Who you calling a home wrecker?

Barbara Ehrenreich thinks employers, not feminists, are undermining American families.


Katharine Mieszkowski
March 22, 2006 5:10AM (UTC)

Muckraking social critic Barbara Ehrenreich was amused to find herself on Page 4 of Kate O'Beirne's new book, "Women Who Make the World Worse: And How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military and Sports."

Ehrenreich's crime against the whole wide world: attacking families.

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In her column in the Progressive, the accused home wrecker writes dryly: "If O'Beirne had done a little more research, she might have found me responsible for wrecking our military and schools, as well. But I can't complain: Destroying the family is a hefty accomplishment all by itself."

Yet, Ehrenreich is too modest to take full credit for destroying the family; she wants to share the glory with American employers: "If anyone is 'ruining' the American family, it's all the employers who refuse to recognize that their employees have family responsibilities, as well as jobs."

"I'm thinking of two categories of employers, which often overlap: 1) Those who don't pay enough for their employees to live on, thus forcing them to work second jobs, and 2) those who abuse their salaried employees with expectations of 10 or more hours of work per day. Apparently there are more and more such anti-family employers, as Americans now surpass even the famously workaholic Japanese in annual hours on the job."

So, Ehrenreich is calling antifeminist O'Beirne out. If O'Beirne really cares about American families, won't she join Ehrenreich in a campaign for adequate wages and an eight-hour workday?

We can't wait to hear the response.


Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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