By Suzanne Venker

With all the talk of women leaning in and out, and of retro wives vs. feminist ones, you’d think at some point we’d come face to face with the elephant in the room. But alas, no. When it comes to the work/family debate, we talk about the pay gap, the gender gap, and the ambition gap. We talk about the economy and its relationship to female workforce participation. We talk about gender equality until we’re blue in the face.

But we never talk about the children or the reality of family life.

Yet this is the reason balance remains elusive. Having a family, having children, changes everything. If there were no children, there would be no conflict. Even the workplace would look different. Women without children out earn men. It isn’t until children come along, until the American family takes root, that the balance of power shifts. Presumably, one would think, family is worth it.

Sadly, this is not the case for everyone. A certain group of powerful women want to make the conflict between children and careers a societal issue. At the moment Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, is leading this charge—and she has countless celebrities, as well as the entire media and a bottomless pit of cash, in her pocket.

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