EN102 Katha Pollit

EN102 Katha Pollit - Prof. Swanson EN102/ Spring 2009 It...

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Prof. Swanson EN102/ Spring 2009 It Takes Two: A Modest Proposal for Holding Fathers Equally Accountable by Katha Pollitt Katha Pollitt (b. 1949) often writes essays on literary, political, and social topics for The Nation , a liberal journal that on January 30, 1995, published the essay that we reprint here. Some of Pollitt’s essays have been collected and published in Reasonable Creatures (1994) and Subject of Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture (2001). Pollitt is also widely known as a poet; her first collection of poems, Antarctic Traveler (1982), won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. “You start out with the philosophy that you can have as many babies as you want…if you don’t ask the government to take care of them. But when you start asking the government to take care of them, the government ought to have some control over you. I would say, for people like that, if they want the government to take care of their children, I would be for something like Norplant, mandatory Norplant.” What well-known political made the above remarks? Newt Gingrich? Jesse Helms? Dan Quayle? No, it was Marion Barry 1 , newly installed Democratic mayor of our nation’s capital, speaking last November to Sally Quinn of the Washington Post. The same Marion Barry whose swearing in on January 2 featured a poetry reading by Maya Angelou who, according to the New York Times, “drew thunderous applause when she pointed at Mr. Barry and crooned: ‘Me and my baby, we gonna shine, shine!’” Ms. Angelou sure knows how to pick them. One of my neighbors told me in the laundry room that it wasn’t very nice of me to have mentioned Arianna Huffington’s millions when we “debated” spirituality and school prayer on Crossfire the other day. So, I won’t belabor Mayor Barry’s personal history here. After all, the
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EN102 Katha Pollit - Prof. Swanson EN102/ Spring 2009 It...

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