The cover story of Newsweek reads: “The Fantasy Life of Working Women, why surrender is a feminist dream.” What fantasy life? Maybe the one percent of working women who have time to fantasize about getting spanked by their lovers, but not the 99 percent who are still trying to figure out when or whether to spank a child at all. As for a fantasy life, working women are more likely to fantasize about finding the perfect child care provider who she can both trust and afford. She might also fantasize that tonight her husband will both shop for and cook dinner. And yes, she will fantasize about lit candles and grown-up conversation at the table, instead of having to wipe up the second glass of spilt milk. And she may imagine that if only her boss would let her work four days a week instead of five, she could achieve what she has always heard about but never managed to accomplish — a work/life balance. The working mom who is happily gazing at her precious newborn might allow herself to dream that she could stay home for six months or, ideally a year, to take care of her baby without losing either her job or her total paycheck. She has heard rumors that this happens in other countries. Yes, women do like to fantasize. And some day, who knows, some of these fantasies may be realized by the 99 percent who dream them every working day. If they have time — they may fantasize about sex. What sex?
Madeleine M. Kunin is the author of The New Feminist Agenda, and