My interview with the British writer Mary Harrington
This is the fourth interview I've listened to since Mary Harrington started her "book tour" and I can't shake the impression she gives of a Marshall McLuhan like visionary. Like McLuhan she sees the effects of technology far more clearly than most, articulates the present extremely well, postulates a fractious future and underneath delivers a small "c" conservative message, i.e., conserve what works, conserve what builds, conserve what makes us human.
Remember that many of McLuhan's precepts and turns of phrase were at first considered utopian until he started getting honest with his audience. His "global village" foresaw what we now call Twitter. It was something he never wanted to see.
I'm adding "meat lego gnosticism" to my list of great expressive phrases from Mary Harrington. It's probably the 1st of many Harringtonesque epigrams.
Great interview. Thanks, Tara Henley.
So that’s what the ‘flame of intellect’ sounds like. Fascinating interview thank you.
A couple of thoughts I had were: 1. Mary spoke about peers looking over her shoulder once she said she was a stay at home mom, is this reaction particular to the professional/ intellectual classes in society? It can also be interpreted as being affluent or admired for prioritizing familial concerns over slogging it at a job.
2. The industrial complex needs women to enter the workforce to staff their enterprises and it’s far less costly for them to support Gov childcare and liberal feminism objectives than to think seriously about how to reward and support women who choose motherhood (through promotions or retention bonuses, childcare on site etc). Women returning from maternity leave have a range of transferable skills that should be rewarded and career pathways tailored around these life changing periods. How did we leave big Corp. off the hook so easily when it comes to recognizing and supporting motherhood?
3. The rise of platforms like onlyfans offers women a fast track to the kardashian lifestyle if they trade their privacy. Of course success at this will follow a power curve but if it is essentially free to the consumer it will dominate. Making this type of offering expensive through tariffs and taxes would be one way to suppress such commoditization of women’s privacy.
An absolutely fascinating interview. Personally, the last 10 minutes was a complete eye-opener. Things I had never considered before suddenly made absolute sense. Thank you.
Love Harrington and UnHerd. Just downloaded. Thank you.
I've heard her speak before, don't agree with everything, but like Tara will be thinking about it for months. What stuck out of the texture today was that what we 'privatize' in the name of 'freedom,' i.e. womens' bodies, can be commodified. So much there to be unpacked. What Harrington says about hormonal interference and 'rewilding sex' has merit scientifically as well. Suppressing hormones longterm has known, suspected, and probably other, as-yet-unstudied effects. Some of us figured this out decades ago, but I'd like younger women to be aware.
Tara - Can you let us know when/how to watch the panel discussion in Boston with Louise, Christine, and Mary? Would love to watch that.