Unless you've been living on another planet, you know that we have endured an orgy of motherphilia for at least the last two decades. Movie stars proudly display their baby bumps, and the shiny magazines at the checkout counter never tire of describing the joys of celebrity parenthood. Bearing and rearing children has come to be seen as life's greatest good. Never mind that there are now enough abandoned children on the planet to make breeding unnecessary. Professional narcissists like Angelina Jolie and Madonna want their own little replicas in addition to the African and Asian children that they collect to advertise their open-mindedness. Nannies are seldom photographed in these carefully arranged family scenes. We are to assume that all this baby-minding is painless, easy and cheap.
Motherhood for Jong is still not perfect. And its all everyone's fault. Even worse, people are having kids. Their own even! The horror! But even worse, is the lack of tragically hip measures to outsource child-bearing for everywoman, without the need for Sandra Tsing Loh's Kitchen Bitch quandry. For all of Jong's bitter lament that society does not provide nannies and caretakers for every woman to be a tragically hip "artiste" and creative woman, she ignores the obvious. There is an alternative to nannies whose own children, she notes are in the care of their grandmothers or no one. This alternative is called, husbands. And exciting, dynamic, Alpha males don't change diapers.
We are in a period of retrenchment against progressive social policies, and the women pursuing political life today owe more to Evita Peron than to Eleanor Roosevelt. "Mama grizzlies" like Sarah Palin never acknowledge that there are any difficulties in bearing and raising children. Nor do they acknowledge any helpers as they thrust their babies into the arms of siblings or daddies. The baby has become the ultimate political tool.
Here you have it. The real reason Sarah Palin is so hated. She rose from nothing, really, to become a national political figure. Not sacrificing family, either. The key was her husband. Who shared chores, family raising, and more. While Todd Palin is a masculine, aggressive man, he's not higher-status than Sarah Palin. Something women like Jong (and there are many who find her writing important, and worth paying for), find disgusting. Thrusting their babies into the arms of siblings or daddies? How gauche. How low class. No wonder Tina Fey hates Sarah Palin. Fey's own kids have well-paid professional nannies, the way a proper woman has.
Yes, class rules so much of American society. Not the least of which is that class is deeply entwined in feminism. There's nothing worse than marrying, after all, a Kitchen Bitch and "thrusting their babies into the arms of daddies." When a true, upper class woman goes from man to man (as Jong did) and hires nannies.
And this raises a larger point. The political and social culture is built upon upper class women and men, assuming a constant upward mobility and disposable income. For most women, that pawing off to nannies of children, is not possible. A husband looks better, though the supply of men willing to be Kitchen Bitches is now understandably short, and of inferior quality. Regardless, it is likely that we've reached a cultural inflection point. One where the desires of Jong and folks like her to move the culture in their direction comes up against one giant problem.
There just isn't any more money.