Yes, Yes, We Understand

September 29th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

It’s rather embarrassing to admit, but we had no idea that Rona Jaffe wrote a novel. Our exposure to her was through celebrity profiles. It’s always cool to learn something new about someone you have put into a slot. Suddenly, they don’t fit and you get to change all sorts of things around in your mind.

Learning that Jaffe gives back to her community is also cool — authors don’t get the patronage they deserve (we are advocating for a system where up-and-coming artists are kept, in a manner of speaking, freeing them to do the art thing without worries about commuting and health insurance). She touches on one of our frequent issues:

“I just feel that when you’ve been fortunate enough to have your work recognized, to make a nice living, you should give back,” she says. “I think that women have special needs at this time. … Women seem to have more specific burdens that take them away from writing time,” such as caring for children, in addition to jobs…”

We know these are not exclusively female burdens, but we never hear about male writers who face childcare issues. Perhaps it’s because they aren’t asked the basic question (how do you fit writing into your family obligations). We do constantly hear about women trying to write during soccer practice, after bath time, before the kids get up in the morning. While we applaud Jaffe’s motivation, we also long for a day when this burden isn’t so gender specific.

File Under: Square Pegs