Smashing Patriarchy After the Second Shift

These days, I’m teaching Woolf and working on revisions to the introduction to a special issue of Modern Fiction Studies. I’m reading feminist theory and reading modernist theory that neglects women. My antennae are up.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not still overwhelmed by the space-time problem of being the mom in a two-career household with two young daughters.

In fact, the combination of trying to do feminist work while trying to live as a feminist who doesn’t yell too much makes me long for Erma Bombeck or Nora Ephron to come and give me a good belly laugh. It’s too predictable.

  • At the pharmacy, the pharmacists hesitate over my desire for a recommendation for wart removal creams. If she’s really only six, she should go to the dermatologist, they think. I miss a job talk by a potential new colleague that I’d wanted to see, leave the office early and take her to the dermatologist. She recommends I go to the pharmacy for some over-the-counter wart removal cream.
  • During a stolen hour, re-reading A Room of One’s Own for a book club, I am interrupted in my study by someone requesting that, as long as I’m around for an hour, maybe I can run a load of laundry.
  • In an effort to be healthy and even lose some weight, I make pasta with lentils which is roundly rejected. The next day, the leftovers are gone and I have no lunch on hand.
  • The dog was jumpy but not unusually so, this morning, pacing around, cocking his head. Cool it, Flynn, I’m getting to you, I say, but get out of my office! He walks under my desk, cocks his head, lifts his leg and pees on the floor.

Ah, the second shift.