Thursday, October 4, 2007

Three for Thursday: More Than Just ‘Soccer Moms,’ ‘Mad Men’ and Meet Me in San Francisco

Item #1: More Than Just ‘Soccer Moms’

The always thoughtful magazine Brain, Child has a fascinating piece in its Fall 2007 issue saying that moms can’t be pigeon-holed into one voting bloc or categorized with a simpleton phrase – like “soccer moms” or “security moms” – because, stop the presses, moms don’t all agree on political issues or on which candidate would make the best president.

Item #2: ‘Mad Men,’ Parenting Circa 1960

I’m borderline obsessed with the new AMC drama “Mad Men,” a show set in 1960 that follows the lives of up-and-coming advertising executives on New York City’s Madison Avenue. It provides a dark, incisive examination of how the “good old days” weren’t so good, particularly if you were a woman who didn’t want to be kept under your husband’s control and weren't fond of being tethered to the kitchen.

I’m so fascinated, in fact, that I made the show the subject of two recent columns. In my October Parents and Kids essay I looked at how the climate for pregnant women in 1960 was permissive (for example, a visibly pregnant woman on “Mad Men” drank alcohol and smoked at a party and no one cared), as opposed to today, when everything a pregnant woman does and eats is under scrutiny by everyone at all times. In a separate Mommy Track’d column I mused about how, despite the strides made in the past 47 years in terms of social justice and discrimination, there are many, many things that, sadly, remain the same, like the fact that single moms are pitied and that, in some quarters, working moms are likewise pitied.

Item #3: Meet Me in San Francisco

I’ll be signing copies of my collection of columns, “A Suburban Mom: Notes from the Asylum” at a one-day event in San Francisco on October 18 about moms and work. The Mother + Professional=New Formulas for Success event at the Mission Bay Conference Center from 5:30-9 p.m., is co-sponsored by Mommy Track’d and Flexperience and will feature not only a book signing session by several authors including yours truly and the always-clever Christie Mellor of the “Three-Martini Playdate” series, but will also include a panel discussion moderated by the Washington Post’s Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of Mommy Wars.

If you’re in the Bay Area on October 18, come to the Mission Bay Center for a visit and some good conversation.

Bonus Item: I was recently interviewed about my book, “A Suburban Mom: Notes from the Asylum,” by syndicated columnist Betsy Hart for her new radio program, “It Takes a Parent.” A podcast of the show is available through her blog.

(Image from AMC.)

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