jessica valenti

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I’m excited to announce that next month I’ll be joining The Atlantic with the somewhat intimidating title of “Entrepreneur in Residence.” In short, I’ll have the privilege of working for and learning from Atlantic President Scott Havens, Editor James Bennet and their incredible colleagues as we…

Very proud of my smart husband. Also, super excited to be moving back to my hometown.

The Atlantic’s new ladyblog hasn’t launched yet, already disappoints

In the wake of  Ann Marie Slaughter’s traffictastic "having it all" articleThe Atlantic is launching a new vertical about work/life issues. A job announcement for the site says The Sexes will be “devoted to the intersection of work and family” and cover issues like “work-life balance, parenting, gender issues, and family economics.” 

Sounds cool, right? I mean, we absolutely need more smart coverage of parenting and work issues. Maybe this blog could even fill some of the gaps in Slaughter’s piece - like how it framed parenting woes as just women’s problem, omitting men from the conversation almost entirely. 

There doesn’t seem to be much reason for optimism on this front, though. The announcement says the site will have a “special focus on how women are navigating their careers as they juggle roles of mother, daughter, and wife.” So The Sexes will just be about one sex. 

I’m wary of ladyblogs as it is - but this irritates me on a whole other level. By creating a work/life site that focuses only on women, The Atlantic is sending a very clear - and very influential - message: Parenting is women’s problem.  It’s sad, because the magazine has a real opportunity to start a national conversation about children and parenting that could create change. But it seems almost certain that this will just be more of the same. I hope they prove me wrong.

Sad White Babies With Mean Feminist Mommies

The Atlantic is reviving the tired feminist-baiting question “can women have it all.” Le sigh. In celebration of this backlashtastic event, I’ve compiled some of my favorite images that are often the art in these kinds of articles: The mean/frazzled/distracted working white mom (because WOC don’t exist in this narrative) who has been fooled into thinking she can have it all by feminism. Good times.

Note: I haven’t read the piece (it’s not out yet) and for all I know is a scorchingly awesome piece of feminist writing. But the headline/art/cover is just too awful and (knowingly) plays into the anti-feminist cliche the search for work/life balance is greedily trying to have “it all.”