Well, now they’ve done it, and I believe that women have gotten pretty much as far as they’re going to get. Which is better, but not great. I mean, it’s immensely better. There’s no comparison. It’s against the law to say, “This job is just for boys.” But that doesn’t mean there aren’t all kinds of jobs you can’t have [as a woman]. And there are all kinds of things you won’t get. It’s just much more subtle now. And that’s progress.
But there are still girls who make it bad for girls. Young girls are always showing me their diamond engagement rings. “Look, Fran!” It’s so old-fashioned. I think that I am too old to feel that people who are kids remind me of my parents. Someone my age is supposed to be angered by kids. You’re supposed to say, “These crazy kids—what will they think of next?” You’re not supposed to say, “These kids are so boring. These kids are so regressive.” It’s like the 1950s. The 1950s weren’t just about great suits. That time was really suffocating.
So it seems to me that people, especially women, especially women who have all these choices, are now looking for things that aren’t oppressive exactly but are pretty suffocating. What used to be called middle-class respectability looked like it was going to disappear, but it didn’t. It’s returned. It just returned in a different costume. If you do it in a loft instead of a split-level in the suburbs, it’s still the same. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be allowed to do it; I’m saying it’s suburban. This is why New York today seems suburban to me—all kids and babies in strollers. It’s 1950s domestic life. The sidewalks are the same size, but now you have twins and dogs.
December 13, 2010
Fran Lebowitz is asked: