Mary Elizabeth Williams on the recent NYT motherhood click ‘n’ stoush bait

The NYT’s ridiculous motherhood debate (Salon)

There isn’t much in the entire package that doesn’t feel shamelessly manipulated to incite an old-fashioned chick fight here.


Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, media, parenting, relationships

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7 replies

  1. For some reason, this line stuck in my mind:

    Wait, I did not know that we “women” were obsessed [with being the perfect mother] in the first place, unless by “women” you mean a small, privileged, neurotic portion of them.

    My first thought was: I wonder why they seem to be assuming that “women” is equivalent to the “small, privileged, neurotic,” etc., subset of women?
    Then it occurred to me: what is the NY Times’ target demographic?
    P.S.: I’ve noticed that an awful lot of posting lately on the blogs I read (mostly feminist and social justice) seem to be responses to articles in the NY Times. Given how provincial it is, and how shoddy some of the reporting is, I’m a little surprised.

  2. Excellent point re NYT target demographic.
    re your P.S., I’ve not noticed a particular trend of more than usual NYT-provoked blogging generally. There are intermittent blips of NYT-provoked head-desking every now and then, and this just seems to be another of them. I’m not sure I agree that it’s all that provincial though – it has long been considered a world newspaper, and it’s consistently one of the most popular news websites. Shoddy reporting, or at least shoddy opinion trollumnists: now there I agree with you.

  3. By “provincial”, I meant pretty much what I was saying with “target demographic.” The NY Times is run by and written for a particular fairly privileged class of people, mostly in certain metropolitan areas in the US, plus the people who share their world view. It affects what they consider worth reporting and the perspective from which they report them.
    I confess I’m probably a bit prejudiced. I live in the NYC area, and a lot of the people I deal with (mostly over-educated, intellectual people like me) seem to think that the NY Times is Holy Writ.

    • Surely if it’s targeting the elite then by definition it cannot be provincial? The narrowness of perspective lies elsewhere.

    • That’s probably more what I’d use, Mindy. Sorry to sidetrack everyone on semantics though – the point AMM was making is that the NYT does have a narrow upper-middle-class focus for its various features. Its pure politics/economics coverage is still good, but the op-eds are often a vacuously mixed bag.

  4. A friend on twitter recently described the SMH as the “Eastern Suburbs Herald’. Maybe it’s a thing?

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