No Pity for Wall Street Leeches

by R.J. Forman

Recently, The New York Times ran an article giving chicks a really good name. The story was all about a certain deplorable type of female. Women of that particular ilk I want to… well… you’ll see....

The article was about the women who date or who are married to the wealthy men affected by the financial crisis. For the moment, let's call the men "The Wall Streeters." (You can think up your own term for the women here. They call themselves DABA girls.) To give you a sample of the article allow me to quote:

"In addition to meeting once or twice weekly for brunch or drinks at a bar or restaurant, the group has a blog, billed as “free from the scrutiny of feminists,” that invites women to join “if your monthly Bergdorf’s allowance has been halved and bottle service has all but disappeared from your life.”

Theirs is not the typical 12-step program.

Step 1: Slip into a dress and heels. Step 2: Sip a cocktail and wait your turn to talk. Step 3: Pour your heart out. Repeat as needed."

Thinking about this article, my friends and I started an e-mail chain of comments in response.

Here's what we wrote....

International Advisory Consultant friend:
"Okay, I saw this article today that redefines ridiculous that I had to share with you…. But wait, there’s more. This blog may or may not be the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen…. Seriously I think I might puke. Enjoy!"

Lawyer friend:
"Wow, I have so many reactions to this, I don't even know where to begin."

Me (broke ass condescending struggling media type):
"Is one of your reactions that those women should be hung with their Burberry scarves? And whoever created that headline for the story ("It's the Economy, Girlfriend") should have their degree stripped."

Public-Sector Management Consultant Friend:
"I’m dying inside."

"Is it because your husband is a Wall Streeter?"

Public-Sector Management Consultant Friend:
"I think this feeling of emotional emptiness is caused by having to purchase my Marc Jacobs from e-bay, used and not brand new. And no, I'm a mistress."

Lawyer Friend:
"Yes… and one of the reactions is that so many of the girls in NY are like this, and I'm sad that friends from law school and college have married girls like this. And one of them is the reaction: Although in 2006 I was pissed that 24-year-old hedge fund managers were making $750k/year, at least I have a job now, while they can't even make rent or car payments. And one of them is: that the girl on the DABA blog who referred to Lehman Brothers (her boyfriend's former employer) as Lehman's is probably thinking of Loehman's."

International Advisory Consultant Friend:
"Interesting tidbit… some of my boys in NYC said that some of the girls on the blog got outed and I quote, 'Caitlin, girlfriends' heads are flying like peoples' jobs when Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers went down.' And you know what I say, let ‘em burn."

So my questions to The New York Times are these: How is this story newsworthy? Is it because the financial crisis is affecting everyone? Because that would be a wholly insufficient answer. Who is this article for? The one percent that might be able to relate to it?

Until these daters of Wall Streeters skip a meal or two because they can’t afford it, rather than trying to fit into that size 0 De La Renta, they have no sympathy from me.

(The graphic was created with the Despair, Inc. parody generator.)

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Chelsea SW3 Girl said...

So my questions to The New York Times are these: How is this story newsworthy? Is it because the financial crisis is affecting everyone? Because that would be a wholly insufficient answer. Who is this article for? The one percent that might be able to relate to it?

Hey Robin,

Maybe it's something as simple as
schadenfreude??? ie, feeling delight at the thought of another's misery...particularly when the DABA girls have proved themselves to be as vapid as this. We WANT them to feel bad ! We WANT to hate them !

I've read that they had a book deal in the pipeline but I wonder if if will get pulled after all the negative publicity?

It's odd how the wheel of fate turns - a few years back during the whole SATC years, the premise was that you were judged by your labels (Manolo this, Gucci that)...but now, that whole attitude is just so OVER.

Maybe back in those high rollin' times, someone like one of the Mistresses who outed herself on the DABA blog would have been positively identified as a liberated, go-getting 'Samantha' figure...but now the tide has really turned and it just all feels somewhat grotesque, don't you think?

Rick Rockwell said...

Overdue Editor’s Note: National Public Radio’s blog Monkee See written by Linda Holmes has run a short series of pieces also criticizing The New York Times and its writing on the DABA girls. But Ms. Holmes has put together some strong speculation that the DABA girls and their blog may be an elaborate hoax or a satire masquerading as reality designed to spark reactions against the privileged classes and their cliques. You can read NPR’s strong questioning of the journalistic integrity of these stories here and here. Holmes believes this was a publicity stunt to get publishing interest in a book deal. Which we are told has already happened. But none of the sites discussing the book deal cite a publisher, which could also be another clever public relations move to spur real publishers into calling these women to compete for a book contract that doesn't really exist. Yet.

And now, commentary: Let’s not even get into the issue of who would read a book like this. Or how desperate and horrible the book publishing business is already without stooping even lower by giving book deals to these women whether they are real or cleverly disguised. Even if this is an elaborate and clever ruse, why does society continually reward liars and gold-diggers with book contracts? (Even if the DABA persona is a fictional creation, the end goal here is still to score a lot of loot.) Who believes anything in such books? Are they really entertaining?

Rick Rockwell said...

And as might be expected, the final straw came this week on this story: the DABA girls were exposed by Newsweek as a satirical hoax. You can read about it all here. NPR called this right from the start. And although they don't have a book deal yet, their agents eagerly are peddling such an idea for either a book, a film, or a TV series. Our advice: if they get such a deal, please don't read or watch this trash.

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