Valenti again

In the new (and pretty fantastic) book, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there’s a whole lot to love about the supreme court justice turned cultural icon. The dissents. The collar. The push-ups. For me, though, what was truly wonderful was learning about RBG’s husband Marty, who has famously said: “I think that the most important thing I have done is enable Ruth to do what she has done.”

And feminist hearts the world over swooned.

Declaring your most important achievement as what you have done for your partner or children is common enough among women. How many times have we listened as a woman says her most valued role is that of mother, or that raising children or being a housewife is the most important job in the world?

But for men, who are taught that personal and professional successes trump achievements within the home, attaching your self-worth to family life is something much rarer. (And much more needed.)

Hmm, so what did Marty Ginsburg then?

After graduating from law school in 1958, Ginsburg joined the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges. He was subsequently admitted to the bar in New York in 1959 and in the District of Columbia in 1980.[2]

Ginsburg taught at New York University Law School throughout the 1960s,[3] and was a visiting professor at Stanford Law School (1977–1978),[1] Harvard Law School (1985–1986), University of Chicago Law School (1989–1990), and at NYU (1992–1993).[8] He was a tenured professor at Columbia Law School (Beekman Professor of Law) from 1979 to 1980, and at Georgetown from 1980 until his death in 2010.[1][9]

In 1971, Ginsburg’s firm represented H. Ross Perot in a business matter, and the two men became close friends. After President Jimmy Carter nominated his wife to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980, Ginsburg reached out to Perot and other influential friends to assure her Senate confirmation.[1] In 1984, Ginsburg resolved complex tax questions that threatened General Motors’s acquisition of Perot’s Electronic Data Systems. In 1986, Perot endowed the Martin Ginsburg chair in taxation at Georgetown Law Center, although Ginsburg never filled this appointment

That’s not exactly someone who put their life on hold for their partner now, is it?

Men who stay at home to take care of children may be admired in ways that women never are, but they’re also derided for not being traditional breadwinners. Men who care for their children are asked if they’re “babysitting” rather than parenting, and men who put their wives’ careers first are given the side eye and asked if they’re “whipped”.

So to those men who buck tradition – to men like my husband – I say: thank you. Not just from the women in your life who you are helping, but to the women and men you don’t know – you’re helping them too. Because the more we see men taking on supportive domestic roles, the more the culture will accept it. The more common it will become, and the less thanks like this we’ll have to give.

And if you’re one of these men and feeling unsure about your decision or feeling attacked by a society that would rather see you bring home the bacon than help your wife cook hers, remember Marty Ginsburg, husband of Ruth.

But it doesn’t look like Marty actually did, does it?

It’s entirely true that he moved to DC when she was appointed to the Court of Appeals. But moving to a tenured professorship at Georgetown isn’t all that much of a sacrifice.

18 comments on “Valenti again

  1. >But for men, who are taught that personal and professional successes trump achievements within the home, attaching your self-worth to family life is something much rarer. (And much more needed.)

    I think that claim, and the associated men vs women comparison, is self-regarding bollocks.

  2. ““I think that the most important thing I have done is enable Ruth to do what she has done.””
    Sounds like a load of self serving bollocks, to me.
    Just because people say things has nothing to do with what they actually believe. Because they said it, it’s what they wish the hearer to believe.

  3. “I think that the most important thing I have done is enable Ruth to do what she has done” sounds like something one would say during an after-dinner speech, at an event in honour of one’s wife.

    Anyone know where he “famously” said it?

  4. “But for men, who are taught that personal and professional successes trump achievements within the home, attaching your self-worth to family life is something much rarer. (And much more needed.)”

    My professional success is about my family life. Ask nearly all men: the reason they’re hauling their arse onto a commuter train isn’t because it makes them feel like a Big Swinging Dick – it’s so that the family gets a holiday to Disneyland or the kids can go and see the ballet/Man United.

  5. So again its not equality that JV wants – its men subservient to women.

    She’s a retard fuckwhit. In a rational universe, she would be just another cat herder.

  6. “I think that the most important thing I have done is enable Ruth to do what she has done.”

    How gracious of him. Now slap him. Ruth didn’t need his damn “enablement.” He was a patriarchal pig. Ruth did it on her own, IN SPITE of him.

    “And feminist hearts the world over swooned.”

    Feminist brains should have cringed. But its not clear feminists have brains.

  7. Ruth Gollumsberg is a horrible little creature who looks like one of the gremlins from Gringotts Bank.

    So to those men who buck tradition – to men like my husband – I say: thank you. Not just from the women in your life who you are helping, but to the women and men you don’t know – you’re helping them too.

    A man who does the Mummy role is no man at all. And women hate, hate, hate being the breadwinner.

    Unless you’re a muscular young gigolo servicing desiccated septuagenarian oil heiresses, being financially dependent on a woman will not earn her gratitude, but her contempt.

    And her perverse feminine hindbrain will soon rationalise cuckolding you for a more masculine man.

    Because the more we see men taking on supportive domestic roles, the more the culture will accept it. The more common it will become,

    Maybe, but why would we want that? The division of labour arose for good reasons quite apart from the obvious global patriarchal conspiracy to enslave all women with fiendish contraptions such as hoovers and microwave ovens.

    Women are better at taking care of the little ones, and men are better at bringing home the bacon.

    Sure, some women are emotionally broken and become feminists, and some males are sad, sackless manlets who are grateful to bump uglies with manjawed feminists like Jessica Valenti. But we don’t base our entire society around the clowning and capering of sideshow freaks.

  8. The Stigler – Ask nearly all men: the reason they’re hauling their arse onto a commuter train isn’t because it makes them feel like a Big Swinging Dick – it’s so that the family gets a holiday to Disneyland or the kids can go and see the ballet/Man United.

    No, you’ve got it wrong. The reason men get up at silly o’clock to drive to Edinburgh or spend Sunday nights working on Powerpoint presentations and proposal documents is because we hate women.

  9. The best situation for a couple is to optimise, which works out well for both parties and hardly wholly altruistic, whilst this often means the man gets the job, or the better job, but it is not always the case, and in todays age is frequently not the case.

    The article is harking back to an age when it _was_ always and in that sense it is just a big straw man (or should that be Aunt Sally) argument.

    I don’t recall anyone cheering on Tony Blair letting his misses earn millions from human rights cases whilst he just generally sat around and f*cked up the country.

  10. Steve>

    Wouldn’t it be easier just to accept your own sexuality than to live such a self-hating life? I mean, Valenti may be misguided, but at least she’s comfortable with herself. You’re just lashing out to distract yourself from your own desires.

  11. Mr G was humble-bragging (such a useful term).

    “Ginsburg reached out to Perot and other influential friends”: such a disgracefully evasive term for arse licking, trading of favours, string pulling, abuse of position, and suchlike manoeuvres.

  12. All:

    Fear and beware of Steve’s links. What he posts at Vox Day’s place reduces strong men to uncontrolled weeping.

  13. @Stigler.

    Too correct. The thought that I could pursue a life where I simply set out to feed my ego and cater to my own whims is an even greater fantasy that Ritchie’s “economics”

    Bread on the table first, luxuries second, and any crumbs of solace for my aspirations a distant third.

  14. I knew Martin Ginsburg who taught me tax law at Georgetown during his final decade of tenure there. In fact, I liked his teaching so much that I took far more tax that I ever would have any use for.

    Prof. Ginsburg, even though advanced in years, possessed an enormously sharp wit. A frequent target of this wit was himself and his pretensions. Wit so vicious is only applied to themselves by the suicidally depressed and those supremely confident of the general recognition of their virtues and accomplishment. You decide which category he fell into.

    Ginsburg was one of the last teachers to use the Socratic method once common in U.S. (and British?) law schools. Essentially the professor picks a student and poses a hypothetical case. Then they take sides and go at it, not unlike barristers at trial. The outcome of such a Godzilla (a skilled lawyer specializing in the subject) and Bambi (a law student just learning about it) is usually the same–which is why most law student hate it. (Though it is not as bad as it sounds–a creditable defeat for the student will earn high marks.) I rather liked it and the occasional draws or even wins were among the high points of law school.

    One story Ginsburg didn’t tell, but is common lore concerns his first year at law school together with RBG, then his fiancee. Martin fell seriously ill and had to spend months in the hospital which threatened a forced withdrawal from law school. To avoid this, RBG attended–in addition to her own heavy load of classes–all of MG’s classes and took notes so good that when, later in the day she visited him, she was able to reproduce all the lectures for him sufficiently well to remain enrolled.

    I strongly disapprove of RBG’s politics and jurisprudence. Some of her recent conduct has been bordering on the unethical. MG probably shared her politics though to his credit he was the rare professor who never talked about politics.

    But I use this story to remind me–when I forget–that your political enemies can still be decent people.

  15. “And if you’re one of these men and feeling unsure about your decision or feeling attacked by a society that would rather see you bring home the bacon than help your wife cook hers, remember Marty Ginsburg, husband of Ruth.”

    No, MG definitely was not that. Until his death, he was the top corporate tax lawyer in the country. While I do not know exactly how much he made, he no trouble endowing full professorships at major law school with his personal funds.

    Meanwhile, even a Supreme Court justice only earns about $200,000 a year. I doubt that there were many years in which MG did not bring home 5 or 10 times as much bacon as RBG.

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