In the New Yorker Katha Pollitt writes about how abortion has changed the arc of women's lives.See, I think that the idea of women "having a sexual life" is a lie. It is only men that can separate sex from love and marriage and children. I'd say that the more that a woman has a sexual life the more miserable she is likely to be.
Access to legal abortion, whether as a backup to birth control or not, meant that women, like men, could have a sexual life without risking their future. A woman could plan her life without having to consider that it could be derailed by a single sperm.
Most women don’t enter fields that require years of graduate-school education, but all women have benefitted from having larger numbers of women in those fields.
See, I think that the idea of a woman "plan[ning] her life" free of the derailleur "single sperm" completely misunderstands what life is all about. Any woman with half a brain is going to steer clear of rogue "single sperms."
See, I think that the idea that "all women have benefitted" from having more women in fields that require graduate-school education is a ridiculous conceit.
So I think that Katha Pollit is full of it.
Of course, I understand where she is coming from. I get that from German sociologist Georg Simmel and his talk about women coming into the public square and adjusting it to suit "a more feminine sensibility."
I think that the fact of men being perfectly happy with "having a sexual life" and using women as masturbatory appliances is the reason we have marriage laws and that we used to regard abandonment and divorce as scandalous and disgraceful. Before the glories of the sexual revolution.
I think that any plan of life that does not include the generation and raising of children at its center is a foolish plan of life, and a plan for misery and despair.
I think that any notion that more women in certain educated fields is a Good Thing misses the point. What we observe about the work force is that women tend to enter and dominate fields that involve person-to-person communication and caring. Men predominate in fields that involve danger and things. Doesn't mean that the opposite can't happen, but certainly it should give us pause before applying government force to direct outcomes.And men have careers because that is how you get laid and get to marry high-status women.
I'm watching 56-Up, the latest in the TV documentary Up Series following the lives of 14 Brits born in 1957, and checked up on every seven years since. The lefty BBC producers picked a diverse bunch of youngsters from children abandoned in a orphanage to total rich kids with plummy accents. You could tell that the BBC thought they were getting ready to celebrate the wonderful lives of working-class kids that were in the process of benefitting gloriously from the wise and compassionate post-War welfare state. Only it didn't turn out like that.
And, after watching 56-Up, which looks at the kids that are now 56 years old, I'd say that abortion and contraception and the sexual revolution have played merry hell with the lives of pretty well all the kids except the richest ones. But that's just my opinion.
And the richest ones did well not because of their parents' riches but because of the upper-middle-class culture they inherited and breathed into their very souls.
However, in 56-Up almost all the kids are now entering a dignified late middle age, even the ones that went through what I would call welfare-state-hell for years.
See the difference between the right and the left is that we righty racists, sexists, and homphobes think that the folks migrating into the city from the country should be taught the culture of the middle class and its responsibility culture. They should not be encouraged to remain in a working-class or lower-class ghetto, or the neo-feudal culture of the welfare state, because that is not the way to wive and thrive in the city and the market economy.
So I think that Katha Pollit is clueless, and ought to watch the Up Series from start to finish and then answer the obvious question: why are we spending political and cultural bandwidth worrying about high-class women like her when the white working class is dying of despair? And the black community is marinating in self-pity. And gays are the worst bigots on the planet.
But others may differ.