16 comments for “The Best Article I’ve Read on the “Opt-Out Revolution”

  1. DDay
    March 16, 2007 at 11:51 am

    Great analysis. And I would love to read an article on the bias against African-American mothers who don’t work, if anyone ever writes it.

  2. Rhiannon
    March 16, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    And I would love to read an article on the bias against African-American mothers who don’t work, if anyone ever writes it.

    Ditto, but something tells me that has everything to do with the “welfare mothers” stereotype.

  3. Thomas
    March 16, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    From the article: “if journalism repeatedly frames the wrong problem, then the folks who make public policy may very well deliver the wrong solution.”

    Heh, indeedy. I was speaking this week with a relative, formerly with the NYT. He said the feeling of complacency is horrific there; the evergreen trend stories, the refusal to pay real talent, the poor business practices, the reviewers who are plainly incompetent …

    The place is falling apart, and the paper appeals to fewer people every year.

  4. March 16, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    And this article isn’t published in the NY Times WHY?

    Oh, wait. Nevermind.

  5. March 16, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Well, if it was published in the NYTimes they would put it in the Styles section.

  6. Ismone
    March 16, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Great article. :)

  7. Elinor
    March 16, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    What a brilliant article! Thanks so much for the link.

  8. zofia
    March 16, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    “they’ve been downgraded to full-time nannies” …Yep, I’ll add that to “lazy, bon bon eating servant” and “heartless, workaholic, money grubbing shrew” I’m not sure why choosing to care for your own infant is seen as a downgrade from the ersatz facsimile of liberation that we’ve been duped into accepting but I think that the divisions between WOH and SAH are largely manufactured. The resulting bickering assures that women will continue to be weakened and instead of an abundance paradigm which allows for cooperative solutions we choose a scarcity model where women who make different choices are pitted against each other and forced to scrounge and judge. Most women are not strictly either WOH or SAH…as if it’s a war and you must choose sides and fight to the death. Most have gone through periods of staying home and periods working. It’s a fluid process that acknowledges the ebb and flow of priorities, energies and interests in a lifetime. I am (very) glad to be back to work full time but the time spent with my infant was not a downgrade and it wasn’t fueled by “cultural expectations” it was a simple act of love.

  9. March 16, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    zofia, did you read the whole article?

  10. nik
    March 17, 2007 at 8:14 am

    I think the “downgraded to full-time nannies” comment is spot on. For all Graff moaning about the NYT focusing upon highly educated women in professional/managerial jobs, she focuses on exactly the same demographic, but just has different aspirations for them. You can see why, the horror of doctors and lawyers ending up doing work that should be reserved for the working classes is just heartbreaking.

  11. nik
    March 17, 2007 at 8:27 am

    I think the “downgraded to full-time nannies” comment is spot on. For all Graff moaning about the NYT focusing upon highly educated women in professional/managerial jobs, she focuses on exactly the same demographic, but just has different aspirations for them. You can see why, doctors and lawyers ending up doing work that should be reserved for their working classes employees – the horror…

    The lives of the poor are made miserable by the burden of supporting children. And I think ‘burden’ is the right word, it’s just very difficult to support children if you don’t have a substantial income. We do need action to make their lives easier. I think what were getting is bourgeoisie-feminism where various doctors, lawyers and managers are pissed that having kids gets in their way on the rise to the top and want action to stop this. I don’t care. This is just sectional class interest.

  12. March 17, 2007 at 10:46 am

    I think what were getting is bourgeoisie-feminism where various doctors, lawyers and managers are pissed that having kids gets in their way on the rise to the top and want action to stop this.

    Because it’s not sexism if having kids gets in the way of women rising to the top, not men. Those uppity bourgeouis fembitches ought to shut up and be grateful they’re not working at 7-11. The fact that their husbands suffer no similar career hit is irrelevant. Plus, reforms that help women working outside the home are totally classist! Subsidized daycare and mandatory parental leave won’t do anything for the poor.

    Shame when womenfolk get above their raising, isn’t it, nik?

  13. R. Mildred
    March 17, 2007 at 11:02 am

    Because it’s not sexism if having kids gets in the way of women rising to the top, not men.

    I’m pretty sure that single father bougiousie professionals suffer the same problems.

    All those…single father bourgiousie professionals… umm…

  14. Elisabeth
    March 17, 2007 at 11:19 am

    I am 28 and have what might be considered a “professional” job, and my first child is due in June. I’m going back part-time only because the full-time hours aren’t compatible with what I want for my family.

    I think that article may have been the most depressing thing I’ve read in months. Thanks for the link, though.

  15. Elinor
    March 17, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Plus, reforms that help women working outside the home are totally classist! Subsidized daycare and mandatory parental leave won’t do anything for the poor.

    Yeah, and working-class people don’t mind working obscenely long hours! Only uppity rich bitches care about having time off work. As we all know, the trade union movement has never lobbied for shorter working hours, because they aren’t self-entitled princesses like us.

    The article focuses on upper-middle-class married women because those are the women who have the opportunity to “opt out,” but IMO it makes a very clear statement that this is a workers’ issue that has been framed as a personal, psychological issue, something mothers experience as an inherent condition of being mothers (“my job was great, but all I could think about was wanting to be home with my babies”) and not because many workplaces demand such long hours, with so little flexibility, that they force people to sacrifice their personal lives or drop out.

  16. March 17, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    And this article isn’t published in the NY Times WHY?

    Oh, wait. Nevermind.

    Heh. Reminds me of the NYTimes giving freaking Wonkette (yes, she has a real name; no, I don’t care what it is) the review of Katha Pollitt’s book. I was so confused… until I read Katha Pollitt’s book and found that about a fourth was devoted to calling the NYTimes out on sexism. Suddenly, it all made sense.

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