"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Royally Flush

Congratulations to Miss Jennifer Tilly for winning the women's World Series of Poker against six hundred top players.

Miss Tilly is an excellent actress who in recent years has not been getting major roles so, gamely enough, she keeps plugging along doing B movies. But when you have a few hours free, you might want to rent Music From Another Room, in which she plays a blind person as well as any sighted performer ever has.

She is probably the wealthiest actress in Hollywood, since she got about a twenty-percent interest in The Simpsons as part of her divorce settlement with Sam Simon, the show's creator. Sometimes I wonder whether there is some jealousy at work, keeping her away from stronger parts.

In any case, her dumb-brunette pose is only skin deep. She's a very bright, talented woman and she certainly proved that with the poker victory. Unfortunately, like too many of the high-achieving women of our generation, she has no children at age almost-47.

16 comments:

Tlaloc said...

I rather like her too. But do you have to slip in the sexist "like too many of the high-achieving women of our generation, she has no children at age almost-47" at the end?

How many men would you write that about?

Hunter Baker said...

I'm a Jennifer Tilly fan, too. Another rare point of agreement with Mr. Tlaloc. I think her buxom figure was out of sync with today's Hollywood. Not out of sync with me, though.

Tlaloc said...

I'd describe her as voluptuous.

Jay D. Homnick said...

How many men would I write that about? Let's see... Ed Koch, for one.

But my point is not sexist at all. There was a particular cultural message in this generation directed at women, telling them to delay child-bearing until after they had advanced very far into their careers. A sorry result of that is that the most accomplished women, by and large, have done the least amount of reproducing.

Do you think that bodes well for our future?

Tlaloc said...

"But my point is not sexist at all."

I have to disagree.



"There was a particular cultural message in this generation directed at women, telling them to delay child-bearing until after they had advanced very far into their careers."

No, there was a cultural message that they could CHOOSE to delay or even *gasp* not to have kids if that was their wish.



"Do you think that bodes well for our future?"

I think trying to insist every woman needs to get pregnant is bad by a large number of metrics. It's bad for our already bloated population. It's bad for the kids of women who really aren't invested in having kids. It's bad for the women who have to neglect their dreams to pursue your vision of a woman's "place."

Kathy Hutchins said...

No, there was a cultural message that they could CHOOSE to delay or even *gasp* not to have kids if that was their wish.

The message that they could choose to indefinitely delay childbearing was a cruel lie. The comment is not "sexist" because it is rooted in biological reality that reproductive technology can fudge but not countermand: Ed Koch, God forbid, could still father a child. Now that there is Viagra, there is probably no upper limit to the age at which most men can father children. Jennifer Tilly, who is precisely my age, will never bear a child without significant medical intervention, and most probably not even then. It is not necessarily a tragedy that a woman remain childless if that is her wish. It is a tragedy that so many women my age were beguiled by the lie that childbearing could be delayed beyond the age of thirty with no cost or consequence. And it is a tragedy to society that so many intelligent, vibrant, creative women of my generation divorced themselves from the next generation. I was uncommonly fortunate: I had two children after the age of thirty with no technological help, the last at 36. I have many acquaintances who were not so lucky: some have spent thousands of dollars and a dozen years in a fruitless pursuit of fruitfulness; all, either quietly or openly, resent my children. How's that for sisterhood?

James Elliott said...

Ms. Hutchins, you're wilfully misconstruing Tlaloc's point. He was not discussing the inherent inability or ability of older women to have successful pregnancies whenever they want.

Tlaloc's point is that not many women CAN wait, it's that Mr. Hominick's statement sounded like he felt women SHOULD have children. Perhaps Ms. Tilly doesn't WANT children. If this is the case, she should be accepted for whatever her opinion is. Mr. Hominick's statement, whether intended or not, seemed to perpetuate the meme that women SHOULD bear children. Tlaloc's point is that they don't have to if they don't want to.

Tlaloc said...

Precisely.

Jay D. Homnick said...

Mr. Homnick believes that all intelligent people, men and women, should feel the sense of obligation and the sense of opportunity to replace themselves in the world.

That strikes him to be as valid from an evolutionary perspective as from a religious one.

(And thank you, Kathy, that was a lucky man who snatched you away from me.)

Kathy Hutchins said...

Ms. Hutchins, you're wilfully misconstruing Tlaloc's point

How do you know it's willful? Maybe I'm just a dumb blonde.

Mr. Hominick's statement sounded like he felt women SHOULD have children. Perhaps Ms. Tilly doesn't WANT children. If this is the case, she should be accepted for whatever her opinion is.

Suppose that Mr. Homnick had suggested, instead, that it was a shame that Ms. Tilly had never written a book, or filmed a female version of The Cincinnati Kid. Would you have objected to this statement, claiming that maybe Ms. Tilly didn't want to write that book or make that movie? I doubt so very much, but if you did, your objection would be silly because she still has the rest of her life to do such things. I conclude from this that:

(1) The age of menopause is a relevant datum in the argument, in a way in which it would not be were we discussing the fatherhood of men. I do in fact see the childlessness of prominent men often mentioned -- in their obituaries.

(2) Apparently, the only thing it is improper to suggest a woman should do is the only thing she is uniquely equipped to do. This strikes me as so very strange it could only come from the mind of someone in the grip of some postmodern theory.

Mr. Hominick's statement, whether intended or not, seemed to perpetuate the meme that women SHOULD bear children

The idea that women should bear children is not a meme. (A word I'm coming to dislike nearly as much as the phrase reality-based community). The idea that women should have children is simple societal preservation. Native-born American women have not reproduced at replacement rates since 1971. That is cause for far greater concern than whether I recycle my trash, a personal choice which those of the left don't have any trouble scolding me about.

Jay D. Homnick said...

Kathy, your husband had better keep you under lock and key. Because I'm hopelessly in love.

By the way, some good news on the same subject. In a guilty glance at the new People, I discovered that Erin Murphy, the kid who played Tabitha on Bewitched, has 6 children, aged 2 to 20. Finally some good sense: the cutest kid in America times 6!

Tlaloc said...

"Mr. Homnick believes that all intelligent people, men and women, should feel the sense of obligation and the sense of opportunity to replace themselves in the world."

Hi, I'm the population crises, nice to meet you. What do you mean you've never heard of me?

Tlaloc said...

"Suppose that Mr. Homnick had suggested, instead, that it was a shame that Ms. Tilly had never written a book, or filmed a female version of The Cincinnati Kid. Would you have objected to this statement, claiming that maybe Ms. Tilly didn't want to write that book or make that movie? I doubt so very much, but if you did, your objection would be silly because she still has the rest of her life to do such things."

Don't be ridiculous. Your comparison breaks down because the sole reason he said what he said is because she has a uterus. Had she a penis it never would have crossed his mind (oh except for Ed Koch).

Tlaloc said...

"The idea that women should bear children is not a meme. (A word I'm coming to dislike nearly as much as the phrase reality-based community)."

Somehow I'm not surprised that term annoys you.


" The idea that women should have children is simple societal preservation. Native-born American women have not reproduced at replacement rates since 1971."

Thank god for that! We're already facing a huge population crisis and you want to complain that it isn't worse?

asmartwoman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
asmartwoman said...

To Mr. Homnick,

Just because Tilly's a great actress doesn't mean she'd be a great parent. I think you contradict yourself when you assume the lack of children from highly successful women (in business) is a loss. There are plenty of great women who stay at home with their kids and are contributing positively to the human race. Think about them.

Besides, the business women in Hollywood often recognize there are a trillion kids out there in the foster system and realize they can adopt them at any age -- and do. That's success in itself.