Thursday, March 15, 2007

Linda Hirshman Loves to Throw Them Firebombs

I have absolutely no idea where to start with her American Prospect piece that asserts that a) men always have and always will put family second and b) ... actually, I don't know what b) is. I assume that Hirshman is sticking by her advice that women should enter the workforce and stay there, but her suggestion to the women of America ain't exactly clear in her essay:

So here's a novel idea: Instead of passing around last year's Working Mother magazine and looking for help from the boys who tell Gerson they'd love to have a just family if it didn't cost them anything, why don't women use their power at the ballot box? If women used their voting power to legislate the redistributive agenda they need, including, for example, required paternal leave, Goldman Sachs would look like a Swedish cooperative nursery. Martin is correct that the mommy groups must be addressing the men in their strategy. But they should be making concrete demands, not settling for wishful thinking. In the words of the famous feminist economist Larry Summers, no one has ever washed a rented car. Until women refuse to participate in the unjust world the men embrace, there will be no forward progress.

"Required parental leave"? "Swedish cooperative nursery"? Huh? And can anyone translate the last sentence?

I've let the Prospect know that if they'd like to know what young men are really thinking about work and family nowadays, I might be able to offer a slightly different perspective than a 62-year-old lawyer/philosopher.


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