Should women writers only have one child, if they want to produce more than offspring? You know, I think this piece means well…I really do. The writers cited within are all ones I admire and have, myself, often looked to as models for various ways to work and live. And yet…the ongoing obsession with whether or not it is “possible” to write and parent at the same time if you are a woman is also wearying to me. I’m a little exhausted by the refrains about whether or not McCarthy or Sontag would have been McCarthy or Sontag had another kid come down the pike. I am not, of course, McCarthy or Sontag. But/and I have 3 kids, and I’ve managed to get 3 books published, and edit 3 different publications simultaneously, while teaching, blah blah blah. I travel and have friends and a life. I have never had full-time help, and have not had any in-home help in more than four years. I do laundry, pack lunches, make dinner, take my kids places, host sleepovers, like every other mom on the planet who doesn’t send her kids to boarding school or something for her convenience. I’ve talked about this on The Rumpus before, and I don’t want to be a broken record, so I apologize, really. But honestly, this is just silly. Parenting and writing is difficult, sure. So is parenting and being a teacher, or a judge, or a nurse, or a secretary who actually runs the company while the boss is paid 30 times as much. But if we act like women will never be able to produce art if they decide to have children, or more than one child, we are ultimately reducing women to their biology and acting as though it is a miracle every time a woman manages to…do anything besides organize a playdate. Its an argument that wears the clothing of feminism but is actually incredibly reductive and patronizing, and a kind of weird scare tactic, the variety of which is so common in the media these days. Having a second child was not going to turn Susan Sontag or Joan Didion into a fucking soccer mom, people. Margaret Atwood wasn’t going to throw in the towel and bake cookies all day and forego ever writing a book (instead of, you know, writing a million of them) if she’d had more than one kid. Enough already.
A new study on female desire turns prevailing cultural myths upside down…though I’m kinda guessing it’s not likely to shock any Rumpus readers.
Caroline Leavitt kicks some interview-ass on Women’s Fiction Writers.
Head down to Printers Row Lit Fest.
The amazing hacker who exposed the Steubenville rapists could spend more time behind bars than they do. Apparently no good deed goes unpunished…
Um…some beach reading? The recommended list to get you ready for TEDGlobal 2013. (Hint: I will not be ready. But I have fantasies about being the kind of person who would be.)
This over-the-top luxurious madhouse is where I’ll be spending the next few days, thanks to Tod Goldberg and UC-Palm Desert’s Low Res MFA program. The presidential suite belongs to the Todfather, who always has good scotch.
And if you’re a student in the program and you want to make sure to have sex with an editor, be aware that our schedules, per the advice of Joyce Carol Oates, are filling quickly. (My god, I’m so happy The Onion exists sometimes. This was just so awesome.)
Study with Josh Mohr at The Grotto, because he is about as smart and nice as they come.
Thanks to the fab editors at Newcity, for including me on the “Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago.” I’m in some amazing company.
The guys at Booked recorded our last Sunday Salon Chicago, which features not only stellar readings and some great Booked pod-chat, but Emily Rapp and Rob Roberge introducing one another in Poet Voice is not to be missed.
And hey–congrats, Dave Daley, on being named the interim editor at Salon.