WHEN I dream about my father, as I do even though he has been dead for more than a quarter of a century, I always wake up when I hear the crunch of tires rolling over rock salt — an unmistakable sound evoking the winters of my Michigan childhood in the 1950s and early ’60s. Dad, an accountant, would pull his car out of our icy driveway and head for his office long before first light. This was tax season, and he could keep his business and our family financially afloat only by working 80-hour weeks.
You won’t find Bob Jacoby or his unglamorous middle-class, middle-income contemporaries in “Mad Men,” the AMC series beginning its sixth season on Sunday. If we are to believe the message of popular culture, the last men on top — who came of age during World War II or in the decade after it — ran the show at work, at home and in bed.
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Nearly all institutional power for 20 years after the war was indeed wielded by the war generation (and eventually by younger men born during the Depression). Yet a vast majority of men possessed limited power that could vanish swiftly if they committed the ultimate sin of failing to bring home a paycheck. Continue Reading »
Search Results for "roiphe"
Today Katie Roiphe tells us she desperately wants to be slapped around and ravished by Norman Mailer, Philip Roth, and John Updike and asks why the rest of us are so uptight about their portrayal of sex, and Mary Daly dropped dead.
Yes, that’s the same Katie Roiphe who told us back in the 1990s that rape statistics on college campuses were the invention of Women’s Studies departments and their fixation on technicalities like “consent.” Hey, Katie–I really don’t want to know why you need so desperately to reassure men and lecture other women that rape is a figment of their imaginations, but please: it’s “The Morning After” already. Get over it–and find some new material. Continue Reading »
Via Phila posting at Echidne, here’s a priceless bit of auto-humiliation by novelist Fay Weldon, who has lots of advice for us straight girls on how to live a happy life with a man:
She says, for instance, that there are some things that women should simply not try to get men to do – such as make coffee, pick up their socks or clean the loo.
The 77-year- old author – best known for The Life and Loves of a She-Devil – also criticises the strident approach of early feminism for encouraging women to believe that all men were stupid and useless. [Ed. note: I think the belief that "that all men are stupid and useless" is actually the philosophy of modern conservativism, not feminism--but Weldon ain't an intellectual historian, is she?]
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‘At work, gender should not come into it. Women are right to refuse to make the coffee, but when you get home I’m afraid you have to make the coffee.
‘It’s such a waste of time trying to tell your husband to pick up the socks or clean the loo. It’s much easier just to do it yourself.’
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She did, however, have a warning for working women, saying: ‘They (men) just don’t want to commit to you, and why would they when you are a busy working woman who can look after yourself and probably goes to bed easily with them?’
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‘The thing is, you need to find a man who is cleverer than you, or at least not let him know that you are cleverer than him,’ she said. Continue Reading »
New campaign slogan: She’s got the smarts and the lady parts!
It’s caucus day here in my square state. While I’m out doing my civic duty, here’s an interesting review by Susan Faludi of a new book called Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary: Reflections by Women Writers, edited by Susan Morrison. (H/t to the lovely and talented Amanda Marcotte.) It sounds like the book should be called Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary by a Bunch of Jealous Heathers, plus a sensible essay by Katha Pollitt, although she’s voting for Barack Obama today. What is it with Baby Boomers and their pathological envy of the Clintons? I’ve always assumed that there was no small amount of class bias in the embarassingly obvious ressentiment of Maureen Dowd and the Washington establishment crowd. Who did those hicks from Arkansas think they were, anyway? (Well, Little Rock via those hick schools Wellesley, Georgetown, and Yale.) Faludi’s review is a brief but brilliant foray into the gendered nature of Clinton-obsession, the Hillary version. (Not that my generation should be let off the hook–although it would be nice if someone other than the obtuse Katie Roiphe were invited to comment, she who dismisses rape and Hillary Clinton because no one she knows has been raped or likes Hillary Clinton. Well, no one I know likes Katie Roiphe, so there.)
The best part of the review is the introduction, where Faludi makes a counterfactual proposition that highlights the trivial issues the writers in this volume use to judge Hillary Clinton. Faludi writes, “let’s imagine this book’s concept-30 well-known women writers talk about how they ‘feel’ about Hillary Clinton-applied to 30 male writers and a male presidential candidate. Adjusting for gender, the essay titles would now read: ‘Barack’s Underpants,’ ‘Elect Brother Frigidaire,’ ‘Mephistopheles for President,’ ‘The Road to Codpiece-Gate,’ and so on. Inside, we would find ruminations on the male candidate’s doggy looks and flabby pectorals; musings on such ‘revealing’ traits as the candidate’s lack of interest in backyard grilling, industrial arts and pets; and mocking remarks about his lack of popularity with the cool boys on the playground (i.e., the writers and their ‘friends’). We would hear a great deal of speculation about whether the candidate was really manly or just ‘faking it.’ We would hear a great deal about how the candidate made them feel about themselves as men and whether they could see their manhood reflected in the politician’s testosterone displays.”
Seriously people, get over it: it’s not about you–not about your unresolved conflict with your mother, not about your discomfort with ambitious middle-aged women (even if you are one too), and not about your need to pretend you know which superior choices the Senator supposedly should have made instead at any point in her well-documented life. Cowboy up. Git ‘er done.
UPDATE: Ruth Rosen, who will be appearing at the Berkshire Conference in June to speak on the topic of “Changes and Continuities in U.S. American Feminism, 1890-1990,” offers a different opinion in ”Why Would a Feminist Vote for Obama?”