I’m late getting to this – the territory has been well covered here , here and here – but I have a really good excuse. I’ve been kinda busy sucking the life-blood out of our culture by not having a paying job.
As far as I can tell, Linda Hirshman’s agenda goes something like this: women who do not work are lazy, parasitic, wastrels and if they would just do as she has done and get their asses to a job every day, Western Civilization could, you know, advance.
So she has her agenda and she writes to it. Take her recent piece You’ve Come A Long Way, Maybe. Her anecdotal research for the piece consists of the comments of a group of stay-at-home moms who appear to spend copious amounts of time lounging on their living room couches, thumbing idly through dog-eared copies of US Weekly and Glamour while ignoring the siren calls of the Economist and the Washington Post. Oh, right, isn’t that last one filled with women-dissing diatribes? Gee, I wonder why women aren’t more interested in reading it? But, I digress.
The problem with the piece is this. While her anecdotal research is with the aforementioned lazy-ass bitches, the actual, um, possibly valid research she cites makes no distinction between women who stay at home thoughtlessly destroying democracy and those who are heroically participating in the workforce.
This structural imbalance has the not-so-subtle effect of leaving the reader with the impression that if only those indolent sloths would work, then they would then be more inclined to read the pronouncements of the oracles of big media and would thus, happily, act more like men in the political arena.
Cause the men, you know, have been doing such a bang-up job.