You’re not the base of me

Advice to women, from Michele Catalano:

You are not your job, your kids, your husband. You should not be defined by any of those things. Any woman who identifies herself as a mother, wife, or lawyer puts herself in a position to be unhappy because she is not living for herself. I’m not saying women should lead utterly self-centered lives. I am saying that we should define ourselves as more than the things we do that involve other people.

It occurs to me that while women dwell on this issue more than men, and Maureen Dowd seemingly more than anyone, the same basic premise is applicable on my side of the aisle. It seems to torment us less, though, and I attribute this to the ease with which we pigeonhole every aspect of our being: this goes here, that goes there, and none of it is quite big enough to jar us out of our cheerful complacency. (Well, sometimes it is, but we can’t stand that. At all.)


  1. Francis W. Porretto »

    1 October 2009 · 3:59 pm

    I can’t agree with this. At least not categorically.

    Ours is an Era of Pervasive Shallowness. The great majority of persons are “good for” perhaps one thing. For such a person to define himself according to his singular expertise is not a distortion; it comes closer to candor than any other approach I could name.

    I’m not saying this is a good thing, mind you; I’m just noting that it has a certain accuracy.

  2. CGHill »

    1 October 2009 · 5:51 pm

    The only problem with that premise is that it leaves me scratching around for an area in which I can claim some measure of expertise without sounding either pretentious or pathetic [choose one].

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