The ‘Opt-Out’ Problem We Don’t Talk About
January 12, 2011
I was eight months pregnant with my first child when Lisa Belkin introduced the concept of “The Opt-Out Revolution” in The New York Times Magazine. It was October 2003, and the last year or so had seen a flurry of books and articles devoted to the challenges (to put it politely) of working motherhood. There was Allison Pearson’s comic novel I Don’t Know How She Does It, in which the protagonist, a perpetually frazzled hedge-fund manager and mother of two, finds herself in the kitchen in the middle of the night “distressing” store-bought pies so that they will appear homemade.
May 05, 2003
My kids sniggered a little nervously when I came home with The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage. They lost interest when I turned to Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood, a collection of columns by Salon contributors. Catching up on recent reportage from the Anglo-American home front (an antidote to tales from the battlefield), I also dipped into Rachel Cusk’s A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother and Lisa Belkin’s Life’s Work: Confessions of an Unbalanced Mom.