Elizabeth Chuck at NBC News reports today on the “Modern-day Mary Poppins,” which is really just a cute way of referring to young women who graduate from college and can’t get jobs doing anything but nannying. This shift in the market—moving away from uneducated and / or international nannies—has turned out to be especially beneficial for really rich families who a) want their kids to get “an edge” in the increasingly competitive world for babies and b) feel more comfortable with “a peer” watching their children (aka a white person).
Nanny. Domestic caregiver. Housekeeper. These are some of the most difficult (and often demeaning) jobs in the American work force. How much do you pay your nanny? The national median is only $11 an hour. For housecleaners or "caregivers," the average is only $10, according to the "first-ever national statistical study of domestic workers," which was released today. It ain't hard to tell: domestic workers are in desperate need of a union.
While her motive still remains unclear, new details have emerged about the life of alleged "killer nanny" Yoselyn Ortega, who is accused of stabbing two children, 2-year-old Leo and 6-year-old Lucia Krim, to death in a horrific crime on Manhattan's Upper West Side. According to a report in the New York Times, Ortega had become increasingly stressed and unstable in recent weeks.
While much of New York City turned to the tabloids this morning to read more about the Upper West Side preschoolers apparently stabbed to death by their nanny (who then turned the knife on herself), the real action was all happening elsewhere: at UrbanBaby, where dozens of superrich New York parents have been dishing out theories and advice for 18 hours.
Two children, ages 2 and 6, were stabbed to death in their Upper West Side apartment building yesterday, apparently by their nanny, 50-year-old Yoselyn Ortega. The children — a boy, Leo, and a girl, Lucia — were discovered in the bathtub by their mother, Marina Krim, when she returned home from taking her three-year-old to swimming practice. Krim found the nanny in the kitchen, lying next to a bloody knife, bleeding from what investigators believe was a self-inflicted slash to the throat. Krim's screams alerted neighbors to call the police.
It's only natural that the economic downturn makes us want to vent a bit. And naturally we need appropriate targets for our anger, like the CEOs of auto companies who fly to Washington on corporate jets to ask for taxpayer cash, or Wall Street executives who fire thousands and then still ask for eight-figure bonuses. Today you can direct your scorn in the direction of Suzanne Sirof, the wife of a prominent litigation attorney in LA who says she fired her impoverished El Salvadoran nanny so she could keep up with her beauty regimen. "Nothing deters me from my Botox treatments," she says. [WSJ]
Friday is usually a pretty inoffensive day for the Times op-ed page. (Dowd saves her punny schlockicisms for Wednesdays and Sundays, Kristol gets Mondays, and the worst administration actually made honest men out of the formerly-predictable ideologues [Krugman and Brooks!] who run the Friday shift.) But today right underneath Paul Krugman's column about how the plutocracy's geometric accumulation of wealth has caused the merely superrich to consider themselves and their own warped senses of reality somehow normal we have an advertisement posing an intriguing ethical dilemma! "You see a nanny at the park seemingly mistreating her charge," it reads. Then it lists some possible responses.None of them are "Presume that if I am an adult in the sort of park where I can safely assume such a woman is a nanny, than I too am a nanny, and thus inclined to believe any nanny with the audacity to 'mistreat' her 'charge' in public is probably acting in self-defense." But that's not the point. The point is, yes, there is actually a blog dedicated to nanny snitching, and yes, it contains actual photos of black women being, for instance, not "abusive, per se, but neglectful for sure" in the presence of white children, which yes raises many ethical questions I'd rather just sum up as "WTF." So who do we have to thank for this? It's the same classy insurance company that bought the name of that adman who committed suicide after being called a dick by lots of people on the internet as a Google Adwords search term to promote another installation in the same stupid "Responsibility Project" campaign! The whole point of that campaign is allegedly to get people to think about tough ethical dilemmas. The genius of it is that the tough ethical dilemmas are the types experienced exclusively by very wealthy people whose sense of ethics have already no doubt been warped by their sizeable wealth, because those are the types of people who are most likely to think, "Oh fuck, you know what? If all my bad rich person karma isn't already in the park beating my kid I am going to need some INSURANCE." Now That's Rich [NYT]
As we learned last week, Brat Pack alum Rob Lowe's method of dealing with a pesky sexual harrassment charge made by his nanny includes letting the world know just how angry he is via blog. And coining our favorite new entry into the celebrity lexicon by calling the nanny's claims "false terribles." But as we saw on the Today Show this morning, nanny Jessica Gibson isn't letting catchy phrases stop her from standing by her accusations. And she's got one heck of a pit bull for an attorney to say that for her. Though Gibson could barely get a word in this morning, People reveals the lascivious nature of what exactly qualifies as a false terrible. The gory details and video of her interview, after the jump.
It's one thing when Courtney Love blogs about her legal problems, but Rob Lowe? Maybe it's our Brat Pack fever or simply the fact that he's always flashing the peace sign, but we never figured Lowe as the type to air his dirty laundry online. Especially when the laundry in question involves an alleged "close and intimate relationship" with a former nanny. According to a HuffPo post by Lowe yesterday, a longtime nanny is trying to extort money from him and his wife after claiming Rob pulled a Jude Law: