Spreadin’ Love

More women than ever are the primary breadwinners for their families.

These dumpster pools are awesome.

I've been reading tons of obits on Frank McCourt. I wish I had gone to one of his book readings. Drat.

Cops arrested Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for breaking into his own home. More from the Boston Globe.

Really excellent article by Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker on why Americans got so fat in the 1980s.


11 thoughts on “Spreadin’ Love

  1. I’m kind of struck by the wording of the caption:
    there has been a sharp rise in the number of married couples where a woman is LEFT to bring home the bacon because her husband is unemployed
    this LOSS of the traditional breadwinner has occurred across a variety of demographic groups
    emphasis mine.
    Like if a husband isn’t bringing in money, he might as well not be there.

  2. I’m pretty steamed about the Gates arrest and have been reading about it all evening. There are so many little WTF moments, the main one for me being “What kind of Harvard Magazine employee doesn’t know who Skip Gates is?” Then again, I can never get my husband to tell me when John Krasinski is coming to campus*, so basically, uni staff can be morons.
    Marya’s point is well-taken. No one here says that Steve has been “left to bring home the bacon” while Laura is unemployed.
    *Could this be deliberate on my husband’s part? Am I that attractive and sexy that upon meeting me, John Krasinski will be blown away by my gorgeousness and whisk me off to LA? Don’t answer that–let me dream a while. 😉

  3. I had some other problems with the article. I couldn’t tell from the article how much money women were bringing in and how many hours they were working. And I walked away with a so, what? Who cares who’s earning what? Does this mean that men are picking up more of the child care responsibilities? That would be cool. Are these families able to survive on one salary? Or are they having the problem that Elizabeth Warren describes, where families can no longer survive on one salary?

  4. “Loss of the traditional breadwinner”? Is this reporter completely oblivious to the fact that, as of 2003, 82% of American wives worked for money? The traditional breadwinner role is already dead and gone, people. Move on! It’s also just not reasonable to throw out the 78 cents on the dollar figure without noting that *mothers* get dinged salary-wise, not women in general. A woman with no children is typically at parity with her male counterparts.
    I also was irrationally annoyed with the bad grammar in this piece. (” … losing three-out-of-every-four jobs lost.”)
    I know everyone’s trying to do a recession tie-in related to the unusually high levels of male layoff, but I just wish they were a little more professional about their reporting.

  5. Kolbert makes those “Fat Studies” folks look pretty lame. Curiuosly, we do not have this latest academic fad at my esteemed institution. Yet.

  6. When we moved into our current rental in Texas, we’d had lengthy delays at DFW. We showed up at our rental house (which had been left open for us) sometime past 11 PM in my cousin’s low-rider. Minutes later, we were all explaining ourselves to a campus security guy who had been called by our new next door neighbors. Welcome to the neighborhood!
    A number of years earlier, when my husband was faculty in residence in DC, we returned from Christmas travel to the West Coast to discover that the university had deactivated our cards (along with all the student cards) and that we couldn’t get into our own apartment. It was around 10 PM, it was cold, we had a mountain of luggage on the sidewalk, and I was trying to keep an infant warm. I forget exactly what the sequence of events was, but eventually four campus security guards arrived to “help” us. I believe we showed ID, showed keys, and I definitely remember pointing out to them that our names and photographs were on our front door.
    Polite and cooperative is the way to go when dealing with law enforcement or security people.

  7. Yes, Kudos to Kolbert, for making sense of this issue.
    And yes, “Fat Studies” would seem a natural for my institution, although you might be amazed at how many folks are toned and buffed around here!

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