By Patricia Sellers
July 6, 2009

“It’s sort of the silver lining of things not being quite fair: It’s not as big a deal if you say, ‘I’m going to take a salary cut and see if I can be something else. A night-club singer.'”

Nora Ephron, talking about women, in “Nora Knows What To Do” in the current issue of The New Yorker. After reading this profile and hearing the Sarah Palin news, Ephron’s quote haunted me all weekend. Could it be that Sarah Palin quit just because, well, she could?

Doubt it!

But as Ephron says, “Women way more than men” are able to change their lives because typically they’re not the breadwinners. So society punishes women far less than men when they quit to do something else entirely. (Unless you’re the governor of Alaska and explain your inability to explain yourself by quoting your parents’ refrigerator magnet: “Don’t explain: Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe you anyway.”)

Anyway, writer-director Ephron, whose new movie “Julie and Julia” is due out in August, spews some fine wisdom in that New Yorker piece–which (it drives me crazy) is not online since the folks at Conde Nast insist you pay for their content. So pick up the issue this week–it’s a double issue still on newsstands. And if you want more Nora Ephron, you can find it in the “Best Advice I Ever Got” issue of Fortune now on newsstands. Hmm, Ephron’s advice is missing from our online “Best Advice” offering. I’ll check that out tomorrow. Meantime, you can buy the issue!

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