Did you see this piece in The NY Times? Any thoughts?
Feminists and traditionalists should be able to agree, for instance,
that the structures of American society don’t make enough allowances
for the particular challenges of motherhood. We can squabble forever
about the choices that mothers ought to make, but the difficult
work-parenthood juggle is here to stay. (Just ask Sarah and Todd
Palin.) And there are all kinds of ways — from a more family-friendly
tax code to a more accommodating educational system — that public
policy can make that juggle easier. Conservatives and liberals won’t
agree on the means, but they ought to agree on the end: a nation where
it’s easier to balance work and child-rearing, however you think that
balance should be struck.
They should also be able to agree
that the steady advance of single motherhood threatens the interests
and happiness of women. Here the public-policy options are limited;
some kind of social stigma is a necessity. But a new-model stigma
shouldn’t (and couldn’t) look like the old sexism. There’s no necessary
reason why feminists and cultural conservatives can’t join forces — in
the same way that they made common cause during the pornography wars of
the 1980s — behind a social revolution that ostracizes serial
baby-daddies and trophy-wife collectors as thoroughly as the “fallen
women” of a more patriarchal age.
No reason, of course, save the
fact that contemporary America doesn’t seem willing to accept sexual
stigma, period. We simply don’t have the stomach for permanently
ostracizing the sexually irresponsible — be they a pregnant starlet, a
thrice-divorced tycoon, or even a prostitute-hiring politician.
this sense, ours is a kinder, gentler, more forgiving country than it
was 40 years ago. But for half the public, it’s an unhappier country as