babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » right brain babble   » culture   » Danielle Crittenden: an Ayn Rand for her generation

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Danielle Crittenden: an Ayn Rand for her generation
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 31 May 2003 02:34 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is barely "arts" material; qualifies as "culture," I suppose, but could just as easily fit into "media" or "politics."

Anyway, Danielle Crittenden has written an anti-feminist novel:

quote:
In an interview with the National Review about her just published first novel, "Amanda Bright@home," right-wing social critic Danielle Crittenden explained that she felt driven to create her own fiction after reviewing several unnamed "feminist novels." "I have had few more depressing literary experiences," she complained. The plots were "formulaic," always culminating with a "totally virtuous" woman getting up the guts to leave "the piggish husband."

It's hard to imagine, however, that these feminist tomes could be any more depressing than Crittenden's own lugubrious pamphlet, inhabited by characters crafted of the finest ideological hardwood veneers, and singing the praises of early marriage, mothering, the free market and other GOP-approved virtues.

Crittenden's novel tells the story of how her heroine, Amanda Bright, successfully achieves female happiness by following the blueprint drawn up by none other than Crittenden herself, in her 2001 nonfiction manifesto, "What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us." The plan goes as follows: Marry young (mid- to late 20s), become stay-at-home mom, reenter the workforce when children enter school (if so desired). As we'll see, this breakthrough solution to the career vs. family dilemma works best if the woman in question has a fairy godmother looking over her career and a husband who comes equipped with large bags of gold.


Too funny.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2230

posted 31 May 2003 02:51 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Let's not forget: have a father who becomes wealthy by co-founding the Toronto Sun and marry the son of a millionaire land developer who is very well paid as a conservative writer. This combo makes it very easy to be a "stay at home mom".
From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 569

posted 31 May 2003 03:13 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm suprised Crittenden didn't name the main character Amanda Livoff.
From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doug
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 44

posted 31 May 2003 03:19 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Behold the anti-feminist superwoman! She loyally serves her husband, Bob, the mighty tree! (I can't help wondering if that's her pet name for David Frum's...you know) She watches over the kids, the dog and the mutual funds with alacrity and skill! She is woman, hear her mew!
From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 31 May 2003 03:19 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bwaha, that was good

I remember reading Ayn Rand's Anthem. My god, but that was the most turgid piece of literature I've ever read. I fear that this book will probably be the same.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 31 May 2003 03:21 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mycroft:
Let's not forget: have a father who becomes wealthy by co-founding the Toronto Sun and marry the son of a millionaire land developer who is very well paid as a conservative writer. This combo makes it very easy to be a "stay at home mom".

Shame she didn't (stay at home, that is).

quote:
Indeed, when Frith offers him a job, he jumps, eager to provide for his family like a "mighty tree" should. Crittenden can't resist providing us with Bob's new salary -- $400,000 a year! -- which reminded me of the way she felt compelled to send a mass e-mail last year proudly announcing that her actual husband, then Bush speechwriter David Frum, had coined the term "axis of evil."

Yee hee hee hee hee. The "mighty tree" -- too funny.

When the novel was excerpted -- where? -- I read one instalment, just to see whether it would be as wooden as I expected (answer: yes), and I remember being struck by that same oddity: when Crittenden actually focuses on stay-at-home motherdom, she makes it sound pretty bad. I couldn't figure that out, and not knowing the whole plot, I was genuinely wondering what had changed.

Apparently nothing, though. She just plain caricatures everyone else.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2230

posted 31 May 2003 03:30 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There've been shots of both disgraced lobbyist Jeff Lyons and disgraced former premier Grant Devine at the convention.
From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2230

posted 31 May 2003 03:30 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mohamad Khan
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1752

posted 31 May 2003 08:17 PM      Profile for Mohamad Khan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:
I remember reading Ayn Rand's Anthem. My god, but that was the most turgid piece of literature I've ever read. I fear that this book will probably be the same.

i read it before i had any idea what she was about. it's amazing that such a short book can manage to bore the hell out of you. do Rand's followers actually laud her literary skill, or just her ideas?

of course, fiction written by lefties isn't always wonderful. Tariq Ali's accounts of Pakistani history are interesting. his fiction is...not.


From: "Glorified Harlem": Morningside Heights, NYC | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 31 May 2003 08:58 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mohamad Khan:
i read it before i had any idea what she was about. it's amazing that such a short book can manage to bore the hell out of you. do Rand's followers actually laud her literary skill, or just her ideas?

The ideas, I suspect (that should be the "ideas"). Most of them, I fear, wouldn't know literary skill if it hit them between the ideas like a sledgehammer -- possibly because this is approximately what she does with her "ideas."

Of the adults I know who loved Ayn Rand as adolescents, only one (1) still defends her. This woman is also a journalist -- actually, a "journalist," with quite a marginal position in the trade. This, in itself, is not necessarily a criticism of her skills. It's a difficult field in which to make a living. But she's been at it over ten years and is still a bit player, and seems likely to remain so, and there's justice to that. She has a tin ear; can put together a grammatical sentence, but otherwise is an almost perfectly mediocre writer.

quote:
of course, fiction written by lefties isn't always wonderful. Tariq Ali's accounts of Pakistani history are interesting. his fiction is...not.

In much the same way, such of Orwell's fiction I've read doesn't stand up to his journalism.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 01 June 2003 10:56 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And the writer's block grows bigger and bigger ...
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 01 June 2003 01:25 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
But if being a housewife is so satisfying, and being self-centred is so great, why does Critten bother to become a writer at all? Being home with the kids would be so much nicer.
From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 01 June 2003 01:34 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You said it, Jeff.

I recently read a book by a woman, all about the joys of housework. It was a bright, cheery book with lots of tips for women who want to become really excellent housewives - how to get all your cleaning chores organized, etc.

The subtext of the book was that getting married as young as possible, having as many children as possible, and staying in your "place" as a housewife is God's plan for women (the writer is a Mormon, and very "family values" oriented).

And yet, strangely enough, this paragon of housewifely duty and organization, even though she had something like six or twelve children or whatever, was not only writing self-help books to help other women learn their place, but she was also teaching household science at - was it Brigham Young University? I think so.

Anyhow, I find it interesting how right-wing movements like to take women out of their "sphere" in order to work full-time preaching at other women to stay in their "sphere".


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca