The “New Yorker” Looks for Family in All the Wrong Places

July 26, 2022
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Having read the New Yorker’s recent “family issue,” Naomi Schaefer Riley concludes that the magazine, and some of its readers, “seem bent on destroying” the institution:

Take the extensive interview with Laura Wasser, “divorce lawyer to the stars.” The founder of the website “It’s Over Easy,” which was recently bought by, Wasser enjoys philosophizing about how people weren’t meant to be monogamous. Echoing her favorite pop sociologists, one assumes, she notes that marriage was really for a time when people only lived a few decades.

The idea that “family” means what is convenient and enjoyable for adults is clear also in a piece on Feeld, a “hookup app for the emotionally mature,” which author Emily Witt found when “her fantasy of family dissolved.”

Between the articles about why prenups are so popular and “what should a queer children’s book do,” the one article that seems most relevant to a “conventional” definition of family is about children who lost parents to COVID-19.

It’s a hard piece to read, with emotional interviews with children and teens on what it was like to lose the most important person in their lives. . . . The spouses left behind are also bereft, trying whatever they can do to comfort their children even as they process their own grief. . . . The kids have friends, but it’s not the same. They want the person they have grown to depend on. They want family.

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