By Ms. JD Summer Book Series • June 20, 2008•Ms. JD, Ms. JD Book Reviews
Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids, & Life in a Half-Changed World
One of the great discussions that women today have, not only on the Ms. JD forum, but also among friends, at work and with their families is how they are going to "have it all." And, perhaps more importantly, what "having it all" means for them.
In 'Flux', Peggy Orenstein explores these questions and more, through a narrative based on a compilation of conversations she has had with over two hundred women, at varying stages of life. Ranging in age from twenty-five to forty-five, these women have shared with Orenstein their personal opinions, struggles, and triumphs concerning such varying topics as, well, sex, work, love, kids and life.
Ms. JD Reader, be advised, this book is not exclusively about women lawyers. This, however, can be a refreshing quality. Not that one gets tired of hearing about women lawyers - this is posted on Ms. JD, after all. Rather, it is somehow comforting to know that women in diverse professions are facing the same issues. It can be, in fact, useful to hear what many different women have to say on work-life balance issues. That is what this book provides.
Orenstein was inspired to write this book at the age of thirty-four, when she herself was facing monumental decisions about her own life. In fact, in the summary of her book, Orenstein asks: "Why, when women seemed to have so many choices, did [I] feel like [I] had none?" The term 'flux' comes from this very problem, which Orenstein attributes to the post-feminist liberation backlash phase of women's lives.
One downside of this book, which I have previously discussed as a positive element, is that Orenstein is not a lawyer, and therefore does not deal on a first-hand basis with the specific challenges that women face in the legal profession today. What Ms. JD readers will find intriguing about this book, however, is the sense in which it is based on discussion and inspires discussion. This is something close to home for the Ms. JD readership and for many women.