Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Tuesday is Reader Mail Day!

I received a lot of mail this week related to the Opt Out revolution, hyper-parenting, and the gender genie. Here's a sample:

From fellow redhead, Warren:

First off, love the blog -- it's one of many things that helps me avoid grading papers. Which is good.
I particularly enjoyed yesterday's posting on hypercorrect pregnancies, etc. ("Gobs of guilt.") I was born in 1965, to a pair of two-to-three-pack-a-day smokers (Marlboros for Mom, Unfiltered Camels for Dad... grunt, snort). I am now 6'5" and a professor of medieval literature at a small liberal arts college. I have pointed out to my folks that, had it not been for their smoking (and the enormous amt. of secondhand smoke I have picked up over the years), I would now be about eleven feet tall and would have been named Galactic Emperor by acclamation. Oh, well... who needs that sort of pressure?

From Alice in Amherst:

Curiouser and curiouser. When I ran the Gender Genie on three samples of my own work, it only correctly identified me as female on a 500 word example of my fiction.
Both samples of my non-fiction (aka 'scholarly work') work identified
me as male, according to our Genie. Quote from the Gender Genie:
"that is one butch chick!" Highly flattered, I basked in the critical
accolade...until I paused to consider that the fragment in question was
philosophical in nature, and scored higher in "male" attributes, than
the other piece of non-fiction, which was a piece of literary criticism.
Hmmmm. Does that cast some worrying illumination on the way people
categorize gender, or am I imagining things? Not about to stop shaving my legs just yet.

From Martha Bullen, coauthor, Staying Home: From Full-time Professional to Full-time Parent:

One of the key points of Lisa Belkin's article, "The Opt-Out Revolution," is that the way the workplace is currently structured doesn't work well for parents or families. After writing about this issue for the last decade, we've learned that what you say "No" to is as important as what you say "Yes" to. Knowing that the prevailing U.S. corporate culture makes no allowance for family life, many women are saying "No." "No" to 70-hour workweeks, "No" to frequent moves, "No" to unremitting travel schedules. Clearly, more and better part-time, flex-time, job-sharing and work-at-home options (with benefits) are needed to accommodate workers with young children. We hope that Belkins' conclusion is right, and that women's search for balance will lead to better work/family options for everyone.

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