Author Archive

Bad advice

I have a love/hate relationship with Salon’s advice columnist, Cary Tennis: I love to read his readers’ dilemmas but I hate to read his advice. I mean, I’m sure he’s a nice enough guy, but more often than not, I’m either left scratching my head at the tangent on which he rode his imagination pony into the

sunset, or I’m shaking my head at the utter wrongness of the advice he’s fed his eager inquirer. Today’s “Since You Asked” is about housework, that old feminist trope

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I heard it twice today: “Well, you know Ms. X. She has to work …” I know what that means: The woman in question has enough money (or her husband does) that she has the option of not finding a paying-job-outside-the-home.


phrase, tossed off so easily in some conversations, has always chapped me. Saying someone HAS to work makes it sound like having a job is something to be pitied,

especially if you’re a woman. Or, worse yet, that your work isn’t really important … if you don’t have to do it, how vital could it be?

I realize more and more that it’s the choice of working — being able to have a fulfilling job that helps build a career — that might just be the single biggest step women have taken in the last generation or so. And for many women, it’s the thing that keeps them sane, no matter how terrific their marriage is, how wonderful their kids are, and how much they love playing tennis. Read the rest of this entry »

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I can finally say it: I feel guilty that I am no longer a journalist.

It all started last week, when my subscription to The CA suddenly stopped. Turns out they hadn’t sent me a bill, but the point is that it took me THREE DAYS to call and re-up. Did I miss that dead-tree reading experience? A little, I guess, but the online version was almost as good.

Then I got a Kindle. You know, one of those handheld reading devices that Amazon sells. (Actually, I am borrowing the St. Mary’s “review copy” of a Kindle, but it lives in my house, so I guess it’s mine.) And you know what? I really like it. The device sort of disappears as you use it — you just read

your story, you forget you’re not actually holding a book — and it’s easy to figure

out. I am reading the daily New York Times on the Kindle, too.

So you can see why I’m worried that I’m about to get struck by lightning. All those years making a living in print journalism. All those great stories I never got to tell. Never mind that the industry is imploding and fewer reporters are doing more work in less depth. And forget, for a moment, that I really am enjoying my new life as a private school fundraiser/communicator.

I still miss journalism.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Ruven Afanador for the New York Times

Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Ruven Afanador for the New York Times

It was the cover story of last Sunday’s New York Times magazine, and several of my more plugged-in girlfriends have mentioned it to me since: A terrific interview by Emily Bazelon with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now the only woman on the United States Supreme Court, about the upcoming confirmation hearing of Sonia Sotomayor. Depending on who was talking, we all see ourselves in her: My friend W. loved how Ginsburg pointed out that when she talked at a judicial conference, no one heard her, but when the guys at the table said the same thing, it was a brilliant idea. What I loved was hearing her certainty about the big issues of our time:

Abortion (she points out that “women of means” will always get to choose now,

so it’s an issue about poor women), racial discrimination, and civility.

Long live Ruth!

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