Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Monday, October 24, 2016

In Newsweek’s Dec. 6, 1976, cover photo, telephone installer Joyce Kelly leaned out from her perch at the top of a utility pole, loaded with the gear of her trade and wearing the face of a woman at the top of her game.

The headline, in large block letters: “WOMEN AT WORK.”

I was a sophomore in college then, and my parents were thrilled at the sight of Kelly for two reasons: Dad worked for the local power company, and Kelly looked so much like me that friends and relatives called for a solid week to ask whether I’d left college. What a hoot.

The eight-page story — reported by Susan Cheever Cowley, Mary Lord and Lisa Whitman — made my spirits soar. Starting at Page 68 — yes, I have the original magazine — it began:

“Some are ’empty nesters’ looking for something else to do now that the kids are off to college. Some are divorced mothers forced to make ends meet on their own. Some simply need more money to supplement their husbands’ inflation-ravaged paychecks. And some, nurtured by the women’s movement, want to leave their traditional place in the home and pursue careers. Whatever the reasons, women are surging into the offices, stores and factories of America at a rate higher than in the World War II days of Rosie the Riveter.

“…’This may turn out to be the most outstanding phenomenon of our century,” says Eli Ginzberg, chairman of the misnamed National Commission for Manpower Policy. ‘Its long-term implications are absolutely uncharitable.'”

At age 19, I read that and thought American women — women like me — were unstoppable.

Contrast that story with the one running in Newsweek’s current issue, dated Oct. 1 and 8 and totaling 68 pages, titled “AMERICAN WOMEN’S BIG MISTAKE.”

The illustration alone tells you where this story, by Debora Spar, is headed: A thin, perfectly coiffed white woman sits on a sofa next to a darling little girl. The “mother” stares at the camera with a joyless face as she holds a plate of dessert. Her floral skirt matches the sofa upholstery. Even with the child at her side, she is alone.

“More than 50 years ago, the United States was roiled by the feminist and sexual revolutions,” Spar writes, “which together sought to bring women out of their household isolation and into a community devoted to achieving broader social goals. Yet far from rally around these quaint echoes of sisterhood, we seem stuck today in a purgatory of perfection — each of us trying so hard to be everything that inevitably, inherently, we fail.”

Poor striving, lonely us.

Good God.

  • I’ll spell this out, as a man who (gasp) isn’t prejudiced against women if he can help it.

    Women who buy that guff as proclaimed in this latest affront are buying into the ol’ switcheroo.

    Here’s how it works: Women’s magazines make a big statement one month, then a tangential or even opposed impetus the next, over and over and over again. Each time there is no nuance and no balance, just huge expectation and implied sisterhood.

    Constantly surrounded by conflicting messages and expectations, women are left bewildered and seeking a path to take that makes sense. This breeds follower mentality.

    In way, I feel very sorry for women as the Cosmo Conundrum is like what we all have faced this election season, 24/7 and 365 days a year. Forests die for this nonsense.

    “Perfection”? Who the *hell* ever said anything about perfection? News flash, ladies and gentlemen, Neither man nor woman will ever know perfection and Utopia is just a concept. As I read somewhere, you will never know Utopia because people suck. We’re *human*, meaning we each have flaws and the best we’ll ever manage is combining out foibles and goals to make a communal mass called Society.

    That article was written by some biddy who deliberately played on and promoted fear in women on the place of femininity. Don’t bother, don’t be afraid, just be the best you can be and be the women of society.. and let cranks like that just drift away until they find some new avenue for attack.

    • CAThinker

      I’m guessing, and I rarely make hasty generalizations, that Spar is a Republican woman, longing for the good ole days where all you had to do was have her husband’s drink and slippers in hand when he walked in the door and the scent of a perfectly browned beef roast wafting through the tudor style five bedroom home… Not unlike some of the bat-sh*t crazy Talipublican women that have found this forum and posted here lately (if indeed they are women)… For the life of me, I can’t figure out how women could even consider voting for NitMitt – the man (using that term broadly) has nothing to offer them… except the good ole days…

      • totenkatz

        I’m not a woman and I’m amazed you can decide how another woman should think or who she should support. My wife was a single mother for many years before I married her. She worked hard her whole life. With the kids out of the house, married and making it on their own and me having a good income she decided to quit working. She enjoys being home and being a “home maker”. Yes she does the laundry, packs my lunch for me to take to work, breakfast too. She does all this because she wants to, not because she has too or because some man decided she longed for the “good old days”. She has the same right to her opinion as you; she has the same right to support whomever she wants without being called a name because she may disagree with you. Oh and we don’t always politically agree. She is he own woman that I’m proud to call my wife!

  • bcarreiro

    I have been to the school of hard knocks and all i want is to meet with mitt and spell it out for him…………as i dropkick his ass back to the day he was crawling to learn something!!

    • lazycs

      time to get off your back and start using your mind

      • bcarreiro

        time to get back in the line……….pays me no mind to tell you that.

        • onedonewong

          That many every day HUH???

  • sisterH

    Mitt cares about everybody…..even the losers who continue to believe O is the answer and not the problem. Mitt will work hard to help create jobs not dependence. Mitt believes in personal freedom and prosperity for all.
    I feel bad for all the misguided brain washed libs who have been let down by there O. I feel bad for the women who get caught in the little things and miss the big picture. It’s pretty clear that there is no point of pushing college education and student loans if the end result is turning out another citizen that has to live in their parents basement and watch tv all day because there are no jobs. What part of No Jobs don’t you people get. When no taxes are collected because nobody is making any money it gets real hard to redistribute the wealth. And god forbid you do get a job and make a little money because unless you are walking to work you better plan on spending your salary on your student loans, gas, medical and taxes. Under O nobody gets ahead ……they just barely survive and even that isn’t sustainable.

    • bcarreiro

      oh brother… is that you mitt talkin shit that you have had the job of MAKING AN HONEST LIVING. The 98% dont care about you and thats a FACT.

    • Mitt cares for no one that doesn’t have millions and billions of dollars in US and off shore banks. Romney was one of the first people to send American jobs overseas in big numbers when he owned Bain and the jobs he didn’t send overseas were either lost because he and his partners took all the assets and ran, assets that included the workers pension fund which they and their employers had paid into. After he and his partners took the pension fund money, we the tax payers had to replace it because the pension funds were federally insured and the jobs that were left in the US barely paid minuam (Not spelled right) wage, which one person can’t live on let a long a family. It is very clear that you sister H have been drinking the Republican and Limbaugh tea to long. Being a woman I won’t be voting for any Republican this year, although I have in the past. Actually there isn’t a Republican party anymore, what is being called the Republican party today needs to change it’s name to the Koch Brothers, Norquist and Rove party since they own it or the party for the Rich not anyone else.

    • Landsende

      The reason no taxes are being collected is because big corporations and millionaires like Romney are hiding their wealth overseas and paying less in tax on $20 million than some poor worker bringing home $40,000 a year. These same corporations are sending jobs overseas so they can pay lower wages taking jobs away from the middle class. And if people aren’t working or making a living wage they aren’t buying any products but the essentials needed to survive. Romney and Ryan’s tax plan would eliminate deductions for the middle class such as the home, medical and charitable deductions while lowering taxes for the wealthy and corporations. GE, one of the biggest companies in the world pays NO taxes while recording record profits. Now, if you want to pay more taxes so the rich can become richer and evade paying their share of taxes then you should vote for Romney but the rest of us that aren’t brainwashed by Faux News lies will be voting for President Obama, someone who cares about the 47%, unlike Romney.

  • ayayaboy

    I am angry with Obama why he could not tell Romney to stop lying to the American people. .. Remind Romney of all his claims during the Republican primaries. We all know that Romney is a liar and a fraud but Obama needed to say it to his face. One day Romney will repeal Dodd-Frank, another time Romney would praise the good things in Dodd-frank. Romney will tell Tea party that he will repeal Obamney care before the cock crows thrice, romney would say that there are lots of good things in Obamacare. Romney will tell Republican audience that Hispanic illegals must self-deport but will on TV debate say “we cannot round up people on the street”, but Romney is a big supporter of Arizona hostility against Hispanics. Romney proposes voucher system but says it will kick in after our generation. Why can’t Obama tell Romney to say how to handle present and not things of 30th century. Why can’t Obama tell Romney in his face that he had opportunities to create jobs with Bain but he instead fired people and made money firing people; he shipped jobs overseas; sent out his money to offshore when America needed cashflow; he is not coming clear about his career at Bain Capital; he is yet to prove his trustworthiness and fiscal patriotism with his tax returns; ask Romney whether he also supports Planned Parenthood today since he seemed to talk liberalism on debate floor? Ask Romney that he today sounds like anti-Tea party and anti-Arizona governor. How about asking Romney if he really doesn’t want to be president of the 47% welfare victims who will vote Obama? With these, Obama would have won the election that wednesday night. I travelled to Europe and watched the debate in a Bar and the Europeans said Obama left his supporters biting their fingers … Is this Obama or someone else? Some said Obama missed an opportunity to call out Romney-the-liar; others said Obama allowed the liar lie his way through the debate. Some European poked fun at Obama’s performance saying “a Havard lawyer could not argue his case against a fake businessman.” Obama must step up to revealing the rhetoric fakeness of Romney.

  • Connie Schultz, I applaud you. I have been an erstwhile fan of yours for years, and, girl, you still know how it is and how to tell it.

  • lazycs

    The only women who are in love with Feminism and the sexual revolution are the old HAGS. gals like Barbara Mulkulisky, Janet Reno, Hilary Cinton, Napalatino and Waters