So, this article has been flying around the web over the last couple days. I finally took the time to read it, although I haven't dared delve into the comments section. While I agree with Ms. Slaughter's arguments and where there needs to be change, as a Christian pastor, I did find something missing: a consideration of calling.
This of course makes sense, as this was a public opinion, not a religious piece, yet I am still left wondering if women who do have religious beliefs and practices--and particularly those of the more feminist, progressive persuasion--consider God's call on their lives when they wrestle with these other issues.
While as a pastor people generally expect me to talk of a sense of calling in relation to my work, I find that often others are hesitant to do the same, as if pastors are the only ones that God calls. I think this is to their detriment.
What would it mean to consider not just what we individually, our families, our employers, or society wants, but also God? Would it add validation to our choices, if made after a true period of discernment? I think so.
This article hits home for me, as I am a full-time working professional and a fairly new single mother by choice of a pre-teen to-be-adopted son. I get the struggle. My job can be fairly flexible, but also has its own drawbacks and demands. I am still in the early years of my ministry, a time to figure out its potential trajectory and do the work to move me up the ladder (yes, ministry has those too). I could/should be writing and networking and joining committees and getting my name and face out there. I am, a little. But I'm also now making choices that affect someone other than me, and so I haven't been to conferences and haven't been doing much writing while I work on attaching to my new son.
While this is exactly what Ms. Slaughter proposes should be an acceptable norm, for me it doesn't matter much what society or other feminist think. I feel that God has called me to parish ministry; God also called me to motherhood. I will continue to follow those calls as I feel led by the Spirit, and am confident it will work out well if I approach both with an attitude of discernment of call, rather than for personal preference or in deferment to societal pressures.