Economics journalist Crittenden claims that mothers are systematically discriminated against. Poor, single, teenaged moms are well-known to be in trouble, but working moms have it bad, too: between their jobs and their childrearing, they work an average of 80 hours per week. There isn’t time for much else: no housework, little cooking (McDonald’s and Stouffer’s are the norm), and not much sleep. Men are helping more with the housework, it’s true, but fathers still spend significantly less time than mothers with the kids. Corporate mangers, of course, don’t want to hire mothers, since they are the first to take parental leave and to vanish when the kid has a fever, and top law firms report that women will succeed in their corridors only if they are single and “certainly childless.” Crittenden says that one of “the best kept secrets” in the workforce today is that highly-trained, highly-paid women are quitting their hard-won corporate jobs in increasing numbers to hang out at home with their kids. Leaving work to be with one’s kids puts each woman just one man away from a welfare check, as the feminists used to claim. But other women pay an even higher price: A quarter of the best-educated boomer women will never have children at all.
Evenhanded, convincing, and frightening.