Learning to Speak Privilege

Posted by – February 24, 2010

A few weeks back there was this NYT article about how women need to learn how to speak ‘nanny.”

The whole idea is fucked up in so many ways I can’t even articulate, but let me try: the idea of some women “buying” their freedom as a result of being able to pay other women to take care of their children is screwed up. The cultural differences are screwed up. The fact that most of the women who need to learn to speak nanny are bound to be rich white women – while their nannies are poor brown women – just pisses me off.

Take this paragraph, for instance:

The mother, at times beset by guilt, a touch of intimidation or feelings of her own maternal inadequacy, fails to articulate what she wants from the nanny — and then complains to friends, her spouse or an Internet message board when she doesn’t get it. (The father in many cases steers clear of the whole relationship.)

Wow, right? That little parenthetical is about as huge as Mrs. Ramsey’s death in To the Lighthouse, no? Yes, the father steers clear of it all. Now there’s your article, NYT!

1 Comment on Learning to Speak Privilege

  1. unalmas says:

    Right on. Picnic, lightning.

Leave a Reply