It seems like once or twice a year the Internet experiences a gender studies firestorm in the form of a lengthy article asking a seemingly simple question: Can women really have it all? On a bright June afternoon in a Clinton Hill neighborhood park, Coco Fusco -- performance artist and an associate professor of Fine Arts at Parsons The New School for Design -- is just one of the sea of moms juggling the child portion of “it all” that day.
Her son Aurelio bounces from wooden table to table, eagerly awaiting his friends’ arrival at his seventh birthday party, as Fusco cuts slices of watermelon and opens up 12-packs of bottled water to keep the expected 15-20 parents and kids cool in the blazing sun. There are balloons to blow up, battling birthday parties to keep at bay and last-minute errands to run.
“We’ve been planning this and talking about what we’re going to do...”
“For five years!” Aurelio crows, watching his mother arrange watermelon slices on a plate.
It would be easy -- comforting almost -- to say that Fusco is an example of a woman who has it all. Healthy and happy son? Check. A high-power position in her field of choice? Check. But ask Fusco what she thinks, if she really believes women can have it all, and the professor lays it all out there.
“People get really defensive about it, but I actually think she’s right,” Fusco says, referencing the latest addition to the conversation, The Atlantic’s July 2012 feature “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” (The article was written by a woman who left her powerful history-making job at the U.S. State Department to be with her family when her teenaged son began acting out.)
“I’m not going to tell you it’s easy. This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
Read more of Coco's story and meet these other fabulous mothers at matermea.com.