Chairman Mom’s first-ever retreat keeps getting more enticing.
I’m excited to announce that this week we’ve added another amazing powerhouse to the agenda: Vanessa De Luca, the former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine. De Luca made Essence a leader in the wave of women’s magazines doing more substantial reporting and research around issues that face women of color at work. She pioneered more content on how black women could build their careers in centers of power where they looked around and saw nobody who looked like them. She’s written and spoken a lot about the impact of the depiction of black women in media on young girls. She also presided over the creation of the Essence Festival, one of the hottest festival tickets of the summer. I recently got lost for an afternoon reading her past editor’s letters.
I’ve been thinking a lot about mother/daughter dynamics recently. I finally watched Lady Bird on a recent flight, and I know the dynamic in that movie felt universal and familiar to a lot of people watching it. It didn’t to me. (Although I loved the movie.) It felt like another cliche representation of some inevitability that mothers love but don’t like their daughters, and daughters don’t appreciate how much it took to raise them.
When I was pregnant with Evie, people kept telling me — unsolicited — how much we’d eventually hate each other when she was a teenager. Uh…“congratulations” would have also been a cool thing to say…
Elastigirl Deserves Better
Note: This piece contains spoilers from Incredibles 2. (The article has a spoiler warning as well!) Charles Pulliam-Moore’s article starts off with quite the opener: “Incredibles 2 is a wondrously-crafted rehashing of many of the same narrative beats and jokes that made the first movie so great. But there’s one very important part of the new film that highlights a painful truth that’s been a part of the Incredibles franchise all along: Helen needs to break up with Bob.” Read On…
This week on Chairman Mom we got a question about that New York Times piece about pregnancy discrimination at some of the largest companies in America.
This answer from an anonymous user is one of the best things I’ve read about that piece, in a week of having a lot of back-and-forth about it:
“I think it goes way beyond discrimination. I only saw the headline ‘America’s War on working Mothers’ and I was like F*** this.
It’s true. When you have to work 1, 2 or even 3 jobs with no flexibility on arrival, departure or anything in between? That is war. It’s not just being able to move up, it’s about being supported as a woman and a mother, which there really is none in this society. I remember when I came back to work after my son was born and people were like ‘all done, move on’ meanwhile, I was standing there in a daze like what the heck just happened?
The Good News
All About Bao
I saw Incredibles 2 over the weekend, and the film opens with an absolutely amazing Pixar short called Bao. Fun fact: Bao is the first female-directed short from Pixar. And while it’s pretty embarrassing that it took the company until the late 2010s to get here, Domee Shi created an A+ animated film. Read On…
Get a Little Inspo
Need to read something uplifting in the midst of the horrific week we’re having? Check out this list of the best words of wisdom from commencement speeches this season. There’s a lot to make you feel inspired and energized. Read On…
DID YOU KNOW: A new report from the New York City Commission on Human Rights says that one in four women wearing a hijab report being shoved on the city’s subway system.
One of my favorite questions asked on Chairman Mom was about what you want your life to be like at 70. I think about this all the time and knew my answer immediately. Spoiler: I basically want to be Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote but without all the violent death and in wine country instead of Cabot Cove.
Today that thread popped back up again, with another user, @annalerner, wondering how we could bottle up a little of those dreams and enjoy them mid-career.
Oh, @anna: You have no idea how much I needed to dream this morning. Here’s what I wrote:
I’ve had more Father’s Days that feel hollow than not.
I was not particularly close to my dad growing up. And so for most of the time I lived in the same house with my father, it was either an ignored holiday or a perfunctory one.
As I mother, I got about one or two Father’s Days happily married. Every Father’s Day since then has been varying degrees of strange. From “I DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS!” anger to resentment to, now, gratitude that I’m in a great place with my co-parent.
Still, Father’s Day is strange for me. There’s a realm of gifts and traditions that aren’t appropriate for divorced co-parents. And all those idyllic “the best husband and partner ever!” Instagram posts can be difficult for a divorced woman to stomach, even for someone like me who has a great divorce. I can only imagine how they feel to single mothers, widows or women living with of ugly breakups. Or a dad who was gearing up for his first Father’s Day and whose partner has just had a miscarriage. I was thinking yesterday about these threads.