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February 20, 2005



I listened to this gal on Diane Rehm last week and her book certainly is not about financially independent women. I didn't read the review you linked to, unless I have my wires crossed, the book is about struggling middle class women who can barely make ends meet.


* but unless

Betsy Devine

I don't know about the interview, poptonian, but the book is about upper middle-class women, according to the NYT review, whose permalink is http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/20/books/review/20COVERSHUL.html?ex=1266555600&en=48204a5312aab3f5&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland

The book seems to describe a style of parenting that's highly competitive and filled with the anxious fear of not measuring up. (The pains of a similar approach to one's worklife could give rise to a different book. But at least if you're working you're making money and building up lines on your resume.)

The tradeoffs between work and family are very hard--and if you're completely happy with your own choices, you're already better off than most people are.

Mandy Barton

Yes, choosing not to have children is just as important a choice as choosing to have children. What I find unfortunate (but slowly changing) is that Feminism has not fully embraced the idea of the same choices for men...with equality for women - and the choice to put career over children and not be criticized for such a choice - should come a greater domestic equality for men. I do see this changing in our society somewhat, for instance, when my friends are having children, my men friends now have the opportunity to take family leave, and spend the first month at home with their newborn, taking a greater role in being an active parent, and choosing home over career (if that is their choice).

I see this nonesense about using one's children to either advance one's social status or live out some fantasy of one's own childhood through one's children, and have to wonder what all the overstimulation and overentertaining really contributes to children in our society. There was something on the news the other day about the epidemic of Autism, and I can't help but wonder if the "epidemic" is really from poor diet and consumerism gone wild? How do children think for themselves if they're always entertained or planned? These statements are oversimplified, of course, but surely the basis for deeper thought on the nature of parenting and choices in general.

I applaud you, Rebecca, for being secure in your choices and happy in your life. Cheers!

Joanne Jacobs

The writer admits she interviewed upper-middle-class women for the book; she didn't even try to get a socioeconomic range. I think she's writing about a subset of mothers with one or two designer children; most people are more realistic about life's trade-offs.


It appears help is now on the way.

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