Tag Archives: parenthood

My London Diary 2: Teen Mom

This is part 2 of a serial comic about travel-as-time-travel between 15 and 35, family vacations and research trips, and learning about being a daughter & a mom & a woman or whatever in London, the place where I had my first training in independence & dependence & terror & writing & adventure & desire.

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Is Your Wife Bonus Feminist? A Quiz

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This is an ad for a kitschy brand of wine cynically marketed at feminist housewives, so it’s basically the best possible illustration for this quiz.

Dedicated readers of WEIRD SISTER know that you can be a feminist housewife. Morgan Parker wrote the manifesto; Becca Klaver and Lauren Besser provide case studies in their podcast, The Real Housewives of Bohemia; I’m kind of a part-time feminist housewife myself. Or a part-time feminist SAHM, which is a stay-at-home mom or a student-artist-home-working-mom.  So, like, don’t worry about whether women who don’t work outside the home or who do unpaid caretaking labor or who don’t directly contribute income to their families can be feminists. ISSUE RESOLVED.

But there’s been some debate lately about this kind of ridiculous book, Primates of Park Avenue, in which anthropologist-turned-Park-Avenue mom Wednesday Martin describes the bizarre culture of super-rich New York families. See Martin’s op-ed in the New York Times, or this hilarious contribution in the Post from a somewhat aspirational Wife Bonus-getter who wants us to “STFU,” or this interview on NPR, which I haven’t listened to, but in which I’m pretty sure Martin uses the phrase “going native,” which, uhh, nope. Also see various accounts of the inaccuracies in Martin’s book: her PhD is actually in comp lit (ooooh does this mean I get to write a book called Primates of Ditmas Park?), she misrepresents when she was pregnant and what fancy gym she went to, and she pretends you could get macarons on the UES during a time when you could CLEARLY ONLY GET THEM IN FRANCE. Hopeless lower-class poseur or not, Martin gives us a shocking glimpse of a forbidden world in which highly-educated skinny moms spend their days Mean-Girlsing each other, grooming their toddlers to be captains of industry, and having weird gender-segregated dinner parties and going on vacations where they all wear the same color (well, come on, that sounds pretty fun. It’s not like I’m not going on an all-you-can-drink-rosé booze cruise this month where we all have to wear something pink. No, I seriously am.) The big shocker, though, is that some of these rich moms, many of whom have MBAs and formerly held high-income, high-pressure jobs like Business Lady and Captainess of Industry and Executrix and Lawyeress and Bankerina and Stock Market Girl Wonder and Political Risks Insurance Brokeress and a bunch of jobs I don’t know about because I don’t understand and will never be allowed to understand the language of Wealth and Power, apparently get Wife Bonuses, probably so they can feel like they still have a high-stakes Rich Person job. The bonuses are distributed by their husbands, who are their bosses, and they’re often based on their Wife Performance that year, which usually involves getting the kids into a school that will help them become Captains of Industry or the wives of Captains of Industry or maybe Bankerinas. The Wife Performance may also involve blow jobs BUT that might just be Martin trying to titillate us, since we know the wives and husbands never see each other for the length of time that a really bonus-worthy blow job requires.

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