Lauren Groff Gives The Perfect Response To The Work-Life Balance Question

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When novelist and short story writer, Lauren Groff, refused to answer the classic work-life balance question during an interview with The Harvard Gazette, she made an important point about why it should be asked more — just not to her.
Asked how she manages her productive career as a fiction writer as a mother of two, Groff acknowledged that while the question was one that we should be asking, it should be posed to more men. "I understand that this is a question of vital importance to many people, particularly to other mothers who are artists trying to get their work done, and know that I feel for everyone in the struggle," Groff answered. "But until I see a male writer asked this question, I'm going to respectfully decline to answer it."
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It's not that she would never answer the question. Hearing the realities of pursuing a creative career through other people's experiences helps demystify the process for people already in the field as well as people hoping to get into it. Groff's issue with the question was that it is almost exclusively directed at women. It's indeed rare to find an interview with a successful man where they are asked how they make enough time for their kids and their career. The question underscores how as a culture, we still believe that the role of primary caregiver is placed squarely on the shoulders of women.
Groff's answer sounds like the mantra we should all be telling ourselves as we encounter systematic sexism. If work-life balance is as important as we say it is, surely it is important for men as well.
While huge props go to Groff, The Harvard Gazette should get some as well. In the course of an interview, there are so many questions that don't make it into the final draft. The publication could have chosen to leave it out, but instead they chose to keep it in and make a salient point about a pervading theme in how society still views women's careers.
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