April 11, 2016

“No Ring on the Finger, You Must Not Linger” and other cringey advice from a cringey press release


Sample post from the Crazy Jewish Mom Instagram account.

Sample post from the Crazy Jewish Mom Instagram account.

Mother, Can You Not? is a new book by Kate Siegel, adapted from the apparently very popular (812K followers!) Crazy Jewish Mom Instagram account. As part of the publicity campaign, a mailing was sent out from the author’s mother (self-identified as THE @crazyjewishmom) to a number of young publishing employees (presumably through YPG), and one recipient saw fit to share it with xoJane.

It is supposed to be funny but is the most offensive and ridiculous thing I have ever read. I don’t understand how any self-respecting publisher could send this out. Is this the point of the Crazy Jewish Mom Instagram!?!? Why is this popular?! This isn’t good enough to be satire. It’s assuming I’m in my field to meet men. It’s assuming I’m wasting my life if I’m not procreating.

According to the anonymous sender, the letter is “no joke a double-sided 8.5 x 11 printed list of ways to meet a man if you work in publishing.” xoJane posted the whole thing, and it’s true; addressed to “Single Girl in Publishing,” it moves quickly into “7 Dating Tips for the Single (and Looking) Girl in Publishing.” They include (apologies in advance):

Retrograde? Yep. Funny? Not really! On the bright side, at least men and women are equally objectified. But considering I’d never heard of this Instagram account or this book before, the letter has served its purpose. A reluctant tip of the hat, then, to this crazy Jewish mother, and the daughter who saw just how much marketing potential she had.



Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.