The New York Times on MBA mommies

I find this a very odd article: The Opt-Out Revolution. It’s an extremely long New York Times Magazine piece about women with MBAs or whatever who decide they don’t like having careers. I suppose the problem is the people the people the piece is about. They’re present-day middle-class Americans, which means their highest goal is “fulfillment,” with maybe a little gloss of PC and altruism. They’re well-educated by current standards, which means they’ve lost any ancestral common sense they might otherwise have had, and have nothing to replace it but technical knowledge, half-baked ideology, dreams of “success,” and their own homemade theories. And they’re women, which means that the expectations of other people are very important to them, and on occasion they may have a weakness for complex rationalizations.

Anyway, it’s notable that the piece includes the thought—held ambivalently but not rebutted—that there are biological differences between the sexes that affect behavior. In spite of the concession to reality, the author doesn’t go off message. She presents the male characteristics these women are rejecting wholly negatively, and ends with the suggestion that they are carrying forward the wonderful feminist revolution in gender roles even more gloriously than before:

Women started this conversation about life and work—a conversation that is slowly coming to include men. Sanity, balance and a new definition of success, it seems, just might be contagious. And instead of women being forced to act like men, men are being freed to act like women. Because women are willing to leave, men are more willing to leave, too … Looked at that way, this is not the failure of a revolution, but the start of a new one. It is about a door opened but a crack by women that could usher in a new environment for us all.

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