Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I can think of some ways


I was ready to rip into this because of its lionization of people who never stop because the word "stop" is not found in "go-go," which I wrote about yesterday. But then I hit this passage, which is another thing entirely (emphasis mine):

With two substantial incomes, they can have Margarita work full time, though she’s not needed much as a nanny anymore. She cleans during the day, drives the girls to soccer practices, takes Scotty to a weekly program at Imagination Stage, and makes the kids dinner, leaving around 6 or 7. Missy gets home between 7:30 and 8, about the same time as Scott...

The subtitle of this story is, "We went searching for Supermom. We found her in Chevy Chase." 

Supermom indeed. You single moms raising special-needs kids in small apartments on meager incomes all lose. Where's your six-figure income and full-time nanny? Where are your expensive private schools that cater to the specific needs of each of your children? Where is your husband and his additional six-figure income? Your NFL-champion personal trainer? Your six-bedroom home that you designed with lavish soirees in mind? Your extensive network of power players in your ultra-affluent community? Maybe you should try harder. Then you too could overcome all of the extremely minor inconveniences the Supermom calls problems.

Most of the "problems" this family faces wouldn't even be considered problems to most people. Aw, the Christmas tree fell once? Kids didn't pick out their school outfits until morning? Parents occasionally had disheveled hair and exhibited real emotions? Hah! 

If anything, I'd say this family has irreversibly conquered every genuine hardship. Good for them. But that's not a testament to superlative parenting as much as to the power of wealth. 

This isn't to pick on a single person, but to highlight what is perhaps our nation's biggest social ill: economic inequality. Specifically, how so severe it is that articles like this run with zero sense of perspective or self-awareness. 

There seems to be a genuine belief among many elites in this country that poor people don't care about a decent standard of living or what's best for their kids. Conversely, these people believe their own success is due to their pluck, rather than connections and limitless resources. When framed that way, it's easy to hail the rich and piss on the poor. But really, it shows that if we invest in public schools and in low-wage workers, among other measures, then a lot of these problems take care of themselves. But that doesn't jibe with the bootstrap mentality, and keeping up that facade is apparently more important to us.

Supermom's real power is stability. Without it, she'd be ... an actual Supermom.

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