November 9, 2014

Most violent sentence in a NYT op-ed about the anxieties that beset the modern American mother.

"This made my sister-in-law, who was already late for work, want to teach a few people the artisanal craft of rearranging someone’s face using only your bare hands."

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

I made it as far as the following:

"Motherhood is no longer viewed as simply a relationship with your children, a role you play at home and at school, or even a hallowed institution."

The author seems to come from another neighborhood than the one I live -- or grew up in.

Meade said...

Old: The War On Women

New: The War...
about for between in inside over among by around concerning with within of...
Women

surfed said...

One word - Xanax - and then some mid century Stones.

"It's all different today,
I hear every mother say,
Mother needs something today to calm her down.
And though she's not really ill,
There's a little yellow pill,
She goes running for the shelter of her mother's little helper.
And it helps her on her way,
Get's her through her busy day..."

traditionalguy said...

Sounds like she really doesn't like having to have to do anything different for 20+ years just because she stupidly talked herself into not getting the abortion.

Life sure is hard on her.

surfed said...

@Betamax - I made it as far as “Bunch of mommies cutting loose, huh?”

Anonymous said...

And I'd like to point out to these suffering mothers out there: just because you are a mother doesn't automatically make you a MILF.

Anonymous said...

Here we are: a generation of 'Tramp Stamp Moms.'

Scott said...

Glib references to violence are a progressive cultural thing.

Fernandinande said...

Corrective phrenology.

SGT Ted said...

Whining about reality is a favorite female/feminist pastime. The article is another case in point.

Anglelyne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Why does this word irritate me when the wrong person says it?

Self-reflection could follow. It doesn't.

John Christopher said...

I have always enjoyed Havrilesky's writing going back to her days at suck.com and then as the television critic at Salon ages before every site had tons of television writing. This is the typical NYT Sunday paper filler, but HH is writer worth reading in general.

SGT Ted said...

Oh look: women complaining about the reality of life. How ordinary and typical.

These Women want to remain the Center of Attention from men and are pissed off that their kids are instead of them.

They are whining about the consequences of their own free choices to have kids. They cannot be proud of being moms.

Rejecting biological reality is the signature achievement of Modern Feminist narcissists.

Hey ladies, in an equal society, your desires are not privileged over those of any man.

Anglelyne said...

Ah, another NYT lady writer extrapolating a Major Social Trend from yakking with her equally neurotic friends and staring in the mirror.

Motherhood is no longer viewed as simply a relationship with your children, a role you play at home and at school, or even a hallowed institution. Motherhood has been elevated — or perhaps demoted — to the realm of lifestyle, an all-encompassing identity with demands and expectations that eclipse everything else in a woman’s life.

No, it hasn't, Ms. Havrilesky. Decades ago, when I was a new mother, another woman like you, obsessed with what other people thought about her and having a restricted range of interests, wrote pretty much the exact same article you just wrote. I remember reading it and rolling my eyes. Decades before that, in the heyday of Spock and psychoanalytical hoo-hah, my mother was snorting at the version that showed up in her newspaper, before flipping to content more interesting to her. (AKA "stuff that's not about my personal life".) My grandmother, widowed young, a "career woman" (and a suffragette!) went for livelier thought-fodder, judging from inherited books and diaries. (Zero navel-gazing content there!) My other grandmother, also widowed young, was a much poorer "working woman" who probably gave even less of a damn. And I know from perusing old journals that in their day "mommy problem" articles were written for the same class of women. (Plus ça change...)

I don't have a "mommy problem". My mother didn't have a "mommy problem". My grandmothers didn't have a "mommy problem". I have the greatest confidence that my daughter will never have a "mommy problem". Though I'm sure in a few years to come she will glance at your article, with a different by-line, snort and move on. The circle of life! Becoming a mother gives one such an appreciation for that.

Laslo Spatula said...

Mommy has been a bad, bad mommy. Mommy needs some time to not be a mommy, but to be a little girl again. Bad naughty mommy needs a strange man from Craigslist to spank her, she is a naughty little girl that needs to be spanked by a stranger who will accept the simple gift of a pair of her child's panties and then disappear like it never happened. Naughty, naughty mommy.

Laslo Spatula said...

Mommy has been a bad, bad mommy. Mommy needs some time to not be a mommy, but to be a little girl again. Bad naughty mommy needs a strange man from Craigslist to spank her, she is a naughty little girl that needs to be spanked by a stranger who will accept the simple gift of a pair of her child's panties and then disappear like it never happened. Naughty, naughty mommy.

Laslo Spatula said...

Oops. Double-posted AND meant for the 'Hillary' post. Awkward.

Laslo Spatula said...

Bad bad mommy helped overcome her postpartum depression with new breast implants. With her new breast implants she feels desirable again, her breasts are no longer for baby. Surely there is a man on Craigslist who wants to see and desire her new breasts.

Anglelyne said...

Hey Laslo - your attempt at being the poor man's betamax? It ain't really workin' for ya.

Laslo Spatula said...

Bad bad mommy doesn't understand: she has the child off at the baby-sitter, the scented candles are romantically arranged, her new breasts are bountiful in her new Victoria's Secret bra, and yet all the men from Craigslist want to go straight to anal, all of them. Well, except one: he just wanted to snuggle and then asked if the couch was for sale.

Æthelflæd said...

Is it really that hard to tell their little princesses no? Beaded t-shirts? It is a shame that a good writer chose such a lame topic. Whiny upper class women don't make for compelling reading.

EDH said...

Agree with her abhorrence of all this "Mom" crap uttered by third parties, especially as a way to ostensibly flatter and suck-up to the demographic.

Not a bad, if typical, then and now, "in my day" rant about motherhood.

And can we be sure that her's was an allusion to violence, or merely playing with Mr. Potato Head?

FullMoon said...

Today’s absurdly conflicting notions of motherhood play far better as comedy. No matter what the script says, we don’t have to perform such a farcical, unrealistic role. We can rip the S off our chests. We’re still the same underneath it all.

I made it as far as the last sentence and did not find it toobad at all/

Laslo Spatula said...

Bad bad Mommy has taken a liking to the neighborhood boy who mows the lawns: he isn't very bright but he has strong arms, and Bad Bad Mommy thinks 'not bright' and 'strong arms' might be just what she needs right now. Maybe Big Strong Boy would like to have a beer with Bad Bad Mommy: it would be their Little Secret. As would the shoulder massage.

Babaluigi said...

Hmmm...maybe it is just a New York thing, because in the several places we lived when bringing up our kids, I was never referred to that way...and it has not been that long since they left home. Ironic, because I eagerly embraced being a SAHM, and loved almost every minute of it (teenagers can be so charming)! I felt I had the most important job in my world, raising the people I made...and my choice of career was made very clear to my husband before we planned to marry.

Believe me, I have been part of too many conversations which have been shortened by my answer of, "I have been a stay-at-home mom" to the, "What do you do?" question. There is so much more to me and I have a wide variety of skills and interests, but people would just say "oh" and move away. I did learn to say, "my husband's job necessitated that, or the kids would have been like orphans" (true) and would add, "and for 10 years I was heavily involved as a volunteer in Boy Scouting" to help to keep the conversation going.

I guess this is all part of that struggle not to be identified merely by our biology (even though our protruding breasts and wider hips are that way purely because of our child-bearing role.) So, I guess in the "struggle for equality" it can be important. Yes, in her examples there are some assumptions being made in certain situations..at the baseball game, obviously there are not just women in the stands, but was the coach's comment speaking to the idea that it was usually the moms who did the chauffeuring?...and on a night out? Probably young 20-somethings do not get the "Mommy's Night Out" comment, and the assumption made is that people of a certain age would usually be at home at night with their families. What an insult! ...But like those people who off-the-cuff did not think I had anything interesting to say because I did not bring home a paycheck, why give a damn about what strangers think? One's dignity is not bestowed by others, but comes entirely from oneself.

Laslo Spatula said...

Bad Bad Mommy is disappointed and dejected: the child was at daycare, she got the neighborhood lawn boy buzzed on three beers, seduced him into the upstairs bedroom, and then he ignored her new breasts and went straight to anal. Bad Bad Mommy is starting to wonder: what is the point of free birth control if there is never going to be a need for it? Bad Bad Mommy likes Vodka more and more.

n.n said...

The modern woman is in a perpetual struggle for money, sex, and ego gratification. The successful creation and propagation of a male stereotype was a historical con job targeting half of the human population with unprecedented collateral damage.

virgil xenophon said...

Funny, in the mid-west of the 30s, 40s, 50s and early 60s it was as of nothing for the "best & the brightest" of both sexes to go east to the Ivies or the Seven Sisters, get their BA and then return to the hometown from which they came--the males to run the family business--be it a tire re-capping store, gas station, or family farm whatever--the females content to be stay-at-home-moms.raising the family brood. Today this is to think the unthinkable--at least for many of those I would (as in this case) label "Atlantic Coast Provincials."

Freeman Hunt said...

I've never had anyone, apart from my children, refer to me as Mom or some variation thereof.

virgil xenophon said...

PS: An example of those of whom I speak was a couple whose wife was best friends w. my Mother. The husband, smart as a whip, stayed at home to get his BA at Eastern Illinois Univ and then his MS in Agronomy at the Univ of Illinois. He became a very successful & wealthy farmer. His wife tho a Smith graduate, was content to be "naught" but a housewife, living in rural east-central Illinois. (I grew up and went to HS school with their oldest son) Live in the cornfields of Illinois? As a stay-at-home-mom?

How utterly declasse..

Joe said...

Another woman who needs to get over herself.

sean said...

It's funny, I live in New York, but the lives of New York Times readers are so different from mine, we might as well be living on different planets. Here is a whole set of events and problems that have never existed in our family. I don't know if it's because we're WASPs and they're Jews, or because they belong to chattering classes and we are UMC professionals, or what it is.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Sean. I live in flyover country and assumed that I don't see life as presented by the New York Times as reality because life in flyover country is so different from big-city, dense-urban life. It makes more sense to me that life as seen by writers of the New York Times may exist only in their heads--even New Yorkers don't recognize it.