Alicia: "Well, I am also here to question your choices."
Caitlin: "Lay it on me, babe."
And the thing is, the Mommy Wars conversation has to change shape too, because it doesn't even make sense anymore. Like Diane said, we've all changed shape. And yes, I guess it's a little ouch to see somebody throwing away the thing that you bled and bleed for, I guess that's a sharp pain at privilege that doesn't go away. But what's always struck me about the Mommy Wars conversation is that it's built on the faulty premise that people don't get pregnant -- women do. And I mean, that's obviously what the whole contraceptive-rights bullshit pretend argument this winter has been about, just like gay marriage made me your political football two years ago, but it's still pretty fascinating to think about that:
About a world where Family Leave isn't just this Title IX concession, and it's not that you hire Marthas over Caitlins because of the ROI, and people leave work to have babies and come back to work when they feel like it. Where you don't ever have to look at the unfair cold equations of hiring a man over a woman because never once in history has a man pulled this shit, because pregnancy and parenting are things that happen to everybody, instead of just people who don't count. Imagine that world, where pregnancy and parenthood are a thing that happens. A regular, normal, everyday thing that happens. To people.
Alicia: "You are a tremendous lawyer. One of the most subtle people working, and I love working with you. Your insight and your... And you were so good in court, you really pummelled that woman into admitting what a whore she is..."
Caitlin: "Thank you."
Alicia: "You cannot give this up for a man. He will cheat on you with prostitutes that are getting paid twice in an elaborate frame job by Glen Childs."
Caitlin: "I'm going to say this, and I need you to hear me. Verbatim. I'm not giving it up for my fiancé. I'm giving it up for myself. I like the law, but I love my fiancé."
Alicia: "But you don't need to choose! There's no reason why you can't work, be a wife, and a mother..."
Caitlin: "But I want to choose. Maybe it's different for my generation, but... I don't have to prove anything. Or if I have to, I don't want to."
Truer words. We're just as competitive as you are when it comes to self-labeling, but without the nihilism behind it. Gen X hates things, or loves them ironically; Gen X collects. Gen Y curates. It's all there, everything all the time. And I like especially how she didn't connect the dots about "my generation" and the way Alicia could hear it, in terms of the unbreakable thread or the generational telescoping of mentors or any of that. Just, this is what we are like, and I don't necessarily need to explain to you what that means for you: