OFFICIAL BLOG

Fieldnotes

#metoo

Published by Wednesday Martin

It's hard to remember an issue that has galvanized women like our recent national conversation about sexual harassment and sexual assault. Women are angry, fed up, and speaking up. Harvey Weinstein's harassment of women, his bartering for sexual favors with his influence as an image-maker who could make or break actresses' careers, went largely unchecked for years. And unsurprisingly, he had a whole army of enablers--everyone from the agents and managers who knew and kept sending actresses his way to the lawyers who made settlements, effectively silencing women and allowing Weinstein to continue harassing them. I have heard from dozens of women who tell me memories they had long buried are rising to the surface--memories of being propositioned at work, harassed, assaulted in any number of fields.


Great Expectations: "Don't Take It Personally!"

Published by Wednesday Martin

In my last post I considered just how unrealistic the expectation that women married to men with kids will be able to win those kids over with warmth, kindness, and good intentions alone is.


As Spring Holiday and Event Season and Summer Vacation All Approach, Stepmothers Think, "Just Shoot Me"

Published by Wednesday Martin

In spite of the brief snow flurries in Manhattan today, Spring is in the air. I know this because I am woefully underprepared for both Passover and Easter (sometimes, being part of an interfaith marriage means bungling two traditions). If memory serves, they are to be followed in short order by May weddings and graduations, after which there will be the long Memorial Day holiday, followed by June weddings and graduations, and along the way, sometimes as early as late April or early May if they're in college, the kids are off for a three or four month summer holiday.


I Was a Really Good Stepmother Before I Married a Man with Kids

Published by Wednesday Martin

Did you catch Oprah yesterday? The theme was "Secrets of Motherhood," and women were cutting loose (http://www.oprah.com/dated/oprahshow/oprahshow-20090311-secret-lives-moms). I laughed out loud at the story of a mom who was driving down the highway with all of her kids asleep in the backseat — bliss! A few moments, perhaps even an hour, of quiet to look forward to! But what to do about the fact that she was dying to pee? If she pulled over at a rest stop the crowd would wake up and make her life hell again, after all. So, like any self-respecting mom in desperate need of silence and a potty, she hauled a diaper out of the nearby diaper bag — and used it. You also have to give it up for the mom who said she thinks the secret of discipline is for your kids to think you're a little bit crazy and they just don't know what you might do next. Case in point: she threatened her daughter that if she continued to misbehave, Mom would get rid of ALL her toys. Her warning went unheeded — so she made good on her promise. Swooping into the room with a big garbage bag, she spirited every toy away, Grinch-style: "There wasn't so much as a Lego left." She left her kid high and dry for 24  hours, then returned the stash. But the lesson lives on: "All I have to do is get a certain crazy look in my eye," the woman reports, "and she knows I mean business."