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“Primates of New York”: Horrors, Upper East Side women own $150,000 Birkin bags like me!

May 27, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Dr Wednesday Martin used her experience as a researcher to document her time living on Park Avenue, New York, for a new book

Author Martin: Sanctimonious horror in the East Eighties

But what strikes me as most salient about Primates of New York is the tone of sanctimonious horror with which Martin describes the costly goings-on in Manhattan’s East Eighties.

In a New York Times op-ed about the book titled “Poor Little Rich Women”—in which Martin claims that she herself moved to the UES mainly because there “was a good public school” up there, Martin described the UES stay-at-homes as pitiful creatures completely dependent on their husband’s largesse, terrified that he might cheat on her and thus cut off the gravy train, and corralled into volunteer work and excessive supervision of their children instead of heading to a full-time paying job every morning as feminist wisdom dictates.

“The women I met, mainly at playgrounds, play groups and the nursery schools where I took my sons, were mostly 30-somethings with advanced degrees from prestigious universities and business schools. They were married to rich, powerful men, many of whom ran hedge or private equity funds; they often had three or four children under the age of 10; they lived west of Lexington Avenue, north of 63rd Street and south of 94th Street; and they did not work outside the home.


“[T]here was the undeniable fact of their cloistering from men. There were alcohol-fueled girls’ nights out, and women-only luncheons and trunk shows and ‘shopping for a cause’ events. There were mommy coffees, and women-only dinners in lavish homes. There were even some girlfriend-only flyaway parties on private planes, where everyone packed and wore outfits the same color.”
Hmm, let’s see. Actually those UES wives are living the way nearly all wives did, say, 50 years ago. Surveys overwhelmingly show that few mothers of young children want to work full-time or feel very happy when financial circumstances force them to do so.
Well, in 1965, most middle-class and even working-class mothers had husbands, unlike today, where intact marriage is increasingly a luxury for women of the upper middle class and higher. So most of them had big Baby Boom families–like today’s UES-ers–and devoted their days to making attractive homes for their husbands, caring for their children, and volunteer work—like today’s UES-ers. And like today’s UES-ers, they enjoyed something most women secretly crave: plenty of “sex-segregated,” “girlfriend-only” socializing with their friends. In short, their lives were those a strapped single mother struggling to divide her time between job obligations and kids can only dream of.
Posted by Charlotte Allen

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One Comment
  1. Lastango permalink

    In short, their lives were those a strapped single mother struggling to divide her time between job obligations and kids can only dream of.

    And it’s going to get worse. Here’s a bit from the UK:

    According to current trends, only 61 per cent of men and 68 per cent of women aged 40 today will ever marry.

    However, the greatest decline in marriage has taken place among those in their twenties. In 1970, the peak year for marriage, 564,818 men and women aged 25 got married. In 2010, just 56,598 did, a fall of 90 per cent.

    Today, only 5 per cent of men and 10 per cent of women aged 25 are married, as compared to 60 per cent of men and 80 per cent of women 44 years ago.

    When current trends are applied to today’s 20-year olds, figures show that only 52 per cent of those men and 53 per cent of women are expected ever to marry, despite strong aspirations to do so.

    Other age groups also report a sharp decline in marriages. Pew research reports that:

    In 2011, there were just 286,634 ceremonies — a 41 per cent free fall from 1972, when 480,285 couples tied the knot.

    Progressives eager to conceal the aftermath of their calculated destruction of the institution of marriage are fond of burying these indicators in overall marriage statistics which include older people who married at much higher rates. Feminists, especially, do not want the feminist life-plan questioned by their target market of young women.

    For women, career success doesn’t fix the problem. Newsweek reported that:

    This is the study that earned Hewlett’s book a cover story in Time magazine, a lengthy segment on 60 Minutes, and countless radio, TV, and newspaper mentions. All have focused on the headline-grabbing finding that 49% of women over 40 who earn more than $100,000 a year are childless. That compares with 19% of men in the same category. And lest you assume that these women chose the life they’re living, only 14% said they had not wanted children.

    ….A primary reason so many career women don’t have children is that they don’t have spouses. Only 57% of the high-achieving women over 40 in corporate jobs are married, compared with 83% of male achievers. Overall, high-achieving women either marry early or not at all. Just 10% of the women surveyed got married for the first time after age 30, and 1% after age 35.

    Again, this includes older cohorts. At the rate marriage is declining, we won’t have to wait 20 or 40 years to see this desolation on a whole new order of magnitude. I’m reminded of one young woman at a law firm who said of the senior-level women there that she had seen what their lives were like and she didn’t want any part of it.

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