david brooks, that god of reasoned judgement and analysis, has informed me that i'm doing things all wrong. currently in my "fertile" season, i'm putting family-making on hold to pursue a career, instead of waiting til my "mid-30's, when [i] ha[ve] acquired the maturity and character to make intelligent career choices." he implies -- calmly, logically -- that this trajectory, while all right for men, doesn't work for me. it's almost as if he thinks that my "fertility" and "maturity and character" are mutually exclusive. i can only enjoy them in sequence, not at the same time.
at no point does he castigate 20-something men, who go straight from college to work, for not waiting until they have "maturity and character to make intlligent career choices." why not? are they not young in their 20s too? if you prick them with adrenaline, hormones, seritonin, do they not bleed?
people in their 20s want to have fun. they want irresponsibility, men as well as women. the young have gotten younger. george w. bush, our moral scimitar, didn't emerge from adolescence until he was 40! so even if the vast multitude of college-educated girls shook off the influences of sex and the city and network sitcoms and decided to be responsible, use their wombs while they got em, and put off job-searching until they were emotionally equipped to it right, do you think college-educated boys would hallelujah en masse and shout, "tied up in apron strings, tied down with children -- how did you know, in contrast with every message you've ever received from society, that's just what i always wanted?"
think of what harm this phenomenon would do to the cities! waves of newly-married and itchin-to-be-responsible young couples would exodus in search of suburban comfort, leaving devastated ruins of empty clubs, movie theaters, bars, and studio apartments in their wake. culture would collapse! the economy would collapse! the democratic party would collapse (at least according to this article about red america)! perhaps this is david brooks' devious master plan. devious, david, but i see through you. i hereby pledge not to abandon my life as a young, unmarried new york woman -- not, at least, until i've gotten a chance to vote democratic a few more times and enjoy the immoral guilty pleasures of supporting myself.
Claudia Rankine Takes the Stage
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