So, Linda Hirshman has a book out, and the Washington Post gave her op-ed space over the weekend. I’ll take a look at the book if either of my local libraries gets a copy, but so far, I haven’t heard her saying anything that wasn’t covered in her original American Prospect essay or responding to any of the substantive criticisms that I and others made at the time. (I do feel compelled to point out that Julia’s post in which she says that she’s not a capital F Feminist is a precise illustration of the point that I made about the dangers of litmus test feminism.)
I’m somewhat amused by Hirshman’s defensive reaction to the criticism the article got in the blogosphere — and her implicit assumption that "mommybloggers" are all stay-at-home moms. And I really don’t understand why she’s so hung up on Miriam Peskowitz’s roof. (And yes, it’s a sign that I spend way too much time on blogs that I knew exactly who Hirshman was referring to, even though she didn’t mention her by name.)
"To my way of thinking, the Washington Post’s Leslie Morgan Steiner represents everything that’s wrong with the way the mainstream corporate media cover children and parenting: she’s shallow, blind to anything that falls outside her cultural and economic comfort zone…"
As I mentioned yesterday, I got a chance to have dinner two weeks ago with Steiner, Devra Renner and a group of working moms as part of a Women’s Information Network event. While I share many of Jeremy’s frustrations with Steiner’s blog, and the "mom v. mom" framing of her book, she charmed me. She was gracious, listened as well as talked, and was quite funny about the way her personal life gets dissected by the posters on her blog on a regular basis. Moreover, she seemed to get the fact that professional-class parents enjoy a huge amount more flexibility and freedom than lower-income families, and argued that those of us with time and influence should be working to benefit all families, not just our own.
So why doesn’t she push this harder in her writing? Steiner claimed that the "Mommy Wars" framing was pushed on her by the publisher. And she also pointed out that that day’s post, in which she talked about the huge settlement that Verizon had made in its class-action pregnancy bias lawsuit, got fewer comments than almost any post she’s made.