Does Allison Benedikt Think This Only Because Her Husband Does?

By now you’ve heard about this, I’m sure. Allison Benedikt thinks you and I are terrible if we send our kids to private school.

I actually do send my kids to private school.


I do have to wonder, though, if Allison Benedikt only thinks this because her husband thinks it. Benedikt’s husband is John Cook, the Gawker blogger. Last September John declared that private school should be banned.

In December of 2012, Allison admitted they were tapping out their resources to send their kids to preschool. That’s right. They were paying to send their kids to preschool.

And now this.

So why should I wonder if Allison Benedikt is easily led by her husband? Well, she has admitted before how malleable she is to his influence.

John fills my head with allllllllllllll kinds of bull****. Stuff about the Israelis being occupiers, about Israel not being a real democracy, about the dangers of ethnic nationalism—a term I really hadn’t heard applied to Israel before. (Okay, fine, I hadn’t heard it at all.) My parents worry that I’m being brainwashed. We get in huge fights on the same topic over and over again and have terribly awkward dinners where John insists on bringing up Israel and pissing off my Mom. I act as moderator and it is the worst. John buys every book about Israel that’s ever been published, and then reads them all so he can win any argument with my family. What he doesn’t realize is that my parents don’t do facts on this issue. They do feelings. Israel is who they are. Gradually, and then also all of a sudden, it’s no longer who I am—and I am angry.

John and I move to Chicago; my sister moves from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and marries that “friend” who she visited during my junior year abroad. She becomes an Israeli citizen. I stop believing anything my parents or Abe Foxman say about Israel. John and I get engaged. I change my home page from the New York Times to Haaretz, whose columnists seem to agree more with my Jew-hating fiancé than with my community-leading parents. John and I get married. We are now a united front against the organized Jewish community, and I find myself saying and thinking things that I’m not even sure I believe because I’m not really sure what I believe. Still, my sister lives in this place I’m railing against. I convince John that we should visit her. He’s not happy about it, but agrees to go. A week before our trip, the Israeli military assassinates Ahmed Yassin, a founder of Hamas. Israel is on high alert. We read that Jerusalem’s mayor is telling citizens to carry their guns on them at all times. John is freaked out, but I am sure that once we get there and he sees what it’s really like, he’ll be fine.


In other words, John Cook hates Israel and his wife is so malleable — admitting it no less — that soon she too hates Israel.

In September of 2012, John Cook admits to hating private school. In December of 2012, his wife admits they have stopped contributing to their 401(K)s in order to send their kids to preschool and are looking forward to the kids being in public school because of the financial burden, then in August of 2013 John Cook’s wife admits to thinking people are bad if they send their kids to private school.

Is she brainwashed or just stupid? Perhaps we should embrace the healing power of “and.” In any event, it seems both John and Allison are more jealous than self-righteous and they hide their jealousy behind contempt for those who can afford to send children to private school.

I thought feminists didn’t need to be led to positions by men.

Update: Worth noting this piece in the Atlantic in which Allison Benedikt admits her husband has the power to order her to tweet.


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