Then I met the women I came to call the Glam SAHMs, for glamorous stay-at-home-moms, of my new habitat. My culture shock was immediate and comprehensive. In a country where women now outpace men in college completion, continue to increase their participation in the labor force and make gains toward equal pay, it was a shock to discover that the most elite stratum of all is a glittering, moneyed backwater.
....The women I met, mainly at playgrounds, play groups and the nursery schools where I took my sons, were mostly 30-somethings with advanced degrees from prestigious universities and business schools. They were married to rich, powerful men, many of whom ran hedge or private equity funds; they often had three or four children under the age of 10; they lived west of Lexington Avenue, north of 63rd Street and south of 94th Street; and they did not work outside the home.
Instead they toiled in what the sociologist Sharon Hays calls “intensive mothering,” exhaustively enriching their children’s lives by virtually every measure, then advocating for them anxiously and sometimes ruthlessly in the linked high-stakes games of social jockeying and school admissions.
Please read it all, if you can stand it. No, you’re not imagining the tone of disapproval. It’s much like Linda Hirshman’s tone:
Women who want to have sex and children with men as well as good work in interesting jobs where they may occasionally wield real social power need guidance, and they need it early. Step one is simply to begin talking about flourishing. In so doing, feminism will be returning to its early, judgmental roots. This may anger some, but it should sound the alarm before the next generation winds up in the same situation. Next, feminists will have to start offering young women not choices and not utopian dreams but solutions they can enact on their own. Prying women out of their traditional roles is not going to be easy. It will require rules -- rules like those in the widely derided book The Rules, which was never about dating but about behavior modification.
There are three rules: Prepare yourself to qualify for good work, treat work seriously, and don’t put yourself in a position of unequal resources when you marry.
There you have it, Gentle Reader: the anti-choice Gospel of Feminism, in glorious living color. Women must not be allowed to choose life paths that diverge from the needs of the “Women’s Movement!” The advance of feminism is what matters; its imperatives trump the desires of the individual woman:
"No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one." -- Interview with Simone de Beauvoir, "Sex, Society, and the Female Dilemma," Saturday Review, June 14, 1975, p.18
Disagree and you’re either:
- A “gender traitor,” or:
- A man.
I can’t help but wonder what Martin and Hirshman would say about Catholic nuns.
The Left has many sub-communities, but they’re all alike in one respect: all of them are totalitarian in attitude. Either you agree with them, in word and deed, or you’re The Enemy, to be ostracized at the very least. In that regard each of them conforms to Eric Hoffer’s description of “a compact and unified church,” outside which there is only the weeping and the gnashing of teeth...at least, if the congregants have their way.
No, that’s not news... but this is:
Just ask National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill. Right before Obama's trade bill cratered in the Senate last week, Obama complained that its chief Senate critic, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., didn't understand the real world. O'Neill then chalked Obama's attitude up to sexism.
O'Neill told The Hill she took issue with Obama calling Warren by her first name during an interview with Yahoo News published May 9.
"Yes, I think it is sexist," O'Neill said. "I think the president was trying to build up his own trustworthiness on this issue by convincing us that Sen. Warren's concerns are not to be taken seriously. But he did it in a sexist way."
O'Neill said Obama's "clear subtext is that the little lady just doesn't know what she's talking about."
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, joined the chorus, also suggesting Obama's remarks were sexist, and then refused to apologize. Now some are tittering over Obama's supposed "seven-year history of sexism." This caused Twitter humorist David Burge to joke: "NAACP president: NOW president's critique of Obama's critique of Elizabeth Warren is racist."
God bless Glenn “InstaPundit” Reynolds and David “Iowahawk” Burge! The ability to laugh at the Left’s inanities might be our best shield against them, if not our only one. But the larger point is what matters.
I’ve written on previous occasions that the sort of coalition politics the Left has practiced in pursuit of power is inherently vulnerable to its own success. When the coalition attains majority status, the ability of any component to threaten the coalition’s hegemony causes an internal war, as each component jockeys against the others for power, perquisites, and preeminence. Indeed, the coalition need not yet command a majority; merely a reasonable prospect of getting there in the foreseeable future will cause the first skirmishes to occur and the first shots to be fired.
As Reynolds writes, “The Democrats' tendency to argue identity politics over policy is more awkward when it's aimed at other Democrats.” Moreover, it provides yet another flank for the Right to attack, rhetorically and electorally. But as long as the Left is committed to “Left Eclecticism” (Frederic Crews) in pursuit of power, there’ll be nothing its strategists can do about it.
So the racialists will attack the gender-warriors. Both will find themselves at odds with the unions and the poverty pimps, who are already at war with the enviro-Nazis. And all of them and more will struggle to control what constitutes legitimately “free speech,” as opposed to “hate speech” they’ll demand to see outlawed.
It’s a great time to be alive, I tell you...at least if you’re a curmudgeonly retired engineer who suffers an irresistible compulsion to write and is endlessly fascinated by the follies of the stupid and evil.