Novelist Jennifer Weiner writes about “gender and culture” for the New York Times’ op-ed page. She just published an essay about texting her 12-year-old daughter, who was at camp and miserable.
I tried encouragement (“Hang in there! You’ll be fine!”). I used tough love (“No, I am not coming to get you. It’s important for you to stick this out”). When she complained that the other girls were talking about a TV show she didn’t know, I used humor.
“Just say, ‘I’m not allowed to watch TV. I’m Amish.’ Then make up things about being Amish.”
“I’m not going to pretend to be Amish.”
“Tell them you’re not allowed to wear zippers because metal is prideful.”
“Tell them that’s why none of your bras have hooks.”
“Pretend you’ve never used an indoor toilet before. Scream after flushing.”
“OMG you’re the worst.”
Weiner identifies as being Jewish and having gone to Israel in this piece, and I wonder how much of these jokes about Amish people will seem entitled and dickish. The friend who passed this along said, “Would this be allowed if it had targeted Quakers? For what other groups would it be allowed? Is there a hierarchy of this stuff now with the Amish at the bottom and Quakers and Jews somewhere ‘higher’ up? Or am I too uptight? If a Christian had said this about Orthodox Jews would the NYT have run it? If so, would the ADL comment?”