Slate’s Katie Roiphe Doesn’t Get “Go the F**k to Sleep” (or You)
Slate writer Katie Roiphe just got a promotion, or a kickback from Adam Mansbach.
That’s the only thing I can think of when I read her review of Mansbach’s wildly popular book, “Go the F**k to Sleep,” in which she says it “exposes yuppie parents’ sexlessness, self-pity, and repressed rage.”
Roiphe goes on and on. She mentioned Sigmund Freud. She talks about a generation of misplaced anger. This is the gal that wrote “The Morning After: Sex, Fear & Feminism,” in which Roiphe discussed feminism and describes how it’s changed – and that there’s no progress in playing the victim. So, I suppose it’s only fitting that Roiphe’s main point in this review is that parents need to nut-up, stop hovering over their kids and put some passion back in their lives.
Yet, Roiphe misses the point. It’s as if she’s telling Winnie the Pooh to stop sulking when he’s out of honey, to take some ownership of his life, and go to the store and buy it. Mansbach’s not complaining and asking for a real answer in his book. He’s just written a humorous little mantra that almost all parents (except Roiphe) think is an elbow-in-the-ribs hilarious alternate-universe, where we can tell our kids exactly how we feel, in our language, which, obviously the people that enjoy “Go the F**k to Sleep” would never do. That’s why it’s funny. I’m hoping.
To her credit, Roiphe does say that Ricardo Cortés’ pictures are beautiful, and that the book has “cleverness and artfulness and ingenuity”…even if she may not mean it.
Anyway, the book’s a joke, Katie. Of course the father and mother in the book aren’t having sex. Have you ever even thought about disrobing for pleasure with a sleeping child around? You don’t – or you subject yourself to a lifetime of questions by your kid about “why daddy was hurting mommy.”
One last thing about Roiphe: she’s not all bad and misdirected. She wrote a piece in 2009 that a lot of people disagreed with (that I actually liked), about not putting a pic of your kids as your Facebook profile pic. Because, you know, you have accomplishments of your own. You’re not a three year old with blueberry pie on your face. She takes a lot of guff for her writing, but I think the chick’s got some good points from time to time.
Agree? Disagree? Agree to disagree?