Linda Hirshman

Linda R. Hirshman retired as the Allen/Berenson Distinguished Visiting Professor at Brandeis University. With almost no effort, she landed spot No. 77 on Bernard Goldberg's 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. She is the author of Get to Work ... And Get a Life Before It's Too Late, in paperback May 28.

Recent Articles

OHMIGOD, SOMEONE HAS MIXED ME UP WITH JUDITH WARNER.

OHMIGOD, SOMEONE HAS MIXED ME UP WITH JUDITH WARNER. I just read Garance �s post in response to my week�s writing and to Judith Warner �s dreaded reappearance on The Times website. Although Garance made the linkage, I don�t think this is her mistake -- because she has been following my writing since I published � Homeward Bound � in the Prospect last December. But many of the commentators seem to read Garance�s post and conclude that, like Warner, I take the position that life is so hard for mommies, they cannot keep their jobs and need to be rescued by an omniscient government. Nothing could be further from the truth, as anyone who has read anything by or about me during the last six months surely knows. Even seeing the phrase �Judith and Linda� makes me a little dizzy. It is true that when the women graduate from Harvard, or anywhere else, as I said, the speedup in well-paid jobs has made the prospect of finding good work and having a home life harder. It is also true, and this is...

GRADUATION 2006: SEND YOUR DAUGHTERS TO WORK DAY.

GRADUATION 2006: SEND YOUR DAUGHTERS TO WORK DAY. Today is Harvard�s graduation day . While the politicians and pundits exhort the lucky few to lead their nation and give back to their communities, no one mentions that many of them will do nothing of the kind. If current trends keep up, half of the graduates who are women are not going to lead the nation. They�re going to stay home and raise their babies. Harvard degrees and all. Many don�t want to wind up homeward bound. Often, social forces -- discrimination in the workplace, the long hours that top jobs require -- discourage them from trying to have family and career. Almost half (PDF) of female college graduates with children do not work full-time. Although the census data shows around 76 percent of them in the �labor force,� about a 17 percent are working only part-time, with predictable loss of influence, and another 4 percent are unemployed and looking for work. Some of them admit they never liked working; others dream of...

CAITLIN REVISITED. A...

CAITLIN REVISITED. A helpful comment by Mark Schmitt on my post below suggests that the verb �to Caitlin ,� meaning �to provide a hot nightly dinner to the male head of the household,� should actually be �to Paloma ,� since it is Caitlin�s Hispanic employee who actually does the work around the house, while Caitlin scribbles about how women should quit their jobs to do the work around the house. I offer instead a friendly amendment to the definition, to include �to provide, or hire Hispanic employees to provide , a hot nightly dinner. I wouldn�t want to coin a phrase that discriminates against the wealthy elite, or what our Republican friends call �class warfare.� Okay, Mark? --Linda Hirshman

WHAT ARE SPERM...

WHAT ARE SPERM FOR? One of the chapters of my book is called �Everything I know, I learned from the Gay Movement,� specifically the turn to a moral argument for gay marriage, a development I applaud and emulate in my own work for women. So I have watched the developments around the Federal Marriage Amendment, up for a vote in the U.S. Senate today, with my usual reaction to the current direction of American politics: fear and loathing. But I have had the strangest feeling all week that Bush �s Federal Marriage Amendment is going to, pardon the expression, backfire, not just because it�s so transparently strategic and insincere , but because it�s so hilariously stupid. Bob Cesca had a wonderful post on Huffington Post yesterday reminding us that a lot of the prohibition against nonreproductive sex, and therefore homosexual sex, stems from truly imaginative understandings of each sperm as having a little man in it waiting to be born. (Women were just the garden, naturally.) My personal...

MARRIAGE VERSUS DEATH...

MARRIAGE VERSUS DEATH BY TERROR. The airwaves and newsstands are full of Newsweek magazine�s retraction of its 1986 prediction that a mature single woman�s chances of getting married were the same as her being killed by a terrorist. Relax, girls, Newsweek is �Rethinking the Marriage Crunch,� and that worst of all fates, single female life, can mostly be avoided. Even if you had the temerity to acquire a college degree. In a real effort at analysis, Newsweek solicited an essay from Stephanie Coontz , the nostalgia debunking family scholar, which alerts us that women are marrying down, staying at work, and making egalitarian bargains. But Newsweek �s marriage articles always carry a sting, don�t they? The scary thing about the new article is that the women Newsweek chose to profile gave up their careers and separate identities after they won the prize. One unexpected bride quit her job to tend the kids and moved from New York to Vermont; the article highlights a second one, formerly a...

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