Thursday, June 4, 2015

Wednesday Martin

Wednesday Martin's new book is Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir.

From her Q & A with Caitlin Moscatello for Glamour:

Glamour: Much of what you describe in the book is a struggle for power and control. You show women on the Upper East Side jockeying for power with one another, then with their nannies, and their husbands.

WM: Well I think the issue is really that it is a rigidly hierarchical society. Like a lot of elite cultures in the world, there is definite clear stratification and anxiety about where you are on it and where you want to be…. There’s anxiety about getting there, about moving up and down. And the anxiety gets gendered, because it’s women who are doing the job of building the cultural capital for the couple.

Glamour: Speaking of capital, you wrote in The New York Times about what you call the "wife bonus," saying that some women in this group are evaluated and paid by their husbands for how well they perform certain tasks. People really reacted to that term.

WM: I think the reason people got so excited or outraged by the New York Times piece is because I was suggesting that it’s possible to be a woman married to a very wealthy, powerful man but to be relatively disempowered. Not just relative to him, relative to a middle class woman who works. And I think that idea doesn’t sit well.

Glamour: If a woman is being paid by her husband, it does create a boss-employee dynamic to a certain degree, no?

WM: What’s great and what surprised me and gratified me was...[read on]
Learn more about Primates of Park Avenue and the author at Wednesday Martin's website.

The Page 99 Test: Stepmonster.

--Marshal Zeringue