Are Today's Female Athletes Better at Negotiating Work/Life Balance?

What Women Really Think
Sept. 9 2010 1:34 PM

Are Today's Female Athletes Better at Negotiating Work/Life Balance?

Kim Clijsters will play against Venus Williams in the U.S. Open semi-finals tomorrow - and as the New Yorker 's Lillian Ross points out, Clijsters is one of only nine mothers to ever play in the tennis tournament. Clijsters had a daughter, Jada, whom Ross describes as a "blonde morsel" (aw), in 2008. She left the sport in 2007 to start her family and then made a comeback last year, winning the 2009 U.S. open. Ross discusses how professional tennis players -male and female alike -negotiate the work/family balance, when being a pro-athlete is a fairly all-encompassing profession. There's something called "Kids' Court" at the U.S. Open. It's a day-care service provided for what Ross describes as "main-draw players," like Clijsters. She leaves Jada there while she plays.

Ross interviews '80s tennis star Chris Evert for the brief article, and Evert says there's no way she could have been a mom while she was competing. "As a woman, you have to be very patient and flexible and nurturing, with breast-feeding and all that. I was married to my career. I knew I had to wait to have babies ." Evert, born in 1954, is of the baby-boom generation, while the current pro-tennis playing moms and dads Ross writes about (27-year-old Clijsters, 29-year-old Taylor Dent), could reasonably be described as part of Generation Y. While Evert's focus on tennis was singular, Clijsters and Dent's attitude toward work-life balance cottons with the stereotype about their generation's feelings on the matter: That balance is considered a top priority . How lovely that the U.S. Open has created Kids' Court so that players like Clijsters can enjoy her daughter and her tennis simultaneously.

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.



Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough. So They Added a Little Self-Immolation.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 6:22 PM Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.