Reader Comments

For your entertainment, below are various comments on some of my posts. Some of you may wonder, "Gee, doesn't this kind of stuff bother you?" and the short answer is: yes and no. Yes because I'm a human being, and no because I'm used to it.

I remember when my book first came out in 2004 there was a piece in our local paper. The response the following week was shocking. For writing a book that highlights the needs of children and supports at-home moms, I received a handful of responses in the editorial section. One was written by a group of six "enlightened, educationally diverse women" who said they would never read a book as "regressive" as mine. They opened their diatribe by saying, "What kind of mother wears dangly earrings anyway with small children around?" They also insisted on referring to me as "Mrs." instead of "Ms." since I'm so clearly backward.

My first reaction was a punch in the gut. I'm sure they would have loved to know that. But after some time passes and you have a chance to collect your thoughts, you realize the kind of people you're dealing with. If a person cannot respond intelligently and thoughtfully to your book or article -- without the personal attacks -- you learn to write them off. My husband always asks why I don't respond more often, and the answer is: There's no point.

Instead I choose to focus on the hundreds of letters, emails, and positive comments that have been directed my way. The handwritten letters mean the most. (Of course no one uses snail mail anymore.) And my favorite was the mom of a toddler who told me she quit her job after reading my book. That little girl's life was forever altered, and that made the vitriol that was hurled at me worthwhile.

So that's the short of it. Now, some samples:

Re Sarah Palin:

"Noses are like opinions. When infected, they shouldn't be blown in public. Get Ms. Venker a never-ending supply of antibiotics. She and the know-nothings will continue to sneeze and send their germs indiscriminately."

Re Feminism:

"Your words make me ill. really, really ill. gross. how could you dismiss women's desire to not be dependent on men? you are an embarrassment to women. i can't believe that someone would say such things. what on earth is wrong with you? so women SHOULD be dependent on men? and NOT love themselves? based on my life experience, and all my amassed world knowledge, that is a recipe for depression and abusive relationships. i am still in shock about your words. your words are extremely dangerous to women!"

Re Sex:

"This article is sexist, essentialist, and somewhat creepy. Women who engage in sexual activity should feel good about it, should enjoy it. They shouldn't be ashamed of it, which is what you're saying they should."

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