James Taranto characterizes feminism as a failure of wit.

Now think of the traditional 1950s household with an employed father and a stay-at-home mother. The mother is able to devote her full efforts to the children and the home. The father may have some secondary household duties--taking out the trash and playing ball with Junior--but most of his time is spent away from home, doing a boss's bidding, in order to raise money to meet the family's needs.

Let's stipulate that in the latter scenario, the mother could do the father's job just as well as he can. Would that be the highest use of her time? Only if one thinks that office work is intrinsically superior to the development of the next generation.

In some sense the prefeminist understanding of the family was based on the supposition that it was. The father, after all, was the "head of the household," a dominant figure, even if most of what he did for the household involved submitting to another man in an office. We'd like to suggest that this was a useful fiction that helped encourage social cohesion by meeting both the male need for respect and the female need to look up to her mate. In reality, it was Mom's house; Dad just lived there.

Feminism was in part a failure of wit. It mistook fiction for reality and thought men really were dominant. Now, increasingly, men are redundant, women are overburdened, and what pass for families are producing fewer and worse-developed children.

I'm a man, and I'm making career decisions that will impact my children and my relationships with them forever. I definitely don't feel like I can "have it all", despite my wonderful and supportive wife. Everyone has to make trade-offs, and you should do it with your eyes open. I've spoken to a lot of older folks who only recognized the trade-offs they'd made decades after it was too late to change course.

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