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
a liberal journal that on January 30, 1995, published the essay that we reprint here.
Pollitt’s essays have been collected and published in
Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture
Pollitt is also widely known
as a poet; her first collection of poems,
(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,
What well-known political made the above remarks? Newt Gingrich? Jesse Helms? Dan Quayle?
No, it was Marion Barry
, 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