So, Ada, my friend Suzanne just emailed me a great story from the New York Post. In “Confessions of an Alpha Wife,” former Us Weekly editor-in-chief Janice Min talks about how she used to make more money in one paycheck than her husband, a teacher, made in a year.
You might remember that I know Janice a very little bit since, last summer, when I wasn’t reading Judith Halberstam or Julia Kristeva, I was writing beauty copy at Us Weekly.
(Thank you, Wenner Media and the entire celebrity industrial complex, for helping to fund my radical feminist education.)
(And for teaching me that Brazilian blowouts will make your hair look as awesome as Nicole Richie says.)
Anyway, I was really impressed by Janice, one of the calmest, nicest EICs I’ve ever met. Plus, she is so 90swoman that Jeff Gordinier interviewed her for his book X Saves the World.
And this is one of the smarter pieces I’ve read about what it means, now, for a woman to be the breadwinner in a relationship. Janice talks about how her husband encouraged her to take the EIC job at Us Weekly—something she not only made a lot of money doing, but was very good at. Meanwhile, she approved of her husband leaving his unsatisfying job to take care of their growing family and home full-time. And later, when she decided she had had enough of the EIC grind, he was supportive of her decision to quit.
Janice’s story feels way more familiar to me than any of the others in the many articles I have read on this subject. For one thing, it stresses the flexibility of the relationship—both Janice and her husband seem comfortable with ebbs and flows in both roles and money. For another, Janice emphasizes that her own feelings about making more money than her husband are complicated. Which does not mean that her feelings are paralyzing. Sometimes she resents having to work long hours outside the home. Sometimes she is psyched about what a good job he has done raising their kids. I bet sometimes–for hours! for days!–she doesn’t think about it at all.
She also says, “Twenty years after first meeting Peter, I’d say that it is impossible for any woman to have it all, but a certain open-mindedness sometimes can get you closer.”
This kind of open-mindedness seems very 90swoman to me.
Anyway, I’m curious about what you think!