To the editor:

A friend who was in Chicago just gave me the July 9 issue of your paper; I had to write and thank Cate Plys for (1) enduring Danielle Crittenden’s new book (though I hope to God that neither she nor the Reader actually had to pay for it) so that she could (2) eloquently rip Ms. Crittenden a new asshole. If I never see another essay, column, or tome from the Ingraham-Charen-Hoff Sommers camp of women who’ve built (lucrative) careers solely by trashing other women with careers–in addition to parenting, I mean–it will be too soon. How do these hypocrites live with themselves? I’m sure the royalties help, but still.

Like Plys, I’m a new mom in my 30s who’s primarily an at-home parent. I’m so grateful to have been able to make this choice–a choice that I recognize isn’t right for everyone, and also one for which my husband, as the higher wage earner in our household, really envies me. I don’t think of myself as “tired…trying to look surprised and delighted at [my] child’s inane burblings” (I’ll skip the cheap shot here); my experience of parenthood–besides the fact that, also like Plys, I have neither an au pair nor a housekeeper–is apparently quite different from Crittenden’s.

Bless you, Cate Plys, and good luck in your efforts to be both an excellent mom and a first-rate writer. I’m sure you’ll continue to be extremely successful at both.

Susan Maas