"The War on Women" meme has been around for some time, but a fire was certainly rekindled in January when the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation decided to cut grants to Planned Parenthood. Rush Limbaugh then fanned the flames by calling graduate student Sandra Fluke a "slut" for testifying before Congress about the medical benefits of birth control. The November elections will decide the extent of the backlash against Republicans.
In the meantime, a new meme has come to prominence, one that incorporates The War on Women, but also involves the recent rekindling of another old debate. That debate is about women balancing the demands of the workplace with the demands of raising a family, or "having it all," as former Policy Planning Director for the U.S. State Department Anne-Marie Slaughter put it in her recent article in the Atlantic that caused a storm of controversy.
The dust had barely settled when Slaughter's meme was thrust back into the public attention once again this week as Yahoo announced it had tapped Marissa Mayer as its CEO. Mayer has since become the personification of the power woman. At 37, she is very young for a CEO. As Google's first female programmer, she is a trailblazer. And she is pregnant. Therefore her tenure at Yahoo will be one of the most closely watched executive performances in a very long time, as not only will investors be looking to see if she can turn the company around, but the rest of will be watching to see if she can indeed have it all.