28-Year Old Chicago Alum Opines on Having–and Not Having–It All

Ashley Lauren Samsa is a 28 year-old high school English teacher with a very big voice. And we mean not only her classroom voice, but her writer’s voice. Ashley launched the site Small Strokes Fell Big Oaksto express her unique outlook, as she says, on “gender roles as they connect to relationships (particularly mine), teaching, and the general ridiculousness that is this world we live in.”

Ashley Lauren Samsa

Ashley Lauren Samsa

A former Gender Across Borders staff writer, Ashley currently contributes to Care2, an online community that seeks to empower people to live a healthy and green lifestyle. As such, Ashley has been covering much ground, including having taken the OpEd “Write to Change the World” seminar in Chicago on October of 2011, which she writes about in “The OpEd Project Comes Back to Chicago”. We’re flattered that she featured us on her site and elated that our seminar has inspired her to take great leaps towards publishing work in popular sites ranging from Mamafesto to Ms. Magazine!

Most recently, she opined on the now, widely-read Anne-Marie Slaughter article, “Can Women Have it All?” While Slaughter makes a case for how contemporary women can learn to balance a promising professional career with family responsibilities,  Ashley weighs in with views of her own: “You can’t do everything. Not all at once, anyway. You can, actually, have it all. Just not at the same time. And that means that you have to make choices, and you have to be at peace with those choices. And there’s nothing wrong or unfeminist about that.”

(Don’t miss OpEd Project seminar leader Courtney Martin’s take on it all in The Christian Science Monitor: ”Having It All’ Is So 1980s”)

With a growing network of expert opinionists who span generations, we’re curious to hear what you think. Can women have it all? Or should we aspire to have enough?

Chicago’s expertista base is growing. Send friends to the next public seminar there on 7/28  – a limited number of slots remain!

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