6.23.2005

The Empire Of The Alpha Mom

And here I thought I wouldn’t read an article that would irritate me more than Neil Pollack's recent piece for Salon – "When Toddlers Get Fired". Of course, I took offense with Pollack’s actions, not Salon’s…

Continuing in the fine tradition of the media presenting unrealistic portraits of mothers, the New York magazine’s story “Empire Of The Alpha Mom” on Isabel Kallman’s new venture, Alpha Mom TV, allows her to paint herself as a supremely driven, frightening, wealthy, type-A Mom who sees baby as a business opportunity: “She had begun talking to Craig (her husband by this time; she liked his drive, too) about finding a new product, when the discussion somehow got knotted up with having a baby. It was soon decided that Isabel would take some time off, consider her career options, do the baby while she was at it.”

Product, eh? Clearly the article means to poke fun at Isabel, though the author never has to be obviously snarky because Kallman says such ridiculous, horrible things on her own. Turning the experience of having a kid into something marketable and/or useful is not a bad thing. But there is something disturbing about Isabel’s drive to encourage other women to be more perfect mothers and mistrust their instincts because there are better answers “out there” than what you have inside. Every discussion about her baby eerily lacks any kind of emotion.

But what’s offensive about the article is not the person it covers. It’s that a magazine would focus negative energy on Kallman, who I do not think is in any way typical of a workforce Mom. The Post continues to feed us tired images of women in the workforce who, as “business women”, are shitty Moms. Women who are "ball breakers" don’t care about their kids! They are rich bitches! They hire nannies! It’s easy to dislike Kallman – too easy. Women’s anger should be focused at Randall Patterson for presenting readers with an image that speaks very negatively of women who combine business & family.

Some thoughts via The Rage Diaries: http://schmeiser.typepad.com/the_rage_diaries/2005/06/i_have_no_idea_.html

3 Comments:

Blogger dirtyweekender said...

There are two words that come to mind when I read Neal Pollack's artice - WHINEY and WEAK. Why don't Neal and Regina just wish their son's entire childhood away instead of just their dreaded summer with him? I feel sorry for Elijah because it seems his biggest problems are Neil and Regina. It's not Elijah's fault he has lame parents who are self-centered brats themselves. Notice NOT ONCE do they ever express concern for Sophie or the other children. All they can think about is how their child is really cramping their style. Neil and Regina disgust me.

10:19 AM  
Blogger dirtyweekender said...

There are two words that come to mind when I read Neal Pollack's artice - WHINEY and WEAK. Why don't Neal and Regina just wish their son's entire childhood away instead of just their dreaded summer with him? I feel sorry for Elijah because it seems his biggest problems are Neil and Regina. It's not Elijah's fault he has lame parents who are self-centered brats themselves. Notice NOT ONCE do they ever express concern for Sophie or the other children. All they can think about is how their child is really cramping their style. Neil and Regina disgust me.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Silver Zephyr said...

for those of you who haven't read the pollack article, it's caused a shitstorm of controversy. man, you should see the letters on salon. pollack is from austin, by the way.

11:44 AM  

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