I sent the following letter to the editor of the New York Times this evening. I thought both columns and the referenced essay were very interesting and thought-provoking. You have to be registered to read the New York Times; in addition, you have to be a member of Times Select to read David Brooks’ columns. If you are a subscriber, you are a member of Times Select. Even if you don’t read Brooks’ column, I recommend reading both Terry Martin Hekker’s column and Linda Hirshman’s essay.
“The Year of Domesticity” versus “Paradise Lost (Domestic Division)”
To the Editor:
I found David Brooks’ column, “The Year of Domesticity” (Jan. 1), very interesting, especially as I had just finished reading “Paradise Lost (Domestic Division)” by Terry Martin Hekker (Modern Love column, Sunday Styles section, Jan. 1). While Mr. Brooks dismisses an essay by Linda Hirshman that exhorts women not to comprise their careers as “1975 time-warp feminism,” Ms. Hekker writes of the difficulty of being divorced and single after a life of raising children and being a housewife without a career. In addition, Ms. Hekker discussed how the column she wrote for the New York Times in 1977 regarding her fulfilling life as a housewife now makes her “cringe.” If anyone should be accused of having a view from the 1970s, it’s Mr. Brooks. Ms. Hekker needed 25 years and a divorce to realize that women need to have skills and experience beyond keeping a household and raising a family; how long will it take Mr. Brooks?