When it came to the major role of women in society—rncaring for children—the rising divorce rate brought on by thernsexual revolution provided the opportunity to keep womenrnemployed. Many children now needed to be looked after inrngroups while their mothers worked. Who better to care forrnthem than . . . women? It was necessary only to professionalizernchild care, to gild it with the ever-attractive patina of career.rnNot baby-sitting locations but Child Care Centers werernbrought into existence. The centers employed trained personnel.rnThey were supervised by daycare specialists. All those employedrnin this work were on professional career tracks thatrnwould bring them up through directorships to positions in regionalrnadministrative offices for child care, onto activist legislativernlobbying groups, and so on.rnWith the child care “profession,” as with the others, womenrnhad been lured into either taking over work from men or continuingrnto shoulder their traditional burdens. In other words,rnour success was complete. Female employment rose to somern50 percent of the work force. Since women could get jobs,rnhusbands could abandon wives and children in favor of newrnpartners. These abandonments yielded for the male both sexualrnsatisfaction and freedom from work to support two families.rnTo be sure, without work experience single mothersrnearned substantially less than their husbands had, and began tornsink toward poverty. But so deftly had the romance of careerrnbeen implanted in the minds of the feminist leaders thatrninstead of calling for men to resume supporting women, theyrndemanded only better careers and higher wages. The secretrncommittee now had women where it wanted them—at workrnand in sexual bondage.rnNor did it seem that things would be reversed. We knewrnthat we could count on the upper-middle-suburbanite opinionrnclass of women to keep things going. They earned salaries highrnenough to allow them both sexual freedom and MurphyrnBrown-like single motherhood. This class, organized as thernfeminist movement, could be counted on to continue manufacturingrnthe litany of complaints that gave women the illusionrnof making demands and achieving victories even as they werernbeing further and further immured in sexual exploitation,rnwork, and child care. Furthermore, the emphasis on what thernopinion class termed “patriarchy”—the power of men overrnwomen—rendered all women inferior by definition. Theirsrnhad become a self-imposed, psychological second-class statusrnquite the opposite from the commanding social position theyrnhad previously held.rnThis last development—the devolution of women’srnstatus—gave everyone in the group pause. We had not intendedrnto bring about the denigration of women, but only to reducerntheir privileges. It seemed that in this and other respects,rnthings had perhaps gone too far. And so yet another meetingrnwas convened in 1991. As we assessed the situation, therncondition of women, toward whom all had initially bornernresentment, had grown bad enough to appeal to our by nowrnatrophied instincts of chivalry. First, as Dan Quayle hadrnobserved, the apparentlv-so-desirable, sexually irresponsiblernbehavior of privileged women, when it had spread to the lowerrnclasses, reduced their women to penury. So long as welfarernalone was required to deal with this outcome, the secret grouprnhad been willing to pay the price. But now two unforeseen andrnundesirable developments considerably altered the situation.rnFirst, the sexual irresponsibility that had spread downwardrnhad begun to flow back upward. The new, trickle-up moralityrnaffected the young in particular. Suddenly not just adult butrnchild sexual promiscuity had become permissible, along withrnchild single-parenthood on a scale extensive enough to bring tornour own class a poverty heretofore restricted to the foolishlyrnpromiscuous among the lower classes. The secret committeernhad started by practicing on adult women; now the worst resultsrnof its manipulations were appearing in successive generationsrnof young women and giris—among them the members’rnown daughters and granddaughters. Second, defeminizationrn—the loss of femininity among women performing roughrnmen’s work—also began to spread upward. Privileged womenrnwere not being hardened by working as truckers or warehousemen,rnbut even in offices and universities they were growingrnever more shameless and vulgar.rnThings had gone too far: the secret group had proven to berntoo clever by half. The entire experiment had to be reversed sornas to bring the relationship between the sexes back to a workablernequilibrium. Above all, women had to be granted theirrndifferences from men—their different sexuality, different relationshiprnto children, different kinds of work they could do well.rnThis meant ending both rampant sexual promiscuity and therncultural atmosphere that made women feel it was virtuallyrnmandatory for them to go to work.rnLike women, men had not truly benefited from women’srnpromiscuity and going to work. Where women had grownrnmore sexually aggressive, male impotence often followed.rnWhere men indulged in extramarital sex, their wives often respondedrnby doing the same. The resultant rise in the divorcernrate had cut many a man’s equity in half, obliging him to workrneven harder than in the past in order to support two families.rnFor, as it turned out, women did come around to demandingrnsupport after divorce, despite their claims of equality withrnmen.rnAs for female employment lightening men’s work burden,rnthis had somehow not come about. In the first place, womenrndid not really do men’s work, as we have seen. Morernimportantly, women treated their wages as discretionary income.rnInstead of producing time off from work for men, workingrnwomen simply raised a family’s standard of living. Thisrnbenefited lower-income men, but made less difference for thernwell-heeled class to which the members of the secret committeernbelonged. Most disturbingly, a respectable researcher onrnheart disease found that “men with highly educated wives whornwork outside the home faced a greater risk of dying of a heartrnattack than did men with less educated wives.” In short, givingrnup the changes set in motion by the committee in 1962 nowrnpromised to be more of a relief than a sacrifice.rnNot surprisingly, a debate ensued on how to achieve therngroup’s aims. One side again called for a reassertion of malernauthority. Cooler heads pointed out that this was no longer anrnoption: all the fundamentals of male-female relationship hadrnbeen altered. On the other hand, I pointed out, less hadrnchanged than might seem to be the case, so that there still existedrnmany bases on which to work toward the desiredrnturnaround. I was now as willing to help right the situation as Irnhad initially been committed to weakening the social fabric.rnFor I was no longer in the employ of either the KGB or the Securitate,rnnor had I been since the end of the Cold War. Indeed,rnI was an American, and as such I was just as worried asrnanyone else about the deterioration of the relationship betweenrnthe sexes.rn24/CHRONICLESrnrnrn