For the first meal we ever shared, Julia Child burned my breakfast toast.
The only time I was ever threatened with rejection for laughing out loud during a serious movie was while watching Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead.”
A confluence of events—-the death of the 90-year-old Cosmo girl, a hundredth anniversary celebration of the French Chef’s birth and the VP nomination of a Rand devotee—-conspires to recall those iconic women of the past century who made their mark in the world without leaving behind children of their own despite contentions at the time that they “could have it all.”
Add to the list the most famous feminist of all, Gloria Steinem, unless you count getting Christian Bale as a stepson late in life as motherhood.
Even now, in an era of pregnant CEOs, I am still haunted by such unfairness, which began to trouble me half a century ago when I was editing magazines for women and that, late in life, strikes home even more forcibly as I am literally sustained by children and grandchildren.
Life may be unfair, as JFK contended, but this kind of choice for an entire gender of human beings still seems unspeakable.
There is no social remedy on the horizon, but it is irresistible not to see meaning arising from this in women’s persistent political tendency to support liberal Democrats rather than conservative Republicans.
Like any other disadvantaged group, no matter what their material circumstances, they are sensitive to others whom society has not treated well.
As a man, I am both pained and grateful.