Wednesday Opinion: Park Slope Parents, hypocrites or just easy targets?

By Nanny X (c) 2012 all rights reserved
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What is it about Park Slope parents that incurs the wrath of the New York media? Whether it be a sneering filler in New York Magazine
“The ice-cream-vendor controversy might have just overtaken the Israeli-hummus controversyas the most ridiculous controversy to come out of Park Slope this year. Sure, the Park Slope Food Co-op took a vote on whether to vote on banning Israeli foodstuffs, but the parents of the Park Slope Parents list-serv have one-upped them: After their initial online discussion of howice-cream vendors were ruining the neighborhood with their tempting, evil wares (and perhaps should be banned) prompted much Park Slope–parent mockery, they’ve decided to take away their own sweet treat.” 1.

… or an outright belly jab from the New York Post

“Overprotective Park Slope parents have declared war on a treasured rite of spring: an ice cream in the park… But not all parents in brownstone Brooklyn’s politically correct bastion are so hot and bothered.” 2

… or a sanctimonious lecture from the Daily News:
They’re wealthy, socially conscious and obsessed with their kids — but many Park Slopers aren’t following the law when it comes to their nannies.” 3.

… or this opportunist slash by Gothamist

Extra, Extra: Park Slope Parents Are Screwing Their Nannies” 4
One is left bewildered as to why such a charming community irks so many editors? Is it ‘neighborhood envy’ or does the loathing go deeper? Whatever it is, the sarcastic tones in even this New York Times piece are unavoidable.  
The Park Slope Food Coop, in
Brooklyn, is known for its rules: organic and non-organic products must not
touch; long vegetables must be displayed lying parallel to the aisles. But
perhaps no rule is more sacred than the requirement that to shop at the co-op,
each member must volunteer a certain amount of time there, typically 2 hours
and 45 minutes every four weeks… So the allegation by a Park Slope blog last week that some
members were sending their nannies to fulfill their work shifts has raised
eyebrows and debate among the granola-and-strollers set of greater Park Slope,
and smug satisfaction among those who would rather go to Key Food.”
5

The latest outrageous scandal of course is to do with an alleged injustice of 44% of Park Slope Nannies not being paid their ‘over-time’. What vile hypocritical capitalist pigs these Park Slope employers must be, after all, they provoked the reputable labor union, the DWU to protests. 
Only that wasn’t the full story. In fact very few publishers attempted to offer their readers a genuine and truthful account. I decided to get my information directly so I contacted Dr. Susan Fox, founder of the Park Slope Parents (PSP) and this was her response: 
“Park Slope Parents and the DWU are working together to educate
employers about the laws. It is because the Park Slope neighborhood is
one that is socially conscious and tries to do right by the nanny
employees that we were chosen as a prototype to educate. PSP and the
DWU (as well as other organizations) have met on numerous occasions to
make the working relationship for both nannies and employers stronger
and in line with current laws. We posted about the rally and support
it. It’s actually the media who tries to make this into an “us vs.
them” situation instead of one where lack of education is at the root
of the situation rather than malicious attempts to “stiff” nannies.”
6
So the PSP collective commissioned the original survey amongst their members to raise awareness around the issue of ‘over-time’. Apparently their members responded and considering the % of non-payers, they responded honestly. In fact when the headlines broke last week I remember reading about the hourly childcare rates being paid by PSP’s and thinking ‘wow that’s more than a lot of Manhattan Nannies get’. It also occurred to me that disclosure was a good thing and that maybe PSP’s were seeking to expose over-time non-payment in accordance with the law. 
The truth or the real facts do not seem to matter to some however and the sheer number of editorial attacks on the Park Slope community has convinced me that there is something deeper sustaining the negative interest. 

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PSP’s tend to be nice people. They’re hard-working parents and they live in beautiful brownstones along leafy, broad, non-congested streets. Their borough’s parks, beer festivals, locally produced artisan foods, street fairs and music venues seem better than ours (Manhattan). True we do have the equivalent trendy neighborhoods like the East Village but there’s nothing like the feeling of being in Brooklyn. 
More poignantly PSP’s demonstrate that one can have it all: principles, family, fun and a sustainable urban lifestyle. 
So Eds … please stop bashing the PSP’s or the Hipsters or any other non-conformist group you decide to deride. Where ever they live, it’s time to give socially responsible New York parents a break and go after some real villains …. like the players in Wall St who gambled with our tax dollars and don’t give a damn. 
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