Thursday, January 20, 2005

Brooks Attempts Empathy Toward Vagina-Havers, Steps on D**k

I'm sorry, I keep saying "no more teeing off on David Brooks," but he just tossed the juiciest softball yet. When Brooks goes for empathy, it's watching someone's car stall on train tracks.

In "Empty Nests, and Hearts" (can we give an award for that title?), Brooks argues that women should consider marrying and having kids much younger.

His heart, what's left of it, is in the right place. He sees women trying to balance careers and parenting in a society where employers make this very difficult. We all know the story (as recently presented in a slobbery "women decide that careers aren't worth it and go back to full-time mothering" segment on 60 Minutes). A woman begins a career, then has a child. Her husband keeps working full-time, so she cuts back her hours or takes a leave of absence for a few years. When she returns, she finds that her colleagues have advanced their careers while she was raising her kids, and her employer won't give her much opportunity for advancement now because she hasn't shown dedication to the company. This explains much of the current wage gap. That, and the fact that women who make the decision to put parenting over a career and end up divorced rarely get compensated for the time they could have spent making themselves more marketable. They make a deal with their husbands--"I'll put education and career aside for the kids, and you bring home the bacon"--then the husband takes the bacon elsewhere and the wife loses 5 or 10 or 20 years she could have spent building a career.

Anyway, it is in this context that Brooks begins his fec--sorry, thesis. Since our social institutions put up so many barriers to women who want to raise children and have a career, he argues, women should change. Get married and have babies in your twenties, then in your 30s you can attend a...[snicker]...sorry, you can [chortle]...haha, sorry. He says that then [CACKLE!]...HAHAHAHA [trying not to pee pants]...Eff it, I'll let Brooks say it himself:

"For example, it might make more sense to go to college, make a greater effort to marry early and have children. Then, if she, rather than her spouse, wants to stay home, she could raise children from age 25 to 35. Then at 35 (now that she knows herself better) she could select a flexible graduate program specifically designed for parents. Then she could work in one uninterrupted stint from, say, 40 to 70."

HAHAHAHAHA!!! Mommy U. Breeder College of the Reproductive Arts. Learn Here Bitch.

R U F N K M???

For Brooks, it's as simple as that. Get your MRS degree, then the next degree (I guess that would be a Pamper's Degree), then go back to a [snicker] "flexible graduate program specifically designed for parents" once the rugrats are off to college.

It didn't occur to Brooks, even after asking lots of Credentialed Men, that maybe we as a society should push for more flexible workplaces? That we should have a culture that doesn't economically penalize (as it were) women for learning? That maybe it would be nice if, say, companies could accommodate husbands and wives (or husbands and husbands or wives and wives for that matter, but that's another battle) who each wanted to work half-time?

Maybe Lawrence Summers will start a "flexible graduate program specifically designed for intellectually inferior genders" at Harvard.

Is Brooks married? He better hope his wife didn't read Lysistrata in her flexible graduate program.

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