Monday, November 28, 2005

Settle in

...'cause this is gonna be a long one. Thanks to 11D, I found this article in the American Prospect.

I’m really not even sure what point Linda Hirshman is trying to make. Or, more accurately, if she's serious. She gives a nod to the Times piece on Ivy League women planning to be stay-at-home moms, and to Maureen Dowd. And then she launches into the results of her own "research," consisting of interviews with 32 or 33 women (I don't believe she gives the exact number). Not only is this number completely insignificant, but the women she interviews are women whose weddings were announced in the Sunday Styles section of the NYT. To show you all what a classless hick I apparently am, I didn't even know what that was until I read this piece. Later on in the article, she makes various references to her interviewees. One left her job as a lawyer to plan her wedding. That's right--she quit work to plan a wedding. Also, not one of the husbands of these women took any paternity leave when his children were born. These are the types of people Hirshman is relying on to flesh out her story.

I found that among the educated elite, who are the logical heirs of the agenda of empowering women, feminism has largely failed in its goals. There are few women in the corridors of power, and marriage is essentially unchanged. The number of women at universities exceeds the number of men. But, more than a generation after feminism, the number of women in elite jobs doesn’t come close.

Riiiiight. So the reason that the number of women in elite jobs is small is because feminism failed. It has nothing to do with outright or even subtle discrimination in the workplace, or with society's attitudes toward women, work, and families. There's a nifty trick: I'm sorry, but your quest for equality hasn't happened yet, so obviously it's a clunker of an idea. Forget everything you have achieved in the past 30 years--it's time to pack it up and get a new ideology.

What evidence is good enough? Let’s start with you. Educated and affluent reader, if you are a 30- or 40-something woman with children, what are you doing? … Among the affluent-educated-married population, women are letting their careers slide to tend the home fires. If my interviewees are working, they work largely part time, and their part-time careers are not putting them in the executive suite.

Me? I’m working full-time, and plan to keep doing so in the foreseeable future, thanks for asking. Oh, and that reference to the "affluent-educated-married population … letting their careers slide," those are the 32 women you interviewed? Yes? OK, glad we got that straightened out.

The arguments still do not explain the absence of women in elite workplaces. If these women were sticking it out in the business, law, and academic worlds, now, 30 years after feminism started filling the selective schools with women, the elite workplaces should be proportionately female.

Later on, she says this:

It is possible that the workplace is discriminatory and hostile to family life.

Ya think?!!!

Anyway, I’m a lawyer, so obviously my interest was piqued by the references to female lawyers.
Law schools have been graduating classes around 40-percent female for decades -- decades during which both schools and firms experienced enormous growth. And, although the legal population will not be 40-percent female until 2010, in 2003, the major law firms had only 16-percent female partners, according to the American Bar Association.

Again, it's not as though feminism just happened and all the men in charge suddenly said, "Whoopee, let's open the doors, lads!" Change is always fought by people who believe that they are benefitted by the status quo. Moreover, since when is the absence of female partners at the big firms (not all firms, mind you, but "the major law firms") an indicator of women dropping out of the workplace? When I think of my friends who are female lawyers, I think of women who work for the state and federal government, who work in-house, and who work for small and mid-size firms. Apparently, none of these women count. In addition, Hirshman later uses that statistic -- 16 percent female partners in the big firms -- to reference "a world of 84-percent male lawyers." Um, no. Try again, and this time go back and read your own statistics and what they really refer to.

Finally, Hirshman presents her rules to combat the failure of feminism, which basically boil down to "Who gives a shit what you're doing so long as you're making money?" Don't major in liberal arts, and don't work at a job that won't pay a buttload of money. Money is all that matters.

I agree with Hirshman's point that there's no such thing as a perfect job. But that doesn't mean you should just go to work for the highest bidder, regardless of the job. Money isn't enough to get you to drag yourself out of bed every morning. I should know--some of the people I met when I briefly worked for a nonprofit were a lot more satisfied with their jobs than some of the lawyers I know who are pulling down big money.

There's so much more to gripe about, but 11D hits a lot of it, so I'll just direct you there.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

My lame attempt at literary humor

Just to prove to you that at one time, I did read books, and didn't just watch television:

My mom and I were in the movie theater before HP4 started, talking about other movies.

MOM: You know, they're making a movie of Tristan and Isolde.
APL: Really?
MOM: Yeah. Weird choice for a movie, huh?
APL: Yeah. (pause) They'll probably change the ending.

Hey, I told you it was lame. But it made my mom laugh. And she wasn't just being kind, I swear.

Aaaaaanyway, we saw trailers for King Kong (want to see it), Aeon Flux (want to see it--in the long preview, Charlize kicks serious distopian ass), Fun With Dick and Jane (the trailer was good, and although I still begrudge Tea Leoni for marrying David Duchovny, the woman can do slapstick), Superman Returns (got goosebumps just from the music--so excited), and Happy Feet (want to see it with Angry Boy).

Oh, and HP4 was really good. No, I didn't read the book. But the fourth book is my mom's favorite, and she thought the movie was as good as it could've been (i.e., the right choices were made as to what would have to be cut in order to make the movie less than 6 hours).

Friday, November 25, 2005

10-second movie review

I finally saw The Station Agent, which came out in 2003. It was great. Slow to start, but then you really begin to connect with and enjoy the characters. I fell in love with Bobby Cannavale, who plays Joe. He looks so familiar to me, but I checked his IMDB page, and I really haven't seen anything of his before. There's also a small role by Josh "You really are one dumb fuck, Douglas" Pais, who always cracks me up. And his small role here was no different. So go rent it.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Angry Boy let us sleep in today, which was nice. See, I can do the three-hours-of-sleep thing so long as the next night I can compensate. Tuesday night/Wednesday morning saw me up until 3:30 a.m., but last night I think I conked out around 10 and didn't wake up till close to 8. Very nice.

This morning we watched the entire Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which I hadn't done since before high school. It was quite fun watching it with AB. Any time a band would come on, he'd stop playing with his toys and run and stand in front of our tiny TV, saying "marching band!" He also liked the Sesame Street float. Did anyone else notice the conspicuously absent Maria? She was the only cast member not present. I hypothesized to my husband that it's like the State of the Union Address: they can't have everyone present at the Capitol at the same time, in case the place gets bombed, so someone has to stay home. I guess this year, Maria drew the short straw and had to stay away from the parade... Can't afford to lose the entire cast of Sesame Street.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a happy and stress-free Thanksgiving. I am being sincere when I say I'm thankful that I've met you guys, both virtually and (for some of you) in real life.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

It's supposed to snow here tomorrow

I mean, today. I stayed up way too late working. So here's the Night-Before-the-Night-Before-Thanksgiving-Drafting-Motions iTunes mix:

  1. "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty

  2. "Over My Head (Cable Car)" by the Fray

  3. "Right Down the Line" by Gerry Rafferty

  4. "Best of You" by Foo Fighters

  5. "Turn My Head" by Live

  6. "Always on Sunday" by Tammany Hall NYC

  7. "Beautiful" by Aimee Mann

  8. "Because of Toledo" by the Blue Nile

  9. "Crush Story" by Too Much Joy

  10. "Reminiscing" by Little River Band

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I'll take Potent Potables for $1.50, Alex

I've just had this for the first time in years. Now all I need to lay my hands on is this, and then I can go home. Looking forward to sleeping in my own bed for a while.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Back in the day...

I used to watch movies.

As seen at Phantom's, here are the movies listed in the Rough Guide to Comedy Movies. The ones I've seen are in bold:

All About Eve
Annie Hall
The Apartment
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Blazing Saddles Love this movie. "A man drink like that, and he don't eat, he is going to DIE." "When?"
Bringing Up Baby
Broadcast News Wanted to be a journalist after watching this movie a billion times. Can still recite most of the dialogue from memory.
Le diner de con
Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb Didn't get it
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Duck Soup
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Four Weddings and a Funeral Great movie, but worst Andie MacDowell line ever: "Is it raining? I hadn't noticed." Could she BE more wooden?!
The General
Ghostbusters " you smell something?"
The Gold Rush
Good Morning Vietnam
The Graduate
Groundhog Day Wherein Andie redeems herself, and I find myself more in love with Bill than I'd even thought possible
A Hard Day's Night
His Girl Friday Round of applause for Ralph Bellamy, ladies and gentlemen!
Kind Hearts and Coronets
The Lady Killers
Local Hero Regardless of the movie, Peter Reigert will always be Boon to me.
M*A*S*H Blech
Monty Python's Life of Brian
National Lampoon's Animal House Again, full of love for Boon.
The Odd Couple
The Producers
Raising Arizona Blech.
Shaun of the Dead
A Shot in the Dark
Some Like it Hot
Strictly Ballroom
Sullivan's Travels
There's Something About Mary
This is Spinal Tap

To Be or Not to Be
Toy Story
Les vacances de M. Hulot
When Harry Met Sally... My favorite movie of all time since the year it came out.
Withnail and I

Friday Frivolity

OK, this is relatively embarrassing:

Erotic Thriller

You've made your own rules in life - and sometimes that catches up with you.
Winding a web of deceit comes naturally, and no one really knows the true you.

Your best movie matches: Swimming Pool, Unfaithful, The Crush

I haven't seen any of those movies...

(As seen at Kathy's and SuzanH's sites.)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Two words:

Shirtless Luka.

(And now the TV goes off and I go back to work...)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I swear my feet aren't furry

As seen at Scrivener's place:


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, November 14, 2005

Don't wanna hear it

Like many people, I don't take criticism well. But I also have a difficult time with praise. I'm not sure if that makes me unusual.

When people criticize me, I hear it. I get very serious. I want whoever is speaking to me to know that I'm listening and taking their comments to heart. On the inside, I'm starting to withdraw into myself, starting to beating myself up about whatever I messed up. But on the outside, I am calm and attentive.

When people praise me, the opposite happens. I blush and look down or away, almost immediately forgeting what people have to say. As much as I want to know that I'm doing a good job, I have no idea how to take it when people tell me as much. It's odd, I know. I've had people coming up to me for the past few days telling me they heard I did a good job. (And I've heard the same from the people I worked closest with, who were in the best position to judge.) I duck my head and smile slightly, and then I try to change the subject. I don't know why I do this--it makes no sense.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Now if only I had 30 or so free hours...

These are the movies I really need to see before the end of the year:

Good Night, and Good Luck
The Squid and the Whale
Bee Season
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Walk the Line
The Ice Harvest
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

How many do I think I will actually wind up watching? Two for sure: Harry Potter and Narnia. I'll do midnight showings if I have to for those.

Kiddie lit

I spent the weekend recuperating with NSAH and Angry Boy. Took AB to the library yesterday morning for the first time in ages. We were in and out in just a few minutes, and we've read his "new" books a lot since then:

Oh, and if anyone was curious, I did vote on Tuesday. My November voting streak remains unbroken.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Too drained to think of anything to say, other than:

I love my job. And I miss you guys--I'll have to spend most of this weekend reaching your blogs and catching up.

So here's another song. (Sorry.)

Strange Season

This story is past tense
and I did not want my cover blown
Thought well enough was left alone
and who decided you'd rescue me?
Yeah, I do agree
a bent and broken set are we

Up in a tree we're stuck
and the only lights off the wire
are all the moths in the fire
Can't you feel how the air is getting dry
Try, but can't identify
what you start to think

My baby won't come out at night
They took apart the Angel's Flight
For this
Strange Season

Did you feel it change from cold to hot
With fever, you will have a bout
And all you do is talk about
the meaning of the walkabout...
There I go again
A taste of my own medicine

So shake your head and look around
The leaves don't fall
There's still no sound
to this
Strange Season

Then I start to think
I've seen it through
I saw the sights
They disassembled Angel's Flight.
with this
Strange Season

Do you want to know that
it comes down to this?
Do you want to hear that
Ignorance is bliss
Ignorance is bliss

--Michael Penn

Friday, November 04, 2005

Coming up for air

... only to resubmerge for another week. To those who keep checking here, I thank you for not giving up. I promise that after the coming week, I'll be back posting regularly. I leave you with a song.

Treading Water
Movies like zoos
Try another me and I will try another you
Or put my arms around you
Like I think you want me to
But tell me what you’re thinking
I so often misconstrue
Treading water
Treading white wine
Seeing borders
Seeing straight lines
I get these feelings that I don’t
Have much time
Always rushing
Always late
Movies like zoos
I talk to missionaries when they’re
Standing at my door
They tell me what I should be reading
I still can’t see what for
We both stand there politely trying
To change each other’s core
When other angels float by
They seem likely to fall
From the sky
What I want is difficult
I must try
Always rushing
Always late

- Nada Surf