At this point, I’m absolutely over the phrase “having it all.” It’s been beaten to death, taken out of context, used as link bait, etc… And I’m over it. I’m mostly over it because it’s a convoluted concept. “Having it all” doesn’t have one universal definition and it is something we only lord over the heads of women. It’s problematic on many levels, yet that doesn’t stop folks from hammering the point over and over and over again. But because the concept of “having it all” is so entrenched in our society, when an accomplished professor (of a feminist anthropology course, no less) ends up bringing her sick baby to the first day of class, and at one point nurses her, it becomes fodder for an investigative story.
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“With ‘Bachelorette,’ I thought of these really thin, beautiful women, who if you saw walking down the street you’d think, ‘These girls have their lives together and it makes me feel bad about myself.’ I wanted to examine how they are gluttonous through drug addiction, materialism, sexual voraciousness, eating disorders — literally take, take, take, consume, consume, consume. Then there is their friend, Becky, who is moving into adulthood. She’s the one who appears to be the gluttonous one, who you might point at and say she has a problem because she’s overweight. You might feel better about yourself and move on. But she’s the one who’s getting out of the prison that these characters have created for themselves. … I couldn’t for the life of me think of one good moniker for these women and who they are that wasn’t punitive. You know what I mean, like ‘Sluts’ or ‘Bitches,’ and who would see a movie called that? All we’ve got is this feminized version of this male idea, that’s, by the way, a great thing if you’re a man. If you’re not married and you’re a straight guy, the world is your fuckin’ oyster, but if you’re single and you’re a woman and you’ve got something going for you, it’s just so sad you’re not married yet. It doesn’t make any sense to me. But what do I know? I’m sad and alone.”
Watching “Bachelorette” on Video On Demand is on my to-do list this evening, so I was interested to read this Q&A with the writer/director Leslye Headland. “Bachelorette,” as you’ve probably heard, is about four high school friends who reunite for one of their weddings — and the other three freak the fuck out because they’re still single and childless. And snorting loads of cocaine, apparently. As someone who is gearing up for her 10-year high school reunion and is also “sad and alone” according to societal standards, I have to say it’s a topic of interest! The subject of the movie, I mean. [BlackBook Mag]
And lo, the Lord did create the men and women who populated the earth. The manifold men did go to the office and get good jobs in middle management and take the trash out on Thursdays while lady helpmates did joyously stay home and wear aprons and make dinner and vacuum and mop and scrub the toilets and make the beds and raise the children and dust the bookshelves and manage the home accounts and do the grocery shopping and mend the clothing and take the children to appointments and preside over the laundry apparatus, which the Lord, in all his wisdom, saw fit to make too difficult for men to comprehend.
This was called the division of labor, and behold, it was fucked up. Keep reading »