In 2003, The New York Times Magazine published an article by Lisa Belkin about the “opt-out revolution” — highly-educated women with prestigious jobs who left the workforce for full-time parenting. Was this, it seemed to ask, what our feminist foremothers had fought for?
The article was trashed from here to the moon with good reason: it focused on the wealthy elite who are able to leave the workforce to be stay-at-home moms (SAHMs) with no major dent to the family’s way of living. Pre-recession, some of these women assumed they would be able to transition easily back into the workforce. Others threw themselves into volunteering, putting their skills as go-getters to work elsewhere.
Now, Judith Warner from the Times Magazine has followed up with another piece about women (not the same group of women) who “opted out” of their high-powered jobs to be SAHMs … with varying degrees of personal happiness and professional success 10-15 years on. Keep reading »
Here’s a brief test of étiquette. You’re a writer accused of asking an inappropriate question to a famous actor in a national magazine. Another writer takes you to task for what she sees as a history of this kind of inappropriateness. Your response?
A) Ignore the criticism — you can’t please everyone, right?
B) Explain yourself — you really didn’t intend to offend.
C) Promptly imply that the other writer is jealous and unfuckable.
If you answered C, hey! You must be Andrew Goldman! Step right up here to accept this week’s Douchebag Decree.
What happened was this: Goldman compiles The New York Times Magazine‘s weekly “Talk” section, and on October 7, his subject was Hollywood legend Tippi Hedren, star of “The Birds” and “Marnie” and, as revealed in a new HBO movie, the victim of a pattern of harassment by director Alfred Hitchcock that ended up ruining her career. “The worst abuse happened after you rebuffed [Hitchcock's] advances,” asked Goldman. “Actors have been known to sleep with less powerful directors for advancement in show business. Did you ever consider it?” Keep reading »
“My biggest nightmare is that I do something where [HBO would] be like, ‘That’s why you don’t give shows to 25-year-old girls.’ I’m always afraid that I’m being unprofessional, yet I continue to sign all my e-mails ‘xoxo.’ All my freakouts have been pretty private and directed at family pets and/or people I have been dating for too short a time to freak out at in that way … I did come home from a long day recently, and I laid down on the couch next to my dog, and I was so happy to be with a companion that’s not expecting me to do anything. He’s licking my face, and I looked down, and he had the biggest erection. I just punched him. I was like, ‘I just can’t with you right now.’ Everyone needs something from me.”
– Lena Dunham in her recent New York Times Magazine interview. She also talks about how she is just now moving out of her parents’ house and other interesting stuff about the philosophy behind the sex scenes in “Girls.” I continue to be impressed with how unapologetic she is. I really admire that. And I’m a big fan of the show.
I have to say I’m dismayed by an upcoming piece in The New York Times Magazine by Rebecca Traister. Let me first say: I love Rebecca. She’s been the women’s political issues writer for Salon.com for nearly forever and last year she published Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election That Changed Everything For American Women about the 2008 election. She’s been a personal mentor to me over the years and someone I’ve always respected and whose career I’ve hoped to emulate.
But I wonder if her recent piece on the current state of feminist activism in general, and SlutWalks in particular, in the Times magazine reveals a generational rift of opinion. Is it individual? Is it generational? It’s hard to say. But there’s no debating that there isn’t a word in the English language more controversial than “slut.” It only helps to multiply that controversy when feminists often virulently disagree about it. Keep reading »
It’s not that often that The New York Times Magazine slaps a Hollywood starlet on its cover. The last time was in February, when Kate Winslet fronted the Oscars issue and was one of eight nominees featured in the cover story. So I was pretty surprised to see Megan Fox‘s blue eyes staring out at me from this week’s cover—even though she has no film out and is not particularly relevant at the moment—along with a five-page story about her called “The Self-Manufacture of Megan Fox.” I scoffed, but the article is actually pretty interesting, especially for someone who has written countless posts over the past year riffing off of some of the insane things Fox says in interviews. To anyone listening to her words, it was pretty clear that she was going provocative to get a reaction. But, at least according to this article, Fox’s plan to make herself infamous was much, much more deliberate—she’s presented not only as smart, but as an image-maker on par with Karl Rove. “Hollywood is filled with women who have tried to cope. I like to study them. I like to see how they’ve succeeded. And how they’ve failed,” says Fox. “I’ve learned that being a celebrity is like being a sacrificial lamb. I created this character as an offering at the sacrifice.” Keep reading »