Hat tip to Patches. If you like anime, check out his blog, What About The Waifuz?
Oh, Lori, Lori, Lori.
If you’re not familiar with Lori Gottleib, she is best known as the author of Marry Him, a book about how women ought to stop looking for Mr. Right and marry Mr. Good Enough. While I suppose that that’s all well and good for people who are really just looking for a nice dress and a big party, I have to point out the one obvious flaw in this plan as a method of picking a life partner:
1) Imagine the person you’re considering settling for’s most annoying trait.
2) Imagine enduring it for the next forty years.
Anyway she has recently popped into my life with more of her usual wisdom, this time on the subject of having it all. It’s a response to this Atlantic article, which is interesting as far as it goes (and I do agree with the policy recommendations!), but also rather classist. The average person is not a partner at a law firm, or on a tenure track, or advising the president on foreign policy! Call me when you have work/life balance policy advice that applies to a single mom of three kids working two jobs for minimum wage.
Anyway: dear God Lori Gottlieb.
Would a man be taken seriously if he wrote a 15,000-word article stating that he’s entitled to both marriage and the freedom to have sex with any woman he wants?
First: it’s called polyamory, Lori. Look it up. I mean, it doesn’t give you the freedom to have sex with anyone you want– Tom Hiddleston still won’t return my calls– but it certainly gives you the ability to be married and have sex with people outside of marriage. Dear Horatio, heaven and earth, philosophy, et cetera.
Second: in what fucked-up excuse of a world is the male equivalent of “have children and a successful job” “be married and have sex with lots of people”? The male equivalent of having children and a successful job is having both children and a successful job except wait that completely disproves her point because that has been the expectation for professional men since the Industrial Revolution.
Seriously, I feel like joining Jill from Feministe’s brigade of people going about asking professional men how THEY balance work and family.
The way corporate life is set up still assumes that the average worker has a stay-at-home wife who will take care of the children, despite the fact that not only has it not been that way for forty years, for most of society it was never that way. So what we get is:
1) A bunch of people, mostly women, attempting to balance their careers and their families and doing a shit job of at least one and probably both.
2) A bunch of people, mostly men, who never see their kids and regret spending so much time working and never getting a chance to watch their children grow up.
I mean. Holy shit. That is a terrible way to run a society.
It’s not something that needs to be treated with platitudes about how you can’t have everything and comparisons to spoiled children. It’s something that can be fixed, with policies like the ones that Slaughter outlined in her article. Schedule most meetings during the school day? Accommodate people who have slowed down for a few months or years to work? These are not the stuff of whiny children, Ms. Gottlieb. These are practical accommodations for the fact that most people have children and need to take care of them.
Imagine a stay-at-home dad whose wife supports the family. Imagine if he had a nanny once or twice a week so that he could fit in some “me-time.”
Shorter Lori Gottlieb: “It’s unfair that people don’t think that upper-class single moms should be on the job 24/7 but do believe upper-class single dads should. We should make upper-class single moms be on the job 24/7 so it sucks for everyone!”
Related to gender inequality, besides working long hours and not getting enough sex, many husbands are also expected to do the laundry and change the diapers only to be told they’re doing it the wrong way and then endure eye rolls and sighs and admonishments. Meanwhile, do men ask their wives — working or not — to fix the leaky toilet, haul out the heavy garbage, and set up the baby gear with those 10-page instruction manuals, then go into a blind fury because she’s “doing it wrong”?
Lori, do… do you actually spend time with people outside of sitcoms?
Okay, first, while I understand the problems of high-libido people in relationships with low-libido people (dear GOD do I understand the problems of high-libido people in relationships with low-libido people), it’s kind of crappy to complain that your partner has the power to say no to sex. I mean, do you want them to have sex they’re not into?
Second, I have changed diapers, done laundry, hauled out heavy garbage, set up complicated systems with instruction manuals, and attempted to fix a leaky toilet (to be fair, my thing-repairing skills leave much to be desired). My observations:
1) Garbage takes like five minutes, toilets break maybe once every six months, and if you have to set up complicated systems more than about once a month you’ve either just moved or you’re buying too much shit. Diapers and laundry, however, are more-or-less CONSTANT. While everyone has individual choices and ultimately chore division depends on what’s right for each couple, the chore division outlined here is patently unfair.
2) Diapers? Not hard. Laundry? Not hard. Call me a man-hating feminazi, but I think the average man is fully capable of operating a washer AND a dryer, even if there’s bleach, dryer sheets, and lingerie that doesn’t go in the dryer, which is pretty much the most complicated laundry gets. So I’m suspicious how many of these women exist outside of Lori’s imagination.