Break the Rules Like ... Darcy Lockman

Not all Wonder Women wear capes, and not all Unladylike role models need to sit in the C-suite to spark change. We want to introduce y'all to rad women and nonbinary folks we admire. They'll offer up pointers on how we all can #breaktheruleslike they do and help them make the world a better place. If you have a role model to shout out, send hot tips to hello@unladylike.co. 

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1. Introduce yourself: Who are you, where are you from and what do you do?

I’m a clinical psychologist and author of the new book All the Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership (Harper Collins). I grew up outside of Detroit but have been in NYC since college graduation. In addition to being a writer, I’m a therapist in private practice, and I work with couples and individuals.

2. When did you first realize this was the right path for you?

I’ll speak here about the book. When my husband and I became parents, we assumed the work of running our household would be equally shared. Despite our best intentions, it didn’t quite go that way. As I watched the women around me living in these retrogressive roles we wouldn’t have predicted, I kept asking myself why it was still this way. I wrote the book to really dig into what became the most burning question of my early years of co-parenting with a man. Why does what we hope for and expect in our egalitarian marriages end up looking so much more traditional when kids enter the picture?

3. What’s unladylike about you and what you do?

I think it’s fairly unladylike to speak your mind and call out sexism in your most intimate relationship. I wrote a journalist’s book — not a memoir — but still my own relationship plays a role. An op-ed I wrote on the topic for The New York Times went viral, and you really know you’ve gone viral when someone writes a response piece as a critique. The writer declared that women should stop publicly criticizing their husbands. That was hardly the thrust of my piece, but that unladylike behavior clearly touched a nerve.

4. Which of your heroes or role models would you immortalize in bronze?

Joan Didion. Reading her in college was transforming. I didn’t know non-fiction could do that.

5. What was your feminist aha moment?

When I was a young magazine writer, I understood that the pieces I was doing for women’s and teen magazines were cute, but that the pieces my close male friend from the college newspaper was writing for men’s magazines were serious journalism. That seemed to be more about gender (of reader and writer) than subject matter. And then later, when I was completing grad school in clinical psychology, I saw the men around me getting more internship interviews than the women. There are fewer men in psychology, so they were more prized on the grounds of gender diversity. But when a field has fewer women, the converse is never true.

6. What’s the best advice you’ve received? The worst?

Butt in chair. When you want to accomplish something, the first step you can take is to sit down. You’ll produce something from there. I can’t recall any bad advice!

7. What’s bringing you joy right now — or at least keeping you sane?

My kids are a joy every day. Podcasts that aren’t about current events. Coffee. My husband. My girlfriends.

8. Aside from keys/wallet/phone, what do you never leave home without?

Airpods. Lip gloss.

9. How can unladies help you and/or your mission?

I have great ambitions for All the Rage. It’s the book I would’ve wanted to have as I moved through the early years of parenting. It would have made a huge difference. I’ve also heard from so many women who are deep in already, and they’re telling me they finally feel seen, not crazy. I hope you’ll read the book, and spread the word to your friends, male and female both. Gender equity in the home is one of the most important feminist issues of our time. I want to move the needle in favor of greater balance.