The Sexist

Dr. Laura’s Feminist Guide to Gifting

lauraFor most of my life, I have been content to simply ignore the professional advice of Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Ye Olde Enforcer Of Gender Roles. But now that Schlessinger has been hailed as a new feminist figure, perhaps she can teach me a thing or two!

Schlessinger's official feminist profile reads: "She encourages women to return to the home, raise their children, and tend to their husband’s needs as a way to reignite and save their marriages. Quite a departure from the feminism of old." Huh! I certainly have a lot to learn about feminism.

This week: How to make others happy by mentally and physically exhausting yourself.

Last week, Schlessinger submitted a blog entry to DrLauraBlog.com entitled "Making It Personal For the Holidays." In it, Schlessinger explains how to find a holiday-appropriate gift for any occasion. Here's how to do it.

Situation: Another family invites Schlessinger and her husband to eat Thanksgiving dinner at their home.

Inappropriate Gift: Impersonal, store-bought gifts like "bottles of wine and chocolate-filled baskets," which can be easily conjured on the way home from work.

Appropriate Gift: Anything that is extraordinarily elaborate and time-consuming. "I wanted to do something nice for them to really show them thanks for such a lovely gesture, so I knitted a seven-foot runner for their table," Schlessinger writes. "When it was finished, it seemed so 'plain,' that I spent four hours crocheting around the entire runner twice and added a fringe to the ends." Meanwhile, Schlessinger's husband brought  . . . Schlessinger, I'm assuming.

Feminist Lesson: Even women who have built extremely successful media empires should make sure nobody knows that they actually fucking work for a living, come Christmas time. "I’ve been working around the clock for weeks either knitting, weaving, or sewing Christmas presents," Schlessinger writes. "While it was exhausting and sometimes frustrating when equipment has a mind of its own, I feel giddy about giving gifts that are so much of myself.  Clearly, it means more to the receiver AND the giver."

  • Former Staffer

    sounds like dr. laura gave oral sex to the hosts.

    *shudder*

  • jules

    My brother really wanted the special edition boxed set of The Wire for hannukah...but he's going to be so much more excited when I present him with some HAND MADE KNITS!!!!!

  • http://mightymarce.blogspot.com Marcy

    But... but... but she can't be considered a feminist, she prides herself on being the ANTI-feminist!!!

    Ugh. I very much dislike that woman.

  • http://shannonstamey.blogspot.com Shannon

    Oh my word. "I knitted you this lovely seven-foot table runner, and, afterwards, I ripped out my own fallopian tubes and used them as a fringe. DON'T YOU LOVE IT? NO? Bitch!"

    Personally, if someone stayed up around the clock to make me an elaborate gift, I'd feel awkward, not gratified.

  • laureney

    How is a seven-foot knit table runner a better gift than WINE?! I'd be all "Thanks for the table-blanket or whatever, but this is not going to GET ME DRUNK! Why can't you just bring booze like a normal person, Dr. Laura?!"

    On a related note, I cannot think of a person with whom sober conversation would be more excruciating than with her.

  • Em

    God, this woman.

    My mom loves her. We used to listen to her every time we were in a damn car. When I was 14 she gave me her book, "The 10 Things Women Do to Mess up Their Lives", or something like that. At 22, I've now done about 7 or 8 of the things on the list and I think I've got a pretty cool life. Oh well, Dr. Laura, in your face!

  • http://nopantsmcgee.etsy.com Christina

    As someone who makes things frequently for people for presents, I can't stand this pompous kind of crap, especially when it comes to gift giving. HERE, I MADE YOU AN UGLY THING YOU DON'T WANT OR NEED. IT TOOK ME HOURS TO MAKE, THEREFORE IT IS MEANINGFUL. ALSO, I AM BETTER THAN YOU.

    Make a pair of socks or a scarf for your friends who'll appreciate it, buy a DVD for the people who won't.

  • Rick Mangus

    I met Laura Schlessinger aka. (Eva Braun) in NYC in 2007, all I have to say she is right up there with two other women I've met, Martha Stewart and Lynn Chaney also women I hate.

  • http://ithinkwereallbozos.com Kathi D

    You people don't understand. If Dr. Laura made it, it must be PERFECT, because every single thing she does is done perfectly. As she herself will tell you! It's not the same as one of US trying to make some crappy old thing, in which case, it would be the thought that counts.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist Amanda Hess

    Isn't it weird that Laura took a look at her table blanket, and was like, "this is kind of a boring table blanket?" It's a fucking table blanket! Of course it is boring!

    Also, this---“I knitted you this lovely seven-foot table runner, and, afterwards, I ripped out my own fallopian tubes and used them as a fringe"---is a contender for comment of the year.

  • http://blogs.chicagoreader.com/chicagoland/ whet moser

    Just reading between the lines, and having listened to a limited amount of her show, I think if I were friends with Dr. Laura the best gift she could give me would be to chill the fuck out.

    I want to be like the Dan Savage of gifts: want to give a table blanket? Fine! Some people like to give wine! Or books! Also fine! JUST GIVE PEOPLE SOMETHING THEY'LL PROBABLY LIKE, FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

  • http://blonderthanyou.wordpress.com suicide_blond

    omg..i WISH i could form words but im seething....so yeah im gonna go with what shannon said..cause... really...theres NO other hand to play once the "fallopian tube fringe" card has been put on the table!!
    xoxo

  • http://angryfeministdoc.blogspot.com Erica A

    Um, excuse me, if Dr. Laura was up "around-the-clock" knitting and crocheting and bedazzling shit, it doesn't sound like she spent very much time tending to her husband's needs (cuz I doubt they involve decoupage). What a cold, selfish bitch.

  • Emily H.

    Damn. Homemade gifts can be lovely, but any hostess on earth would rather have wine or chocolate as a gift from her guests. Also, it's TRADITIONAL to give wine or food items as a hostess gifts. It's not "impersonal," it's helpful and considerate because the hosts can crack open the box/bottle to share with their guests. By contrast, if they wanted a hideously ugly table blanket, they'd probably have one already.

  • helen king

    Thanks for the heads up. She won't be invited to my home this year; I have too much crap already.

  • margaret

    Sounds like Dr. Laura doesn't get invited places all that often.

  • Ms. Thor

    My mom used to make me listen to her too. That shit messed me up for years, even though I knew she was completely effing insane the whole time. Eff you, Dr. Laura and your seven foot table blankets. I only have a 1-2ft table that can sit my live-in bf and I, kthnxbye.

  • Lina

    I don't love Dr. Laura either, but it seems that if she gave the hostess a million bucks, the comments here still would be, "what a stingy bitch." Jeez, people need to lighten up. She's just trying to do something nice for someone at Christmas. Personally, if someone took the time to knit me something, even if I didn't like it, I'd appreciate the sentiment.

  • TJ

    @Lina, it's one thing to appreciate the sentiment and actually LIKING the gift. I was under the impression that you give gifts that the recipient would actually LIKE, that way you are ensured that they will appreciate more than just the sentiment... they'll appreciate the gift. Hell, if the gift isn't Sugar-Honey-Iced-Tea on a stick, then I'll appreciate that you thought enough of me to give me SOMETHING. That's not to say that I appreciate the actual gift, though.

  • Ms. Thor

    @Lina: This is Dr. Laura we are talking about...of course everything that is commented about her is going to be negative. If one of my well-intentioned friends had given it to me, I would have been like "oh, thanks, i really like it, this is so pretty." However, if the anti-christ gave it to me I think my head would spin and I'd immediately start projectile vomitting all over it.

  • Ms. Thor

    excuse me, vomiting with one t.

  • Brennan

    Why do I always have to follow the links?

    "For example: plant some flowers on either side of their front door; make a rocking chair for the back porch; fix something on their property; take their kids for the night so they can have a romantic time to themselves….the list of possibilities is endless."

    I now have visions of Dr. Laura showing up at my front door with a shovel, hopping onto my back deck with a hammer, kidnapping my little sister so the Folks can have "romantic time" . . . thanks for the nightmares, Doc.

  • D

    I'm curious about the reactions here.

    What Dr. Laura says is actually true, that impersonal store bought gifts are not appropriate for good friends who may invite you over for the holidays.

    What she also says is true, that if you continually set a higher bar for your self that you will meet and surpass those high expectations. The flipside is the person you knew from college who goes to work and immediately goes to a bar and watches The Game and then 10 years later lives in an apartment, has 22 year old friends, and can't get dates while everyone else is married, owns their own business, owns a house, etc.

    In other words, the people who just buy wine or chocolate (and most people older than 40 don't really care about wine or getting drunk and if they do, it's probably AA time) set the bar too low for themselves and probably do that throughout their lives.

    For instance I knew a guy who lost his job, then moved out, signed up with the Peace Corps and like 2 years later was in Botswana. I know another guy who lost his job and lives off unemployment. People who don't challenge themselves can quickly fall out of the middle class and into the underclass.

    Amanda's idea that working for a living and making crafts are diametrically opposed to one another is just bizarre! Go to etsy.com to be proven wrong by OUR KIND. I agree that many of us are too busy to make personal gifts for everyone, but I take the time to write personal emails and scan and send old photos to all my friends who I never see because it takes like an hour and it's free and they love it and I love it when people do that for me.

    So pretty much I think you all are flakes.

  • Jay K

    Actually, it sounds to me like she wants the kids to enjoy a romantic time. Is this lady a pervert or something? Jeeeezums.

  • sock puppet

    Heck, I'll take the 7 foot table blanket, 'cause you know, it gets cold when you fall asleep in the kitchen.

  • http://pplm.org Martin Quinones

    puuuuuuuuke-o-tron

  • Al

    Lots of us who work make the time to make gifts FOR PEOPLE WHO WILL APPRECIATE THEM. We don't make gifts to show off, which is what Laura has done here. She "stayed up all night" making a knitted table runner then crocheted a fringe all around it. #1 who would have that on their table? #2 now they will have to store it and put it on their table the next time she visits (if they like this woman at all). A better gift would have been some homemade bread or cookies. You don't have to stay up all night and your hosts have a treat later. But that wouldn't be quite so much fun to rub in the faces of all her listeners, because Laura is so much better than they are!

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  • Melanie

    I crocheted a scarf for my daughter, my nephew and my husband this year. I knew hubby would see me makeing it as we watch TV together of an evening, my daughter and nephew both get very very excited about picking out the yarn colors and showing off the finished product. My nephew actually said "Whe' my me'anie scoff" when trying on his snow clothes this year (it wasn't finished yet) and he's only three. Hubby wears his everywhere, nephew wears his around the house and everywhere else, my daughter wears hers to school five days a week. Myself? I like the super soft scarf I bought in the store.

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