Saturday, April 21, 2007

"The Feminine Mistake" on "The Mojo Mom Podcast"

My conversation with Leslie Bennetts, author of The Feminine Mistake was a challenging one. It was difficult for me to connect with someone who was so uncompromising and loath to seek common ground. You can either admire her strength or totally disagree with her approach. My concern is that she has a kernel of an important message that she is presenting in a way that will totally alienate the women whom she is trying to reach. No one likes to be told that they've already ruined their life by leaving the workforce to stay at home with their children.

I have written extensively about her book in earlier blog postings so I won't say much more, other than to reiterate that it can be a useful experience to listen to people whose opinions you do not agree with. Bennetts' strong position will give you something to respond to. My reaction was to think of all the things I should have said...much later on.

Listen to the show and decide for yourself. I hope you'll post your thoughts here to create a group dialogue and feedback loop!

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Blogger PunditMom said...

I admire your self-control in being able to interview someone under those circumstances. I wonder if I would have the grace and self-restraint to manage that with someone whose ideas I so disagree with.

I agree with you that there is a kernal of truth we can take from her opinions, but it is so hard to get past her unbending, highly judgmental approach.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

You've beautifully phrased this Amy. It points out the problem with this business of advocacy. If all we advocate is our own intractable point of view, then whom does that serve? It's fine if you're a hammer, but not if you're a nail! And of course it takes both to really get something accomplished. I suspect this book has nothing to do with women and everything to do with one woman, the one who hasn't made a "mistake."

3:09 PM  
Blogger adena said...

Amy: ditto, ditto to the above comments! I've been nervous about listening to this podcast because she's so dogmatic. I've actually been putting off listening! It's too bad that someone with an important message is insulting the very people she is supposedly trying to help! Congrats for being brave enough to face her, even if you didn't say everything that you wished you had!

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Shawn said...

As I listened to the podcast I kept wondering why she was so unflinching, almost to the point of hostile, when you tried to bring up opposing viewpoints. The other thing that I noticed was that she wouldn't let you get a word in to state your opinion or ask a follow-up question. I think you handled that interview very well.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous manicmom said...

Amy, WOW! That was a great interview. I have to say, I do think Leslie has some real valid points. I can't help but think if she had a softer "way" about her, similar to Suzie Ormond or Jean Chatsky people might not be so put off by what she has to say. Something Leslie said really stopped me: that men who run companies don't see how hard it is to juggle work and family because they have wives at home taking care of the family's every need. What's your take on that?

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Meredith said...

Nice job Amy. I appreciated how you touched on many different viewpoints during the interview.

4:41 PM  

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