Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Eat Shit, Caroline
Caroline Kennedy, mommy wars, New York Times | Salon Life
In this past Sunday's New York Times Magazine, contributing writer Lisa Belkin made a comparison between the plight of Caroline Kennedy, a New Yorker who never committed to a particular career path and is now hoping Gov. David Paterson will appoint her to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat, and Whitney Hoffman, a mother who has stayed at home with her kids for more than a decade, worked on a variety of professional projects, but is now nervous about how to return to the workplace full-time. Responding to critics' cries that John F. Kennedy's daughter is inexperienced and unqualified for the Senate job, Belkin links Kennedy's quandary to that of the many former professional or professionally educated women who were part of what Belkin dubbed the "opt-out revolution" five years ago, some of whom are now trying to make their way back into the ranks of the gainfully employed.

Woozy, woozy, girlies. You wanted your 13-year Mommy "Sabbaticals" and now you want to jump off into good jobs? No sympathy for me. I have three kids and took off exactly one week with each of them--the same time my husband took off. I have never done anything for or with my kids that a "traditional" male wouldn't do: I was a female father. I have no sympathy for women who want to be Mommies.

As if that weren't bad enough, here is Caroline Kennedy who not only wants to jump back into the labor force after assing around for all her adult life, but wants to be a senator. Give me a break. Caroline didn't have to opt out: she had the money to buy half a dozen nannies and other servants to do the mommy work and housework for her. But of course, why should she bother? If you've got money you don't have to work, so why bother working? And if you're a woman you can always make smarmy noises about doing your mommy jobbie--and get kudos for it.

You pays your money and you takes your choice. It's not easy to behave like a man if you're a woman: I didn't have the support services my male colleagues had. They could just roll out of bed, grab a cup of coffee and get to their 8 am classes. I had to get the kids dressed, pack little lunches for them and get them to childcare because, unlike them, I didn't have a wife to do it. But I did it.

If women want to opt out that's fine with me. As long as they don't expect to opt back in again.

Apologies: I quit smoking on the 1st and at this point I hate everyone and the entire universe. But, even in the best of circumstances, I don't think I'd be favorably disposed to Caroline Kennedy--a rich brat with an inflated sense of entitlement.

4 comments:

Kevin Timpe said...

I was already laughing, but then really hit the floor when I came to the apology at the end. Great stuff.

Back to feeding and dressing my son.

Ophelia Benson said...

Hee hee hee - tell us what you really think.

Not that I'm disagreeing; on the contrary. I detest all this dynastic entitlement.

Hope the quitting is going better...

H. E. said...

That's what's so nice about having tenure and no aspirations beyond having an academic job, writing and doing research. I can say any damn thing I want!

Substantively, I wonder to what extent politicians look at blogs, or at least the big ones--not mine, for a straw poll when it comes to personnel decisions. Caroline didn't get much enthusiastic support from the netroots and there was a fair amount of opposition.

On the other hand Hillary got the Secretary of State job--which I bet against. Once Obama clinched the nomination and even more so once he was safely elected, Hillary-hatred on the internets started dying down. And once the idea of her being Secretary of State was flown there was substantial support.

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