Sunday, 20 October 2013

Margaret Wente blows smoke up Sheryl Sandberg's silk skirt


If this were the wild west, there'd be a lynch mob out to string up Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente for her Saturday column in which she compared so-called Alpha females to the rest of us slugs.

Slugs, you know, the women who choose family over career, either out of obligation, love or necessity?

Okay, she didn't call us slugs, but she might as well have.

Alpha females, in whose company Wente counts herself "are highly educated with full-time careers (and then some). They work like dogs. They have fewer children than most. They’re far more likely to be married to their first husbands...They’re devoted to their children, but never put careers on hold for them".

And, according to Wente, they are better mothers, ensuring that their kids go to the best schools and make the right choices, as opposed to the 80 percent of the rest of us. Yeah, you read that right.

I know what you're saying. This is so much bullshit from a woman who has never had kids and is too lazy to write her own copy, preferring the five finger editorial discount. That's right, I said it.

I would normally let something like this column slide except for this paragraph.

"Less-educated women are still likely to work in gender-segregated fields (teaching, personal service, retail). They’re more likely to drop out of work when they have their kids, and after that, they’d rather work part time. They’re far more likely to have children out of wedlock and to be divorced. Alpha women stay in school longer, marry later, postpone kids until they’re over 30 and don’t stop working when they become mothers. Because of the type of jobs they have, part-time work is not an option. Even so, they spend more time with their kids than less educated mothers do. They are intensive, super-conscientious parents who invest huge resources in their children."

This is where the gloves come off. Where the hell is she getting her information from? Ezra Levant? (Thanks Derik for the observation.)

Certainly not from Statistics Canada.

" Education indicators show that women generally do better than men. This gap in favour of women is even noticeable at a young age, since girls often get better marks than boys in elementary and secondary school. As well, more girls than boys earn their high school diploma within the expected timeframe and girls are less likely to drop out. More women than men enrol in college and university programs after completing their high school education. A greater percentage of women leave these programs with a diploma or degree."

We all know that Wente doesn't let the research get in the way of a good yarn. In fact, she attributes (sort of) this drivel to a book somebody sent her, a book by some British economist named Alison Wolf. She's British, Wente reasons, so she must be smart and right.

Here's the thing. A lot of women -- and men for that matter -- get off the treadmill for the sake of their kids, families and for their personal fulfillment.

They realize that there is more to life than a hefty paycheque and a power lunch.

When a woman is laying on her death bed, she's not saying "Gosh, I wish I'd gone to more meetings" or "I'm glad I got the corner office."

There is more to life than drinking a martini and scarfing peanuts alone in the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge.

We don't lean back because we're stupid or uneducated. We lean back to embrace our lives. That, in fact, makes us the smart ones.

And, by the way, that Alpha with the cool first husband who's also a work-a-holic? He's fucking his secretary!

Someone should let Margaret Wente in on the secret before she gets to her own deathbed.

But then, she's too busy blowing smoke up Sheryl Sandberg's silk skirt.

1 comment:

  1. that smoke thing would have made a good visual. we have the same short sighted input in the US. unless you have done the whole kid/marriage/work thing, you really have a narrow skewed view of the interplay of work and family and the things those things demand. same with guys. but guys don't have the babies. I have often believed that if guys had to have the babies, the human race would be gone in one generation. I would call a bs on Ms Wente's comments. I think that maybe that smoke would be something more construction than the comments Wente is offering.

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