You may not have heard this, but a few months ago, Yahoo named a woman to be its CEO. A pregnant woman. Horror of horrors. People went nuts but eventually some of the frenzy died down until the baby was born and the CEO of a Fortune 500 company had the audacity to quickly return to work and declare that her motherhood experience has been "easy".
Such a proclamation puts feminists in a confusing position because while we want to prove that women can be mothers and CEOs just as easily as men can be fathers and CEOs we cannot deny that there is something unique and even difficult about being a mother.
I hesitated writing about this. Like many women in my generation, I'm tired of the so-called "mommy-wars" but after a lively twitter conversation with Rocco Pendola of TheStreet and Kara Swisher of All Things D spurred by this HuffPo article by Lisa Belkin and Rocco's response I realized that I have more to say that cannot be conveyed in 140 characters.
So what if Marissa Mayer thinks her experience as mother is easy? Her assumed wealth and the help she can allegedly afford aside, she's the CEO of a Fortune 500 company! By definition, only 499 other people share her role, a position that is gained through toughness and business acumen. Considering the millions of people who become mothers this year through no special talent or strength, I would hope that a CEO would find motherhood on the easier side of things. Put another way, could you imagine President Obama listing getting Sasha and Malia to eat their vegetables as a task on par with navigating our country's retreat from the fiscal cliff?