8/CHRONICLESnPERSPECTIVEnOLD ADAM, NEW EVE by Thomas FlemingnFeminist writers sometimes give us the impression thatnthe nonworking mother is a rare bird hke the Bachman’snWarbler—sighted (not very reliably) once a decade ornso in a corner of Ton Swamp in the South Carolina lowcountry.nThe ladies magazines do occasionally report onnrumors that some professional women like Janet Fallowsnhave taken a few years off to be with their children untilnthey’re old enough for playschool. But these cases almostnalways involve eccentrics or writers—a species that will donanything so long as it makes good copy. In the old days,nwriters went to exotic places and paid for the trip by writingnarticles. Now, the really exotic thing to do is to fix dinnernand change diapers on a regular basis.nTo show how out of touch some of us are, I know verynfew mothers of small children who actually hold regularnjobs. Of course, I know one who is a “novelist” andncountless numbers who get involved in arts councils,nchurch rummage sales, and substitute teaching. Some evenndo crafts for an hourly “wage” that no sweatshop in LosnAngeles would dare to pay illegal Mexicans, hi the case ofnthe one or two mothers who actually want to work, theynappear to be equally miserable at home and at work.nObviously, many mothers of small children do work,nsome of them because they have to, more of them becausenthey feel they really ought to. The strong social pressures onnwomen to pretend they’re men is just a small part of whatnthe women’s movement has contributed to our commonnlife. But why is it that the women I meet are so unlike thennnwomen I read about in books? Now I have, it is true, passednmost of my days in the Midwest and deep South, wherenmen and women are too ignorant or too poor to live out thenfantasies of night-time soap operas and women’s fiction.nFrom the number of novels being written by the women, fornthe women, and of the women, I am beginning to wonder ifnmen have given up the genre. To save our readers the effortnof ploughing through these books, I offer this brief sketch.nFeminist Novel Prototype I:nDarla has always known she was different, even when shenwas growing up in the affluent suburbs ofnShe discovered sex at the age of 12, drugs by 14, radicalnpolitics by 17. After four years of brilliant underachievementnat Barnard or Wellesley, she married Ted, who sharednher literary interests. As the story opens, she has justndecided to leave Ted (now an advertising exec) and their twonsmall children in order to escape from the Doll’s House andnreclaim her soul. After a few episodes of pointless (andntherefore thrilling) sex, she realizes that men are only afternone thing (what Mamma forgot to tell her). Disenchantednwith the first stages of sexual liberation, she checks into anradical lesbian commune, where the conversation alternatesnbetween what’s wrong with men and all you nevernwanted to know about feminine hygiene. In the end, shenleaves her alternate life-style behind—although she’ll alwaysnbe grateful for what it has taught her about herself—nand we see, on the last page, the new woman bravely facingnan uncertain future as the screendoor is blown endlesslynopen and shut by the wind. Or maybe she’s watching thenlights going on along El Camino Real after spending twonyears in the Barrio soothing the anxieties of illegalnimmigrants—you fill in the blanks. In these write-bynumbernplots, there is some flexibility in the detailsn(aspiring novelists should feel free to use the Prototypenwithout paying any royalties).nFiction is only a small part of the feminist influence onnour high culture. There are feminist enclaves in physiology,npsychology, sociology, “education,” literary theory, historyn—everything, in short, except math and physics, whichneffectively screen out women stupid enough to fall for thenfeminist line.nIn the past few years alone, countless books and articlesnhave been written to debunk the old sexist stereotypes. Anprudent man would have avoided all but one or two of thenbest, but in this area there is no best, no better, not even angood. What sort of sociology or psychology or neurology isnit that knows, a priori, that male and female are social rolesnthat do not depend upon the obvious physiological differencesnbetween men and women? And why is it that then