I on the other hand am a freelance producer (which means I’m unemployed part of the time), I have a B.A. from NYU, I write a blog (30 followers – yay!), I’ve never been married (though I do have a long-time boyfriend) and I have no kids (but share responsibility of my mentally ill 85 year old aunt -who acts like a four year old-  with my cousin).

The similarities are startling – right?

In the words of that great philosopher Charlie Sheen – Debora Spar you are #WINNING! The only thing this outsider can see missing from your life is the letter “h” at the end of your first name.

Honestly, if Spar’s life hasn’t met her expectations I can’t imagine what she must think of mine.

Okay, here’s the deal. I need to call a time out on you Ivy League women. Can we please stop over analyzing our lives as women? Nobody ever said we are going to be happy and content all the time. You have all made legitimate points but stop with the kvetching already.  If you must, start an Ivy League Women’s Angst Facebook page or some sort of consciousness raising group.  Please, just leave the rest of us out of it.

I’m all on board with equal pay and opportunity but I just can’t handle any more of your discontent with your successful lives when all I’m trying to do is make the most of mine.

Oh and P.S. Debora Spar – you are a success. Deal with it.


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