I’m reading the book, “Spin Sisters”, by Mryna Blyth, once the editor of “Ladies’ Home Journal”. I’ve discovered it helps to keep notes on a book as I’m reading: so I’m publishing those as I go along.
Quote from the book: “Instead of celebrating our opportunities, the media portrays smart, educated, talented, resourceful women as harried, hurried, incompetent losers, always, but always, getting it wrong” (pg 43). Strange: that’s not what I’ve taken from the media articles I’ve read. A simple search on google as I was writing this brought up nothing of this kind, in anything recent (at least in the first twenty hits). The closest I could find: in one article (“11 Secrets to Success from Top Female Executives”, in the March issue of “Elle”), one of the eleven secrets is: “Your work-life balance is your call”. The author acknowledges that it can be a struggle: and gives women the control. This would seem to deny what Ms. Blyth is complaining about: I’ve seen lots of articles that empower women, identifying difficulties and suggesting solutions. (Many, like this one, would be good for men to read, as well.) But Myrna may be speaking only of her own magazine. Then again, I’m not a woman. And not conservative, at least not in this respect. And not as rich as Ms. Blyth. And it would seem that perception changes with conservatism and money. Too bad that it sounds rather depressing.
On the same page she says (and I almost laughed when I read it), “If you are single, they say you still need to get a man…” (43) Now I can tell I don’t read the right magazines: I haven’t heard this kind of propaganda in decades. I haven’t even heard it implied. In fact, the last time I really encountered this perspective was at Moody (the mid-eighties), where we joked that guys were there for their BA, in whatever their interest: pastoral studies, theology, or missions… while women were out for their MRS: with the same choices in fields of study. Moody was hardly a bastion of liberal (or feminist) thought, and a surprising percentage of us (including myself) married someone we had met at the school: it was a great place to meet someone of similar (conservative) perspective. Which is why I’m a bit confused about what Myrna is trying to say in this paragraph (which isn’t much longer than what I’ve quoted, and the rest is mostly sarcasm.) Her comment seems to align much more with my conservative experience than my progressive. Then again, this might also be unique to her. I explored some of her previous writing: such as a novel she wrote in 1979, “For Better and For Worse.” One of the reviews on amazon wraps up the description of the book: “At the close, husband and wife, with their newly acquired cunning, reconciled to their sediment of guilt, essentially no longer in love, recognize that ‘to hold and be held’ is the best they can give one another. An acrid modern fable, briskly delivered in high-sheen dialogue and stiletto-heeled narration.” (Amazon.com) Yuch. Doesn’t sound like it would align very well with either my views of marriage or a good novel. I’ve read some of her “stiletto-heeled narration”, and it wasn’t very fun… or accurate.