Rashomon in the nanny world
Continuing the theme of the professional downsides of blogging, Helanie Olen had a piece in yesterday’s New York Times about firing her nanny because ofher blog: Our former nanny, a 26-year-old former teacher with excellent references, liked to touch her breasts while reading The New Yorker and often woke her lovers in the night by ...
Continuing the theme of the professional downsides of blogging, Helanie Olen had a piece in yesterday's New York Times about firing her nanny because ofher blog:
Continuing the theme of the professional downsides of blogging, Helanie Olen had a piece in yesterday’s New York Times about firing her nanny because ofher blog:
Our former nanny, a 26-year-old former teacher with excellent references, liked to touch her breasts while reading The New Yorker and often woke her lovers in the night by biting them. She took sleeping pills, joked about offbeat erotic fantasies involving Tucker Carlson and determined she’d had more female sexual partners than her boyfriend. How do I know these things? I read her blog. She hadn’t been with us long when we found out about her online diary. All she’d revealed previously about her private life were the bare-bones details of the occasional date or argument with her landlord and her hopes of attending graduate school in the fall. Yet within two months of my starting to read her entries our entire relationship unraveled. Not only were there things I didn’t want to know about the person who was watching my children, it turned out her online revelations brought feelings of mine to the surface I’d just as soon not have to face as well.
The ex-nanny posts her rebuttal, naturally, on her blog, which starts off as follows:
If you have come to this little blog today looking for prurient details of a “nanny gone wild” and another “nanny diary” detailing the sordid life of a family she works for, I am very sorry to disappoint you. Contrary to an essay published in the Style section of the NYTIMES, I am not a pill popping alcoholic who has promiscuous sex and cares nothing for the children for whom she works with. Nope. If you look carefully through my archives, instead you will find a young woman in her mid-twenties who decided to work as a nanny for a year while she prepared to enter the next phase of her professional life; namely the life of an academic pursuing a PhD in English Literature specifically focusing on the Late Victorian novel. But for those of you who dont want to comb through the archives, I will offer a refutation of the salacious, malicious, and really quite silly essay written by Ms. Olen.
I’d tell you to read the whole thing, but it is very, very long. Bitch Ph.D., who knows the blogger in question, posts her own thoughts on the matter:
In the end, of course, Olen’s essay really isn’t about [the nanny]; it’s about Olen. She wanted her nanny to take care of her children, but it seems she also expected her nanny to take care of her.
UPDATE: Click here if you’re wondering what ancient Chinese Philosophers would make of this issue.
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner
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