After the Revolution: Can the ‘Nineties Girl Be Happy?

Five women, somberly dressed and decidedly middle-aged, look forth from the cover of The New York Times Magazine. Their stance and expressions are bold, direct, and even tinged with humor. Their bearing bespeaks full confidence. The women are Alix Kates Shulman, Ann Snitow, Phyllis Chesler, Ellen Willis, and Kate Millett.

“Who Says We Haven’t Made a Revolution?” is the title of the accompanying article by Vivian Gornick. A feminist for 20 years, Miss Gornick looks back on two decades of association not only with these five women, but also with other feminists such as Ti-Grace Atkinson, Gloria Steinem, and Shulamith Firestone. Although her article expresses the disappointment of feminist leaders that radical feminism has gone into a quiescent phase, Miss Gornick nonetheless asserts that in the long run feminism has won the battle for American women. If women still do more than their share of housework in their supposedly fifty-fifty, two-paycheck marriages; if some women are complicating their careers by having babies; and if women have seen it to their professional advantage to forsake power suits for dresses; if, in short, the feminist revolution yet incompletely realizes its founders’ vision, the feminist elite of Miss Gornick and her sisters still declares the victory of having irrevocably changed the social fabric of America.

“Contemporary feminism is a piece of consciousness that can’t be gone back on,” says Miss Gornick. “It has changed forever the way we think about ourselves.” She cites as an example of victory the strides made for legal abortion. “A year ago,” she writes, “I marched in Washington for legal abortion. Marching beside me were the women I marched with in 1970, but all around us were thousands of women who had never before marched for anything. Feminism had politicized them.”

The politicization of women is a primary goal of feminism. Yet the aim of feminists, according to Miss Gornick and her friends, is not to exclude men from the picture. Feminists want, rather, a world in which women exert their sexuality as freely as men do and wield power as forcefully as men do. “What we want,” says one of Miss Gornick’s colleagues, “is a roomful of people in which everyone is sexy, and everyone is powerful.”

Miss Gornick and her friends admit the world has not fulfilled their dream. They think the most interesting people in any gathering these days are always women; men, though they pretend, do not really understand feminism, and so men tend to be dull. But, according to Miss Gornick, feminists can live with that. As one friend told her, “You’re a New Woman of the ’70s and ’80s. That means intermittent erotic connection, and the company of intelligent women.” That means, apparently, reliance on men for sexual alliances but reliance on other women for real intellectual and emotional bonds.

Miss Gornick is an admirer of the early feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Elizabeth Stanton, says Miss Gornick, understood the loneliness of existence. “She saw that each human being is essentially alone, and therefore it was of the greatest importance that each person own as much of him or herself as possible. To die alone, having had no power over one’s own life, was a terrible thing.” Gornick takes courage from Elizabeth Stanton’s philosophy. Feminists are not alone as Elizabeth Stanton was, she says. “We have ourselves, and we have each other. We have the memory of visionary politics alive inside us, and we have the, company of ideas in our friendships. When we go out into the world, our point of view may not be welcome, but it is not held to be eccentric. We are not shunted aside, and there is always someone in the room to hear what we are saying.”

“Radical feminism,” she concludes, “is not wanted this year, perhaps not this decade. Not, I think, because feminism in our time is over, but because the insights of the ’70s are being assimilated in the slow unlovely way of social change: two steps forward, one step back.” Miss Gornick and her colleagues are patient. They appreciate their victory, incomplete though it may be. And, as Miss Gornick says, they will not rest until everyone in the room is sexy, and everyone is powerful.

When Vivian Gornick declares that feminism has won the day, I believe her. I believe her so much that I think her victory is even more thorough than she herself realizes. Although strident feminism is now mostly frowned on as counterproductive, feminist principles have from the earliest grades embedded themselves so deeply in our educational system that even the tiniest children are absorbing a view of men and women and family that is far different from the traditional Judeo-Christian conception. Every institution in Western life, including the churches, is now encrusted with feminism, so that feminist ideology is built into the bureaucracy, where it has become so powerfully entrenched as to assume the self-anointed mission of changing the language to be “inclusive.” Nothing, of course, more signifies metaphysical upheaval in a society than the drastic overhaul of the meaning of words. Ideologues now are forcibly imposing upon us inclusive language, invading not only secular but sacred usage.

Miss Gornick is delighted and heartened by the wholesale acceptance of feminism in the West.

But, on the contrary, the revolution of feminism seems to me a degradation of women, a dislocation of men, and a frightening abandonment of children. No one in my view has benefited from this revolution; everyone has lost. The condition of the family in the West is at its lowest ebb in centuries. The American family, in particular, has never in its history been so fragile. A revolution has effected this state of affairs; but it is hardly cause for celebration.

Feminism, taken in its broadest definition as an attempt to alter human nature at the depths of creation, an effort to deny the created order and to make a new one, is the logical extension of the modern fixation on the individual as maker and arbiter of his own truth. That we live in an increasingly secular, sterile, and homosexual culture is merely a sign that when the individual recognizes no authority higher than his own mind, he moves ever more into himself. The inward-looking human is alone, struggling to “own” himself—in the feminist view of things, living alone and dying alone. Life is a Hobbesian power struggle. Thus sex does not flow from love; sex is war. Sex is contraceptive, sterile, artificial, and abortive. (Everyone is sexy, and everyone is powerful.) Since, furthermore, art and literature, in order to thrive, require recognition of the transcendent, there is scarcely any civilization but instead the pornography and exhibitionism deriving from obsession with and hatred of the shrunken self.

The feminist view, like the Marxist view to which it is closely allied, denies the transcendent. It denies that man and woman have complementary natures that are rooted in the order of creation. It sees man and woman as androgynous beings whose differences are not part of the natural order but are merely historically conditioned—mostly by oppressive males. Consequently, the feminist view of sex is not the procreative communion of immortal beings with souls, of complementary beings whose union is reflective of the very spousal love-life of God and his creation. The feminist notion of sex is instead simply the coupling of recreation. It need not be open to children and indeed it is often preferable if reproduction takes place apart from men and women altogether. A laboratory will do. Because the family and the home is the place where men and women bond lovingly, permanently, and privately; because the home is where the individual soul is dignified and cherished and where the different vocations of men and women are most noticeable, the aim is to get everyone out of the home—that dangerous and subversive place—and into the workplace or the daycare center, where each one can better be supervised by the state. The object, further, is to separate women from their reproductive faculties so that they can remain constantly in the workforce.

As a result, feminism demands that young women place top priority on the workplace. Girls are taught that their fulfillment in life—even their moral duty—must include a career. To refuse to enter the public arena of work would be to refuse to take one’s place in society, to tear a hole in the social fabric. It would be immoral and a cause for guilt.

Quiet Unease

The feminist milieu that saturates everything girls see and hear and learn extracts its gospel from radical feminism. In its milder version it does allow girls to admit that they want a husband and children, but it does not permit them to set as their goal a traditional family in which their care of husband and children would be their primary responsibility. My own theory is that what girls privately yearn for and what they are told they should strive for are two different things that reflect their struggle with two opposing views of life. Young women are brought up on the preaching that they are free to choose anything in life they want, without restriction. This enormous array of choices, they have been told, will make them happy.

Sadly enough, young women in their twenties and thirties do not seem particularly happy. They strike me more often as bewildered, sometimes suffering from guilt, and not nearly as confident as they would like to appear. For some years now girls have been told they can “have it all,” that they can successfully manage both a family and a career. I suspect that the uneasiness of young women derives from their seeing, either from personal experience or the example of others, that such a fusion is done at great cost. In their hearts girls seem to know they have to choose.

The questions facing young women are ultimately philosophical. Yet the issues arise in their lives as immediate and practical. Thus I have some suggestions for young women to ponder, some practical considerations they may not have thought about. I offer these suggestions not as pontifications but as counsel—gentle, I hope—offered in the spirit with which I try to advise my own daughters, who are still teenagers. I assume that among the readers there will be young women who are like the girls I am acquainted with, bright, well-intentioned girls who hope they will marry and have children, who hope to be happy, and who assume that a spiritual life is part of life. In other words, the young women I know do not intend to be radical feminists. But in our world where feminism has been assimilated with so few people being aware of it, a young woman, with the air of feminism all around her, is hard-pressed to make right choices.

What might be some guidelines for young women? First of all, I would suggest that girls take careful charge of their college education. Given the almost complete disarray of the college curriculum, a young woman can assume that she will receive very little help from her advisors. She may as well brave the thickets alone, setting out to achieve the very strongest liberal education she can put together. The answer to feminism is not a non-education, a flabby education. It is rather the most energetic and enthusiastic embrace of the great minds of Western civilization. The force of centuries of great minds looking at the truth is the best antidote to ideology.

One of the tenets of feminism is that women, hindered throughout history by men, have never been allowed to use their brains. This is a silly argument, of course, and it is not my purpose here to take time to confront it. The more important point is that an excellent education in the liberal arts, steeped in the literature, art, philosophy, theology, history, music, and science of the Judeo-Christian tradition, is just as essential for a woman as for a man. The great thinkers of our tradition should be placed before both women and men.

Maritain observed that young women approach their subject in a bit different manner from young men. From his experience as a teacher, he was struck by the capacity of young women for integrating what they learn. He remarked at their intuitive love of metaphysics, which he attributed to their physical closeness to the origins of life. I have heard wise people note the right brain/left brain differences in the way women and men learn. If women in general rely more on the right brain and men more on the left brain, which I suspect they probably do, then I chalk up that difference as one more confirmation of the complementary natures of women and men. This complementariness is not something to deny or to hate, as feminists do, but to cherish as a gift in which we ought to rejoice.

A girl who wants to be educated, it seems to me, should steep herself especially in the classical and medieval periods of our civilization. She should pay attention to the High Middle Ages, when, as Henry Adams explained so elegantly in Mont St. Michel and Chartres, the profound appreciation of the feminine, personified in the Virgin, enabled faith and reason to reach a counterpoise never since attained. It goes without saying that a girl would stay away from women’s studies and other such obvious programs of indoctrination. The goal, moreover, should ever be to become a liberally educated woman, not a technician. The task of an adult woman, in my view, is to pass on a civilization. The more thoroughly she loves and understands her civilization and the faith from which civilization springs, the more competently will she fulfill her mission of transferring civilization to the next generation.

Career Choices

Once a young woman has the foundation of a liberal education (hard as it may be to achieve in our day), then what? I would not deny for a minute that this is a point at which she will be sorely tested. The confusions which have been heaped upon her all through school settle squarely on her shoulders at the moment of graduation. Perhaps she has met a young man she wants to many. In this era of late marriages, however, it may be more likely that she has not yet met a prospective husband. The feminist world gives her no alternative in any case. Her question is not whether she will enter the workplace; whether she will enter it permanently; or whether she will enter it temporarily until she is married and has a baby. Though these are still questions in my book, they are not questions for today’s young woman. Girls are taught that they must work throughout their productive years, that it is both their moral obligation and their happiness. Girls are likewise told that they can “have it all,” that they can successfully combine both a family and a career and that neither will suffer. Or they are told that, even though choosing both family and career admittedly will be hard, a career is the one thing they must choose. In that they have no choice. What is more, they are told that no married couple these days can possibly live on the husband’s income alone. Thus girls see the issue facing them not as whether to work during their marriage but what work outside their home they should do.

I realize the frightening prospect of living in poverty, of scratching to get by. I understand and sympathize with the financial bind in which many families and most young families find themselves. It is a real, not imaginary bind; and it causes hardship. Still, the double paycheck life, once entered, requires unusual fortitude to give up. Most people who do give it up for the care of the children need courage to take the leap. When people do make the leap to give up the second paycheck, they do so, I think, because they have found that someone—perhaps everyone in the family—is getting short-changed.

My intention is not to put myself in the holier-than- thou attitude of telling young married women not to work outside the home. I would rather put the problem another way. I would suggest that the questions that young women ask themselves are not the right ones. The proper starting place for making a decision is not the difficulty that may be the consequence of the action, however grave that may appear to be, but the principle that ought to guide the action in the first place. Instead of asking themselves whether they can be fulfilled by remaining at home with their children, or whether they can make it financially, I would hope young women would ask themselves what women are to do in life. What is their nature and purpose? How do they carry it out? If they ask themselves the right questions, the issues will not seem so complex, and the answers will begin to fall naturally into place. Once a girl thinks of the proper questions, she can honestly ask herself, “Do I really want to go to law school just because I don’t know what else I’m supposed to be doing?”

As she does on all subjects, Mother Teresa speaks wisely and directly to the nature of women. Time magazine recently asked her, “What do you think of the feminist movement among nuns in the West?” Mother Teresa replied, “I think we should be more busy with our Lord than with all that, more busy with Jesus and proclaiming His Word. What a woman can give, no man can give. That is why God has created them separately. Nuns, women, any woman. Woman is created to be the heart of the family, the heart of love. If we miss that, we miss everything. They give that love in the family or they give it in service, that is what their creation is for.”

Who could put the case better or more simply? Women are created to be the heart of love. Either they give that love in the family or they give it in service (in the single or religious life). There is the answer. Either way a woman’s life is to give, for giving is the obedience to her nature. Another wise woman, First Lady Barbara Bush, made a similar point in her commencement address at Wellesley. Speaking to a graduating class heavily weighted with feminists who had protested her speaking at all, Mrs. Bush encouraged the women “to cherish your human connections” with spouses, children, family and friends, which are “the most important investment you will ever make.”

“At the end of your life,” she said, “you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, or a parent.” She concluded, “Fathers and mothers, if you have children, they must come first . . . your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House but on what happens inside your house.”

Open to Children

Once a young man and woman marry, they have made a choice which brings about irrevocable consequences. Those consequences inevitably bind the other choices they make. First of all, they must be faithful to each other, and they must be open to children. To decide ahead of time to bar children from one’s marriage is, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, to make a marriage invalid. To make the prior choice not to have children simply is not a choice in a Christian marriage. Immediately, then, a Christian marriage is at odds with many modern unions that eliminate the possibility of children because of interference with the couple’s careers.

Second, the marriage may not be a contraceptive one. The couple certainly may limit the gift of themselves to the time of their fertility cycle when they can fairly well predict they will not conceive. But this is a different life altogether from a contraceptive life. The life of natural fertility awareness, or natural family planning (NFP), is living in tune with the natural order of a woman’s fertility cycle. The contraceptive life, on the other hand, damages the integrity of the marital act and changes its very nature.

Even though natural family planning is the chaste and life-respecting way of Christian marriage, I would still offer a bit of advice in regard to it. NFP calls the couple to be generous. Marriage, after all, is for the purpose of bringing forth and protecting new life. Most young couples today seem to wait much longer than they have any serious reason for doing so before they finally have a baby. Infertility is becoming a grave problem in the West. A couple who puts off a baby in order to earn money for a down-payment on a house may never have time for the baby. Extending the wife’s salary to pay for just one more vacation or car may become a habit. And then, unhappily, when the couple wants the baby, the baby may not come.

Infertility is a heavy cross for any couple. Usually, I think, it is temporary. But if the problem is more serious, then it is a faithful couple, devoted to each other and to the Church, who seek professional help only of the kind that respects the integrity of their marriage and of the origins of life. If all ethical avenues of overcoming fertility have been exhausted, then the couple may want to have recourse to adoption. If my husband and I had been infertile, we would have considered adoption. Having taken care of babies, I know now that all a woman—or a man—need do to love a baby is to take care of him. The baby need not be one’s own. I do not think an infertile couple need fear adoption.

After a baby arrives, the feminist style is for the mother to rush back to work after six weeks, leaving the baby in daycare or with a sitter. But if a woman wants to be happy, she will not do that. She will want to stay home and nurse her baby. Not only will she want to; she will delight in it. Having the baby stationed somewhere so that the mother can take a quick break from work to breastfeed him, say, morning, noon, and night, really does not count as actually nursing one’s baby. The baby who is wholly and most happily breastfed, without bottle supplements, for some months is the real nursing baby. As any nursing mother knows, a baby calls his own tune about when he wants to eat. He starts to fuss, and his mother feeds him. Her milk supply adjusts to his demand. There is hardly any bother in this harmonious little bonding—but there is a catch to it: The mother has to be there. The easiest and happiest way for her to care for her baby is to be there, nurse him when he is hungry and forget about schedules. When he wakes up at night to eat, she takes him in bed with her, lets him eat and snooze, and goes back to sleep herself.

This frequent nursing offers an extra bonanza. Not only does it result in a contented baby, but it prolongs the mother’s natural infertility, and so it works together with NFP. A nursing baby makes happy fathers, too. I have never known a father who did not take pride and delight in the nursing mother and baby in his care. In our own family we look back upon the nursing years as some of the happiest, most contented times of our life. My advice to young women: Don’t miss it. You will never know a time when you are more peaceful or more sure that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing.

By the time a baby is a year-and-a-half or two years old, he has probably weaned himself. Is it time, then, for a mother to go back to work? Again, that seems the wrong question. Rather it is probably time to be anticipating another baby. A generous couple does not decide at the outset how many children they will have. They instead allow themselves to decide from month to month whether or not they have a serious reason for postponing a baby or whether they think God is calling them at this time to conceive a new life. The NFP-practicing couple, by the very nature of the free donation of themselves when they choose to come together in the marital act, live without barriers between themselves, without barriers to God’s grace. Their giving of self to the other is free to be total; hence it is the antithesis of the feminist mode of sex-as-war. The thrust of an NFP marriage, for that reason, tends toward generosity. By its built-in openness to God’s grace, such a marriage becomes a school of the virtues of charity and humility.

When debating whether to return to the office, there are other points a young mother will want to consider. First, how important is her child? Not just her baby-child but her toddler, her elementary school child, her adolescent. Can she really afford to put her dearest trust in the hands of someone other than his mother and father? Will she delegate to someone else the precious duty of teaching her child the language of civilization, the joy of watching his vocabulary grow, the exhilaration of seeing his mind wrap itself around the complex grammar and usage of his native language that is one of the incarnations of civilization?

The “quality time” of a Saturday morning trip to the library or a bedtime story after a long day at the office and daycare center does not fill the bill. The learning of language begins in the womb, when the preborn baby hears his mother talking. It continues when, after birth, he rivets his eyes on her face, and she smiles and talks to him. It continues when her toddler trails her about the house and she talks to him about everything under the sun. It goes on and on when the older child and then the adolescent comes in after school and tells his mother about his triumphs or his worries. And it yet goes on when a grandmother tells a child the funny antics of his mother when she was little.

The handing on of the tradition of a civilization, which comes mostly through its language, is not the accomplishment of a day of marathon reading and talking but the achievement of a lifetime of reading, talking, conversing, admonishing, discussing, comforting. If a mother does not assume this mission, no one, not even her husband, will. No one else has time. No one else is in quite the unique position with her child that enables her to do it. No one else has quite the intuition, knowledge of and empathy with her child, born of a lifetime of study of her subject.

When a woman gives up full-time care of her child, she gives up the post for which she, above anyone, has superlative qualifications. Does she really want to relinquish the vocation for which she is ideally suited and substitute a career of worry—the worry of knowing that her child, of whatever age, is uneasy and insecure without her at home; the worry of wondering what mischief might occur when her child comes home from school to an empty house; the worry that there is never enough time for anything; the worry that her child’s whole well-being is not as good as if she herself were in charge of his care; the worry that the long-term separation of her child from her, day after day, may have ill effects that she does not anticipate.

A second point a woman will want to ponder is whether a marriage can support more than one full-time career. We often look at the issue backward, supposing that it takes two careers to support a marriage. I would suggest, rather, that it is the marriage that supports the career. Though a marriage contains two vocations—husband-father and wife-mother—it also forms the seedbed and creative energy for a career that operates in the world, works in the world, makes an imprint on the world, and makes money to bring back home for the support and care of the family. Whatever the chosen career of the marriage, whatever profession or line of work it may be, the career involves not just the one who actually works in it, but it also involves everyone in the family. There is a sense in which everyone in the family is bent toward seeing that one career to its goal. Without question the shape of that one career sets the scene, the limits, the context of life of the entire family.

For that reason, I think that a marriage, a family can sustain only one real career. Though there may be all kinds of avocations, interests, volunteer work, and even part-time jobs outside the home, my theory is that a family can focus on and throw its energies only into one career. I question whether, in a home where there are children, a mother will want to sacrifice their interests—and her own, too, if she understands correctly—in order to make her career the family career. I question, too, whether she will want to risk her husband’s career for her career. Our society has not yet faced up to two crucial issues: First, what happens to children when their mother hands them over to the care of other people; second, what happens to a man, professionally, emotionally, spiritually, when his career is not also the family career.

Domestic Intelligence

Finally, it may be that in my discussion of the practicalities of whether a woman can combine the office with the home, some young women readers by this time will be thinking, “Yes, I see my responsibilities. But what about my brain? What about my education? Can I just stay home listening to the babble of toddlers and let my mind dry up?” I know that question; I asked myself the same thing. Yet I found out something. My time in my home was my own; that was my great freedom. What I did with my mind was up to me. Somehow, if I really wanted to, I could squeeze out time somewhere to read. I did not have a lot of time—but I had some time.

Even more important, perhaps, no boss gave me assignments. I gave myself the assignments. I found out that hardly ever does anyone read much of lasting value in an office; any reading done there is related directly to the task at hand. Yet at home I could read anything. Nursing a baby, grabbing an hour while a toddler napped, sitting up for a while after the rest of the family was asleep, a little time here or there—not much, but still it was my time, and I could read Tolstoy or Jane Austen if I chose. Always I was aware that within my home—inside that little house—was my freedom. I resisted working outside my home, not so much, perhaps, because I did not want to leave my children, but even more, I confess, because I knew that going back to an office would be a kind of enslavement and the beginning of the end of my intellectual and spiritual life.

Other than the church, the home, after all, is the last free space, the last private space we have left. I would have fought tooth and nail to resist going back to the dreary, dry confinement of the office—even the newspaper office, which I had enjoyed. At home I found over the years that nothing was wasted. Any reading I could snatch time for, any time I spent playing with the children, reading to them, teaching them, any time I spent with my husband, my family, my friends was never wasted. It all seemed to store up in memory, little by little, year by year. After some years one realizes that what has been stored in memory begins to bear fruit. Something like a small wisdom begins to show up. Maybe it is merely an accumulation of years. At any rate, there is a sense of loose strands coming together. It indicates to me that nothing of those years of education and nothing of the years at home has been wasted. It all builds toward a faith that grows in understanding.

One of the saddest errors inflicted upon young women today is that a woman at home is unintelligent and dull. On the contrary, the home is exactly where her intelligence flowers. Can she afford to give up the home, the place of privacy and, yes, even silence, where she is free to talk, to read, to educate, to learn, to contemplate, and to pray, and substitute for it the public workplace? A move to the workplace means virtually the end of a woman’s interiority, which is the key to her being. I frankly doubt if she can afford that loss. I doubt if her husband and children can afford it. I doubt if the world can afford it. Our Lady, we recall, in the interiority of the family had so much to offer Our Lord that he stayed home with her for 30 years before he was ready to enter his public ministry.

Young women have inherited the feminist revolution. Yet they are smart enough to realize that the line that assured them they could have both a family and a career was in fact a line of propaganda that involved a choice after all. The choice, unfortunately, has most often meant that a choice for a woman’s full-time career has also meant a choice against the family. Young women, observing the unhappy results of a generation of latch-key children and a trail of broken marriages, often suspect that the feminist revolution has added nothing to the happiness of women. And yet girls fear there is no other way to live than the way the world lives.

To live in a non-contracepting marriage, to rely on a husband’s income, to care for one’s children oneself seems an impossible throwback to an antique era. But there are couples who, with faith, grace, and an inventive spirit do indeed live this way. They are ingenious and entrepreneurial; they have discovered such aids to their life as home computers, groups that teach natural family planning—and, in what may be a phenomenon of the 1990s, more and more are successfully exploring the path of home schooling for their children. Above all these couples choose the life they want, the heroic life, which they would describe as nothing other than the ordinary life that follows the natural order of being. Once their life would have been ordinary; now, however, their ordinary life has become extraordinary and heroic.

Not long ago I spent several days with a record crowd of 800 people who live the ordinary, extraordinary heroic life. The occasion was a convention of the Couple to Couple League, an organization that fosters marital chastity and happy marriages through the teaching of NFP. There they were—these pioneering young couples from all over America, with their babies and toddlers and older children, their vans and their Voyagers, their enthusiasm, their hope, and their good humor. If they had lived a century-and-three-quarters ago, they would have been among the band that rumbled westward in their Conestoga wagons, pushing civilization to the frontier. Today they are those who plant the seeds of civilization for the third millennium. Amid these pioneers the problems of the feminist revolution, the birth dearth, and the fragile American family seem far away. Divorce is non-existent among them. These families are living proof that Vivian Gornick and her company do not have the last word. There may have been a revolution, but we do not have to follow it.

By

Mrs. Anne Husted Burleigh is a free-lance writer, mother, and grandmother who lives on a farm overlooking the Ohio River in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, near Cincinnati. She has written two books: John Adams, a Biography, and Journey up the River: a Midwesterner’s Spiritual Pilgrimage. She has contributed to many publications, including Crisis and Catholic Dossier, and now writes for Magnificat.

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