On Ask a Fancy Person: First Parties, Working for Free, and What to Do When Your Gym Is Crawling with Children
@cordovan sofa Telling children that they can't go everywhere they want to is not equivalent to telling a woman how to dress. It is not "oppression." Children running around a gym, unless it is actually Gymboree, does create a safety issue, and a liability issue as well. Yes, women are often patronizingly told to change how they dress "for their own safety." This is also not the same thing as telling children that they can't be in a certain space. Lots of places, from jacuzzis to bars to gyms, are not for kids. The advice allows the letter writer to politely ask the parents to stop being rude, which is what is happening if their kids are interfering with other people's workouts. .
I read Shutterbabe when I was a freshman in college. I read it over and over. I had a romance with it. I think I bought it at St. Marks Bookstore. I remember hiding the book from my parents because the title didn't measure up to what the book was about. I couldn't explain why it was so important to me because at that point I didn't know much about feminism, or the gender-wage gap, or how gender discrimination functions in work and in life. I just admired her bravery and her talent. Now that I have a deeper understanding and experience with anti-feminism in its many nasty guises, her work means that much more. What an awesome lady she is for continuing to speak about these things.
So this is basically that article about how we should all buy that $500 "ethically sourced" sweatshirt with holes in it and like it because the designers care so much?
@Meritaten Was the novel-writing one the one who was also being blackmailed by her friend's little sister because she had a crush on her friend's older brother and accidentally watched him sleeping? ALSO: both characters use "blusher." And at some point there is Brisket.
All of this information is in my head instead of useful things like bank account numbers. I would make a terrible hostage.
Anything by Elizabeth Bowen!
@blahstudent I don't think Slaughter should be "silenced." But we hear from people like Slaughter all the time on this topic. Her situation has even been gently chided on this site (see my comment about Nicole's post). I think The Hairpin had an opportunity to see the Atlantic article and raise it with an interview from someone, or several people, whose situations contrast hers. Other people could have been heard in this forum, and Slaughter would still have her Atlantic cover article. This sounds a little dramatic, but I dont think anyone has to be silenced in order for other voices to be heard.
Just wanted to say to you that I appreciated your comments on the Of a Kind article. Yours was one of the voices that I think could have better served that subject. You seem very knowledgeable about the issues under discussion and filled in some of the many gaps in their self-serving pseudo-Q&A (especially re: cashmere not necessarily being the great 'investment' fiber that I have assumed it was for so long!)
@Xanthophyllippa I agree with you, especially about Carolita's posts. I guess that is why I find myself surprised lately. A few months ago, Nicole had a great post called "I figured out how she does it," that just said, "she gets a nanny." (I am paraphrasing, I think Nicole's prose was likely more brilliant, but you get the point). That basically sums up the Atlantic article and this interview -not in terms of specifics, of course, but in that "how she does it" is PRIVILEGE END OF STORY. All personal awesomeness and drive aside, and as much as we would secretly like to believe that maybe people who have a hard time have just not worked hard enough, people like Slaughter have what they have because they are privileged, socially and financially. These pieces - the Slaughter interview and the straight up shilling for Of a Kind - seem like they were written for a different website.
@FoxyRoxy I'm glad you said this. I am commenting to agree with you-because this stuff keeps me up at night as well-and also to add my two cents about "rich people shit" in the broader context of what is featured on this website. I'm sort of hiding in your comment thread because I'm a little nervous about what I have to say. It seems like "Ladies First" for The Hairpin means "Certain Ladies First."
Slaughter is clearly not a real authority on this topic because the privileges she has had along the way make it impossible for her to truly understand the plight of average working career women in America. I'm sure that she is delightful and that is great about her laugh, but really? The Atlantic just rehashed the same old "I don't know how she does it" piece that has appeared in countless forms already, and now The Hairpin is pretending this conversation is actually going in a different direction this time? We've heard from privileged women. It doesnt matter that she seems aware of her privilege. Make an effort to check it. Usually doing that means making room for other voices who would not otherwise be heard. The Hairpin could have done an interview with one or several women who work just as hard as Slaughter but have not been recognized as authorities on this topic because their lives don't so easily conform to the narrative that if you just work as a team with your husband-and also get six months maternity leave, sabbaticals, and still have time to find yourself at Harvard-you can have it all.
It seems like it is becoming a trend on this site to ask extremely privileged people for their opinion of issues which they are not as qualified to comment on as they would like to think. Last week, it was the Of A Kind people, in what amounted to a not-so-veiled advertisement for their product. This week, it's another rich lady talking about rich things. I'm sure she doesn't mean anyone any harm. She seems like an awesome person! But she is not the one to ask about what it is like to be a woman and work and raise children, not if you really want to dig into the issue and really ask what's up. I'm angry about this because I like this website a lot and lately it seems like the editors just blatantly don't care about the social issues they raise, but raise them anyway because they are trendy or because they get to talk to people with fancy sweatshirts and nice laughs. And I think that is irresponsible.
@parallel-lines Nor do most of us get six months of maternity leave and have a spouse that gets the same. Let's just stop right there because that is basically unheard in most professions. I couldn't take any of her words of wisdom seriously after that. It's just a jumping off point of such enormous privilege. I'm glad she has it. But I think the conversation we need to be having is different and the women we need to be talking to about this are positioned differently right from the outset.