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Reader: I find matchmaker Rachel Greenwald's business appalling

"Got a Match?," Kelsey Whipple, February 2

Love's Labor Lost

I find Ms. Greenwald's business a bit appalling. People in the 1960s and '70s expended a lot of effort to break down discriminatory policies and to support and create opportunities for women to go to business school.  It is disappointing that Ms. Greenwald took the opportunity thus created to go to Harvard Business School and chose to spend it in this way. Isn't she reinforcing patriarchal marriage, where the woman is the primary parent, disenfranchised and demobilized in deference to men in the political economy, and subconsciously or even consciously oppressing the children because that's the only power she has? I am worried she is charging huge amounts of money to people who are vulnerable and who don't understand the ramifications of patriarchal marriage and that modern, two-earner, two-parent egalitarian marriage is now available (and is especially widely pursued by Gen-Y and Millennial-age men and women, but also by many in Ms. Greenwald's Gen-X). And she is training other women to do this. Is this kind of like a cult?

It is interesting to compare Ms. Greenwald's approach to that of some other women Harvard Business School graduates of her Gen-X era: Sheryl Sandberg and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. Ms. Sandberg, Facebook COO, shares equally the unpaid work, responsibility and power of her home, including parenting, with her husband. And she married her good friend, by the way; is it a coincidence that she is capable of being friends with men (and didn't need a matchmaker) when she has this more adult and responsible attitude? Ms. Sandberg also just served as one of the chairs of the prestigious Davos Financial Forum and is likely to become another of the world's self-made female billionaires in the next few years. Ms. Tzemach Lemmon, Newsweek editor and the author of the best-selling book The Dressmaker of Kabul, has done excellent reporting about businesswomen in places like Afghanistan, in the process busting stereotypes that United States war promoters circulate about the U.S. needing to go to war to protect the women there.

Some of the most serious harms of the patriarchal marriage fall on the children; Ms. Greenwald doesn't seem really to reach that issue. They range from higher rates of abuse/neglectful/traumatic parenting by both men and women to high divorce rates, biological-clock issues falling on the children of men who father them at older ages, children, especially underage children, having to take care of mothers who can't stand on their own, older women living in poverty.

She says, "When your client gets married, when they invite you to the wedding, when they send you a letter from their honeymoon, those things are too few and far between all those moments of sadness, loneliness, rejection, denial and fear." Her only definition of success (aside from her own hefty financial take, apparently) is a marriage, wedding and honeymoon, and she admits even that success is rare. If there is so little enduring happiness or success in her business or the matches she makes, are the serious flaws in her business model — and in her misuse of her degree from Harvard — the reason?

Nancy Dickinson

Denver

 


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