Nation: Who's Come a Long Way, Baby?

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Psychoanalyst Irving Bieber of New York Medical College says that men and women are very different genetically, and points out that the exact degrees of difference have yet to be determined. Both Bieber and Fox—and Clinical Psychologist Wardell Pomeroy as well—dispute Millett's argument that the family's chief function is to perpetuate the prescribed patriarchal attitudes. "That's another one of her sweeping generalizations," says Fox. "To assume that the situation is perpetuated by male conspiracy is to ignore the genetic basis." The real issue, says Fox, "is whether male and female roles are totally flexible and reversible." As far as Fox is concerned, the answer is no. Millett admits that "my book did overstate the case, because nobody was listening. All I did was substantiate a cliche which we all know—that it's a man's world."

Legacy of Revolution

Only briefly does Millett speculate on precisely what sort of society might be produced by the successful sexual revolution for which she calls. She expects integration of the separate male and female human subcultures, accompanied by "a permissive single standard of sexual freedom . . . uncorrupted by the crass and exploitative economic bases of traditional sexual alliances." She adds that an end to patriarchy would probably destroy the family as it is known today; the institution of marriage would wither away as well. Precisely what might replace the family is left unclear in her analysis (see THE ESSAY).

Many men, of course, are appalled by distorted visions of the liberated woman's Utopia, a sort of all-female 1984. They fear, as Cato suggested (circa 195 B.C.): "The moment they begin to be your equals, they will be your superiors." Men like San Francisco Plumber Dick Burke say that "if women want to be equal, let 'em; if they want to be plumbers, let 'em. But when they go out on a job, they're gonna have to lift 200 lbs. of pipe like any other plumber." The basic idea of job equality gets an approving nod from Andy Anderson, 42, a publicist for Southern Pacific Railway Co. in San Francisco, but he thinks, "Those radicals are going too far. Let's face it: there are undoubtedly some women who want to castrate us." Los Angeles Adman Bob Kuhn says: "Women are jeopardizing all the gains they have made, and I also feel they are throwing away much of their mystique." Still more outspoken is Male Chauvinist of the Week Hugh E. Geyer, a Morristown, N.J., executive: "They've got nothing to do all day—just push this button and push that button. What the hell does a healthy woman do all day besides rush home at 5 o'clock and give the old bastard a beer? I just can't stomach the laziness of women." Margaret Mead, though in sympathy with most of the movement's aims, offers a caution: "Women's Liberation has to be terribly conscious about the danger of provoking men to kill women. You have quite literally driven them mad."

The Delectable Whistle

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