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“…young women growing up today are getting this sort of, wonderfully confounding set of messages: ‘you can be a neuroscientist, be good at STEM, play with trains like your brother, play with blocks, learn math, wear a tutu, and save the world before you’re seventeen.’ “

“You know that girl who ‘has it all’—perfect job, relationship, body? No, you don’t, because she doesn’t exist, argues Barnard College president Debora Spar in her explosive new book Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection.

In the clip above from her talk at 92Y on April 30, Spar and author and former New York Times op ed columnist Anna Quindlen touch on the generational differences between feminists and the different messages they are hearing. Born in 1963, just fifteen years later than Quindlen, Spar says she thinks she was part of the first generation who mothers told them, ‘you can do whatever you want.’ And now, “this multiplication of expectations has only gotten worse.”

“And we don’t send those same messages to young men?” asked Quindlen. “No, I think particularity not to white boys,” Spar said. “You know, very rarely do you hear a parent saying to a white boy, particularly a white boy who’s born relatively affluent, ‘you can be whatever you want.’ Because that’s sort of presumed.”

Watch video of the full talk here.