BRIAN LAMB, HOST: Carolyn Graglia, where did you get the title "Domestic Tranquility"
for your book?
Ms. F. CAROLYN GRAGLIA (Author, "Domestic Tranquility: A Brief
Against Feminism"): Actually, my editor and publisher got the idea
for the title. I had originally called it "Awakened Femininity," and
they were told by various people that men wouldn't buy a book called
"Awakened Femininity." And I thought "Domestic Tranquility" was a--a
LAMB: What's it mean?
Ms. GRAGLIA: What i--it applies on several different levels, because
in my book, I discuss the harm that I believe feminism has caused to
society. I'm talking about how to restore tranquility within the
polity. You could think of it as referring to the Constitution of the
United States to restore domestic tranquility. But I'm obviously also
talking about the tranquility of the family and I'm talking about the
tranquility of the woman because I find that the feminist ideas have
hurt women so much. And so it's tranquility on three levels.
LAMB: What does the name Graglia come from?
Ms. GRAGLIA: It's my husband's name and it's northern Italian. It's
right up in the Piedmont. And actually, there's a town there called
Graglia and there's a trucking company there because we had friends
who were traveling there and took a picture of a truck that said
LAMB: What was your maiden name?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Pennington.
LAMB: When did you two meet and marry?
Ms. GRAGLIA: We met when we were in law school. We both went to
Columbia University Law School. We met--actually, it's a great
story--the very first year. Our first assignment was to work with one
other student on a writing project, and Lino and I were assigned to
work together. And he always tells the story that he came up to me
and he said, `Miss Pennington, you don't have to worry about this.
I'll take care of it.' And I said to him, `Mr. Graglia, you don't
have to worry about it. I'll take care of it.' And so we didn't
really cooperate very much on that project. But then the second year,
we both were on the law review and we started dating right away.
LAMB: What year did you marry?
Ms. GRAGLIA: We married right upon graduation from law school. That
would've been in 1954.
LAMB: And then what did you do?
Ms. GRAGLIA: We went to Washington. I--I tell the story in my book
that I--and--and I discussed this in relation to Justice Ruth Bader
Ginsburg's claim that women--she couldn't get an offer. She said not
a single law firm in the city of Yew--New York bid for her employment
as a lawyer. Well, I went out and I received an offer from a major
Wall Street law firm, but my husband didn't. And for the reason that
I say in my book, I'm quite sure, because Jews and other ethnics had a
hard time getting jobs on Wall Street back in 1954. And many of the
men in my class who were Jewish, as well as the women, didn't get
offers on Wall Street. They could get jobs as lawyers. I got an
offer on Wall Street because I don't believe that WASPs were
discriminated against back then, and I was still Pennington.
But because he didn't get an offer, we decided to take jobs in
Washington. So we took jobs with the Department of Justice, and I
worked there and I worked for Warren Burger, who was then assistant
attorney general in charge of the civil division. And when he was
appointed by Eisenhower to the Court of Appeals, he asked me to come
to be his first law clerk. And then--that was in 1956.
LAMB: So how many kids do you have now?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Now I have three.
LAMB: How old are they?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Oh, they're all in their 30s now. I worked in--in
Washington until just before our first daughter was born and then I
stopped working, and...
LAMB: And you s--talk a lot about that in your book...
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
LAMB: ...about the fact that you stopped working.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
LAMB: For how long did you stop working?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Oh, for a long time. Now when I say `work,' I mean
work for money. I think you're always working. You're always doing
something. I dropped out of the labor market i--where--just a month
before my first daughter was born, and I never worked i--in the labor
market for years and years. When our youngest daughter started
college, I started doing some consulting work with Lino because he
would be asked to do a lot of cases in both constitutional law and
antitrust law, and for a while, I worked with him on those cases. But
I wanted to write this book, and I was always trying to do it at the
same time. And I said to him one day, `I'm never gonna write this
book if I don't stop this.' And he said, `OK. That's fine.' So only
for those few brief years did I do the consulting work, and then I
started working on the book full-time.
LAMB: Do you work now?
Ms. GRAGLIA: No, except--except on the book.
LAMB: And whe...
Ms. GRAGLIA: No. No, I--I do not.
LAMB: When did you start the book?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Actually, I started thinking about the book way back in
1965. I decided to write that book when our youngest daughter was
only a few months old. And I was home one night--I remember the night
that I thought, `Someday, I'm gonna write a book.' I was home waiting
for her to wake up. She was an infant. It was nighttime. Lino--by
then, he was working on Wall Street and we were living in the New
Jersey suburbs. And I was waiting for my daughter--my youngest
daughter, the baby, to wake up to be nursed. And Lino wouldn't get
home until late on the 11:00 train. And I was reading the "Feminine
Mystique," which had been recommended by a friend. And when I read
the things that Betty Friedan said about the housewife, about me, a
mother waiting for her baby to wake up to be nursed, I couldn't
believe what I was reading. As I say in my book, she said that we
were parasites, we were dependent children, we had no real function,
we were less than fully human. And I thought to myself, `Someday, I'm
going to answer this book.' And from then on, everything I read I
evaluated in terms of its relevance to defending the homemaker and
LAMB: Have you ever met Betty Friedan?
Ms. GRAGLIA: No, I have not.
LAMB: What do you think of her?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Well, I think she must've been an extremely unhappy
woman. She--she clearly was an extremely unhappy woman. She hated
everything about her life in the suburbs, about being a wife and
mother at home. She said her marriage was one of dependent hatred and
she ended her marriage. And I loved everything about my life. I
loved living in the suburbs, I loved being a mother at home. I have
been happy practicing law. And if I had never had children, I
would've thought I had a good life. But staying home and raising my
children was incomparably more satisfying to me. I couldn't imagine
that I could be so happy.
LAMB: Where had you grown up?
Ms. GRAGLIA: I grew up in Trenton, New Jersey.
LAMB: What about your family?
Ms. GRAGLIA: My family was--well, my parents were divorced.
My--they were separated when I was two. They were divorced when I was
seven. I never saw my father from the time I was seven, although we
lived in the same city. But I never saw him again. And we were poor.
I mean, we--I grew up in the Depression. My mother was a
stenographer, and eventually, she became a secretary. And as I say in
my book, I lived on the edge of poverty. And I had memories of going
to the grocery store and saying, `Charge it,' and if they didn't
charge it, we wouldn't have eaten. And so that concentrates your
mind. And so I ve--very early on decided that men were unreliable--in
my lifetime, so far, they had been. And I thought, `I better have a
And when I was in junior high school, in seventh grade, we were asked
to--to decide whether we wanted a--an academic curriculum or a
vocational curriculum. And I remember I said to my mother, `I want
the academic because I wanna be a lawyer.' And we were really worried
that they would say, `Oh, well, you can't possibly afford to go to
college.' And I was never worried they'd say, `A woman can't be a
lawyer.' It never occurred to me that they would say that. And no one
ever did. And when I told the teacher what I wanted to do, I remember
my seventh-grade teacher said, `Well, you're going to have to study
very hard because your mother can't help you and you'll have to get
scholarships.' And I was always encouraged throughout my whole life,
my academic life. I never could've succeeded if I hadn't been
encouraged and helped by counselors. My counselors in high school
were just wonderful, counselors in college were just wonderful.
LAMB: And what about the divorce in your own--your parents? What
impact do you think that has had on your life?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Oh, I think it has an incredible impact. I don't think
you ever recover from that experience that--I mean, I'm sure it can be
handled differently than it was, but never to see a parent, although
you know that parent is alive, it is a rejection that you never
recover from, and you just have to live with it.
LAMB: Is your mom alive?
Ms. GRAGLIA: No, she died--it--it was last November.
LAMB: Now what--undoubtedly, you talked to her about all this.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Not really. No, I wouldn't talk about it because that,
in a way, would be a reproaching of her. No, I--I never talked about
being unhappy or feeling rejected by my father. That would only hurt
her more. No.
LAMB: Did you have siblings?
Ms. GRAGLIA: No. I was an only child.
LAMB: And--by the way, where do you live now?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Austin, Texas. My husband teaches at the University of
Texas Law School.
LAMB: And how long have you lived there?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Oh, we've been there about--a little over th--we moved
there in 1966, so it'll be 32 years.
LAMB: This is published by Spence Publishing.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
LAMB: Who's that?
Ms. GRAGLIA: The publisher in Dallas, just started up recently.
This is one of the first books that they've published, and it is--Tom
Spence is a small publisher. He had worked in publishing. He's a
lawyer, decided he wanted to publish conservative books. Their--their
catalog calls them `books for the culture wars.' And they, I think,
have done a very good job. I--I love what they did to the book.
LAMB: How would you define it? I mean, it's--this--besides being
titled "Domestic Tranquility," subtitle, "A Brief Against Feminism"...
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
LAMB: ...define feminism.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Well, the feminism that I a--am writing a brief against
is the feminism that I call `contemporary feminism.' It's the feminism
that was revived in the 1960s. The beginning of the revival was Betty
Friedan's the "Feminine Mystique." And the point of contemporary
feminism was--the major point was to attack the homemaker, to convince
homemakers that they were worthless in the domestic role and to drive
them into the workplace. The women who revived contemporary feminism,
except for Betty Friedan, were unmarried, they didn't have children
and they thought that it was necessary that women be independent from
men. That is the crucial point to be made about contemporary
feminism. They believe that women should not be dependent upon men,
that women should play the same roles in the workplace that men play,
that women should strive for complete political and economic power
with men. That's their goal. The only way you can achieve that goal
is to always remain in the workplace, never to stay home, as I did,
for all those years and raise your children at home.
LAMB: Now when you went about writing this book, what approach did
you take? What's--what's in this for someone that's hearing what
Ms. GRAGLIA: Well, what I start out with i--is an overview which
says, essentially, what I just said. Then I discuss the forces
operating in our society that made women accept this feminist message
because this is a very, really, counterfeminine message that you
should be completely independent of men and that you should abandon
the child-rearing role. And so I discuss all those forces that were
operating in my chapter called Women's Divine Discontent.
Then I have a chapter called Status Degradation Achieved, which is a
discussion of the feminist writings that were really--the feminist
writings were crucial. I mean, feminism changed the way people lived
in this country to an incredible degree. And I analyze those
writings. The point of those writings were--as Betty Friedan made
very clear in the "Feminine Mystique," the point of them was to
convince women that the domestic role was worthless, that raising
children was an activity that should be done mainly by the government
in the form of day care and to convince women that they had no status
unless they were full-time market producers, and a lot of women
accepted that. They accepted it, though, for lots of different
reasons, not just because they believed it. But they--so many women
felt so put-upon by their society that they were not respected unless
they had jobs, so that a lot of them were really shamed, I think, into
But--and I analyze this in several places in the book--one of the most
important tools that the feminist movement used to drive women into
the workplace was the institution of no-fault divorce. No-fault
divorce was instituted in all 50 states very, very quickly.
LAMB: Define it.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Well, no-fault divorce was a change from the prior
divorce regime, which was based on fault. Under a fault divorce
regime, if a wife behaves herself so that her husband could not
divorce her, she would be protected. It would be harder for him to
get a divorce. I mean, you had to have grounds for a divorce. And if
you didn't commit adultery, your husband probably wouldn't have
grounds for a divorce, so that women could resist their husbands'
demand for divorce. And if he was able to get a divorce, you were
usually protected financially. That is, you were going to be given
not only child support but alimony, if his financial condition allowed
So that a woman like me, for example, under a fault regime, my husband
was practicing law when I was--we were making the same amount of
money. I stopped working and he continued. I--I took care of
everything so that he was able to advance in his career, and he had a
very good income by the time he was 45. Now if at the time he was 45,
under a fault regime, he decided, `Well, I've had it with you. I
want,' what we now called trophy wives, he would have to--I would have
been able to have long-term alimony that would provide some financial
recompense for all those years that I had stayed home and taken care
of the home.
Now with no-fault divorce it's easy, and you can get a divorce with no
grounds at all, and women are very rarely given long-term alimony. So
as--I--I quote many of the commentators who say that no-fault divorce
is a message from our society to women that, `You should be in the
workplace because our society will not protect you if your husband
chooses to divorce you. You can't resist. There is no way you can
resist his petition for a divorce. And you will get only what they
call rehabilitative alimony,' which even the word i--is--is a way of
saying to women, `You were a homemaker all those years. You're like a
juvenile delinquent. You have to be rehabilitated from that.' So that
the message of no-fault divorce--and this is the message that all of
our--all 50 states are giving women today--`You will stay home and
raise your children in the marital home at your peril, at your
economic peril.' So that it's a message--and judges will say this to
women. They'll say, `If you choose not to be in the workplace, that's
your choice, but our--we're not going to protect you.' I'm not...
LAMB: What do your three daughters do?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Oh, one is a lawyer, one is a doctor and one is a
LAMB: Do they all work?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Yeah, they all work. Only--only one of them is
LAMB: Have they read your book?
Ms. GRAGLIA: One of them--I know the one who's the teacher has read
the book. I don't know about the other two.
LAMB: Do they agree with you?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Well, you see, in a sense, you can't--I think you can't
disagree with me because I never say that women who want to work
shouldn't work. I never say that. All I say is that our society is
now set up to discourage women from staying home. And so really,
there's no way they could disagree with that. I don't say to any
woman that she should stay home. I simply say that we should respect
those who do stay home. We should reform our no-fault divorce laws to
protect those who do stay home.
I talk in my book about what I call `the women's pact,' and that was
the way I described the attitude before the revival of contemporary
feminism. And I analyze women's situation there in this way: I say
there have always been women who don't wanna marry and don't wanna
have children. And they have usually pursued careers or they may have
joined religious orders. There are other women who have always wanted
to pursue a career, even though they had children, and they always
have done so. A certain number of women always did. And then you
have the third group of women who were the most common before the
revival of contemporary feminism, and they were the women who only
wanted to work until they had children and then they wanted to be
homemakers. And I said that before the revival of contemporary
feminism, these women maintained a pact with each other that they did
not criticize each other's life choices. They let each other go their
own way without criticizing them. And I think that was true. When I
was in the workplace, it never would've occurred to me, back in the
1950s, to have said that homemakers were parasites. I wouldn't have
dreamed of saying anything like that.
Betty Friedan and contemporary feminists broke the women's pact
because they were a group of women who didn't like the homemaking role
and they undertook to attack and to disadvantage those women who did
like the homemaking role. And I say we need to restore the women's
pact. And I would say I maintain a women's pact with my daughters. I
mean, how they want to live their life is their concern, and in that
sense, I don't see how they could disagree with me.
LAMB: Now you--you talk--you--you name a lot of people in your book.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
LAMB: And I was gonna go through some of the names...
Ms. GRAGLIA: Yeah.
LAMB: ...and get your quick reaction to them.
Ms. GRAGLIA: OK.
LAMB: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Well, she is a paradigmatic feminist. In fact, she has
the paradigmatic feminist marriage.
LAMB: What does that mean?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Well, by that, she has done everything feminists say a
woman should do. She pursued a career, she never left her career when
she had one child--and, you know, the early feminists really didn't
think women should have children at all and they certainly believed
they shouldn't have very many children, and whatever children they had
should be raised by surrogates. They should not sacrifice their
career for child-rearing, and they always talk about it as sacrificing
your career. Well, Hillary Rodham Clinton always continued to work.
I mean, she stayed home only briefly. She was, in fact, the primary
breadwinner in her family. The governor of Arkansas did not make much
money, and so she always made more money until--then when he became
president, of course, she stopped working. But she was everything
feminists think women should be.
And as I discuss--I have two long chapters on sex in my book. The
feminists were at the forefront of the sexual revolution. They were
not big believers in premarital virginity or in marital chastity. And
many of the magazines in--in those days, in the '70s, the end of the
'60s, the early '80s, many of the magazines that were staffed by
feminists encouraged extramarital relationships. I mean, they
thought, `Why would you ever give up the opportunity to have a broader
sexual experience?' So I would say that the--that--that--what--what we
know of that marriage fit the feminist mold of a marriage.
LAMB: You mentioned her already, but you've s--I see her mentioned
throughout your book...
Ms. GRAGLIA: Yeah.
LAMB: ...Justice Ruder--Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Yes. Yes.
LAMB: What do you think of her? Have you ever met her?
Ms. GRAGLIA: I have not met her, no, but she certainly, again, is a
paradigmatic feminist. The--these women have done exactly what the
contemporary feminist movement wanted them to do. They chose a
career, they devoted themselves to their career. Justice Ginsburg,
a--again, never stayed home with children. And she, actually--often,
when she's interviewed, I have seen this in several interviews, she
will bemoan the fact that if one of her children was sick, they would
tend to call her rather than her husband. She said, to her, that was
a sign of discrimination, that you might think the woman would be more
likely to come to pick up a sick child than the man. I mean,
she--there--I don't think there's any feminist idea that she doesn't
LAMB: Gloria Steinem.
Ms. GRAGLIA: She's the same thing. Gloria Steinem--again, she...
LAMB: Was she effective? Did it work?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Oh, extremely effective. The--these are all very
LAMB: What did they do that got everybody's attention and made them
Ms. GRAGLIA: Well, Gloria Steinem was a real media personality, but
she is an unmarried woman, she never had children. Like many of the
feminists, like Simone de Beauvoir, for example, she has signed an ad
that said she had had an abortion. They all promote abortion as
necessary to women's equality and what they consider equality, it
certainly is. I--if equality is living the same life that men live,
you have to be able to prevent yourself from ever being tied down by
LAMB: It--throughout your book, you--you refer to `Ehrenreich et al.'
Ms. GRAGLIA: Ri--`Ehrenreich et al' was a book that Barbara
Ehrenreich wrote. When I say, `Et al,' that's simply to avoid having
to say the two other authors. And that's a--it's used in legal
writing a great deal when you just want to use the name of the first
author. She wrote a book called "Re-Making Love: The Feminization of
Sex," and she wrote it with two other women--I think Elizabeth Hess
and Gloria Jacobs. And rather than saying, Ehrenreich, Hess and
Jacobs each time, we said, `et al,' which is used...
LAMB: What do you think of her?
Ms. GRAGLIA: I--I--now Barbara Ehrenreich, I think, is a very good
analyst. I used two of her books. I rely on her a great deal.
Feminists are very bright women. I'm not saying they're not bright.
And Ehrenreich, unlike the others, I--I don't think has ever attacked
the homemaker a--as much. But in her analysis, she--she does an
excellent job. She wrote a book called "The Hearts of Men: American
Dreams & the Flight from Commitment," and in that book she analyzes
the changes that had occurred in men and the decline of the
breadwinner ethic. And it was--that is one of the factors that I
analyze in my chapter called Women's Divine Discontent: the decline
of the breadwinner ethic, the playboy mentality, that men didn't want
to support wives anymore.
And Ehrenreich does a wonderful job of analyzing the kind of men that
feminists were responding to when they revived their own movement. My
point is that you don't respond to those men by becoming sexual
revolutionaries. If you want those men to buckle down and marry you
and support you so you can raise your children at home, the last thing
you do is indulge in promiscuous sex with them. So I say the feminist
movement was completely--misdirected its response to the decline of
the breadwinner ethic.
LAMB: What's the artwork on your cover here?
Ms. GRAGLIA: That's called The Head of a Woman and it's by
Sebastiano Del Piombo. And it's actually at the Kimbell Museum,
and--which is a museum in Ft. Worth, Texas.
LAMB: Why was it selected for your cover?
Ms. GRAGLIA: I think to show a very tranquil, fulfilled woman.
That's what it shows to me. And that's--a large part of what I'm
writing about is that for some women, a life devoted to market
production rather than to domesticity and the rearing of children is
not a happy, fulfilling life. And I'm arguing for the women who find
fulfillment in bearing and raising children i--in their marital
relationship and women who want to devote most of their time to those
activities. And I think she's--she seems like that kind of woman to
LAMB: What's it like, and you bring this up in your book, to live in
Sweden if you're a woman?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Well, the Swedish government, more than any other
government, although certainly the Clintons would like to see our
government do a lot more of this--it has taken the position that women
should maintain economic independence from men. And they have
conducted all of their governmental activities with respect to the
family and with respect to children so as to convince women to enter
the work force and put their children in day care. The--the goal of
the Swedish government was to have women independent from mem, and
that's the goal of our feminists. So that in Sweden you--today the
m--it's one of the lowest marriage rates in the world. People don't
marry. Woman are supposed to be in the work force for as long as men.
And as I say in my book, once you are expected to work as long and as
hard as men do, and you're expected by your society to put your
children in day care, have them raised by surrogates, as I say--that's
the expression I always use--once you're expected to do that, marriage
doesn't have as much importance. And that's clear from the situation
in Sweden. They're--they have one of the highest illegitimacy rates
in the Western world.
LAMB: Let me ask you about a figure that you have about the District
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
LAMB: Is it accurate that 88 percent of all births in the District of
Columbia are l--illegitimate?
Ms. GRAGLIA: That probably--i--if I quoted it...
LAMB: It's 1985.
Ms. GRAGLIA: If I quoted it, it's accurate. Whatever I quote, I'm
sure it says what I said. The--they're mainly to teen-agers is the
LAMB: Let me read it to make sure...
Ms. GRAGLIA: I mean, that's a big problem. I think that was--read
what the whole thing says.
LAMB: Yeah. Let me read the whole thing because I want to make sure
I don't leave the wrong impression. `In 1985'--and--and by th--why
are most of your statistics '85?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Oh, a lot of them are from that period because what I
wanted to do was--and--and when I do that--you're quoting from that
chapter called Tangle of Pathology. I wanted to take the period that
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan analyzed. In 1965, he wrote his book,
which got him in a lot of trouble, on the Negro family. And he said
what's happening in the Negro family is terrible. And he said Negro
family then because that's the--the word that was used. And he
analyzed all the statistics of the high illegitimacy rates, the rates
of crime, the rates of poverty. And he said the Negro family in the
urban ghettos has become a tangle of pathology.
Well, then, 20 years later, which would be 1985, he analyzed the same
situation in his lectures at Harvard called the Godkin lectures, and
that was called Family and Nation. And he said that things have
gotten much worse in the Negro family, which by then was called the
black family--and now it's an Afri--African-American. He said they've
gotten much worse, but the white family, which was so stable in 1965,
has begun to deteriorate and is following the same patterns. That is
a period that saw the most strident feminist activism, and that's the
period that I wanted to concentrate on to show the deterioration in
what we would consider all the indicia of stable family life.
LAMB: Let me just r...
Ms. GRAGLIA: And that's why I use those dates.
LAMB: You write, `In 1985, 1.1 million American teen-agers became
Ms. GRAGLIA: Mm-hmm.
LAMB: `The rate of pregnancy among American women aged 15 to 19...'
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right. That would be teen-agers. Yeah.
LAMB: `...was 96 per 1,000.'
Ms. GRAGLIA: Mm-hmm.
LAMB: `In Canada, the rate was 44 per 1,000.'
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
LAMB: `In the Netherlands, it was 14 per 1,000.'
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
LAMB: `In one-half of our states in 1982, more than 50 percent of the
births to women under the age of 20 were illegitimate. The
illegitimacy rate was 71 percent in New Jersey and 88 percent in the
District of Columbia.'
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
LAMB: `In only 10 states did such illegitimate births constitute less
than 40 percent of all births.' So we're talking about under 20.
Ms. GRAGLIA: We're talking about under 20. Most of them--oh,
there's no doubt about that. That--that figure--I'm sure if I cite
it--the--the source I cite said it, but that's not surprising at all.
Most births to teen-agers are illegitimate. And this is a--a point
that Moynihan was making, and many of the black leaders have then also
said that this is a terrible thing; that it used to be in the 1950s,
many black women married when they were very young, but they married
th--and they did have children when they were young, but they were
married. And that--as Eleanor Holmes Norton says, and I quote her
there, she said that marriage has become a forgotten institution among
young black women. So I'm sure that figure is right.
LAMB: You have a--a subchapter called The Media Culture.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
LAMB: And you say that "M*A*S*H" had an impact on this society,
on--the--the television show, "M*A*S*H"...
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
LAMB: ...effectively promoted pacifism, disparaged authority,
glamorized the sexually predatory male...
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
LAMB: ...and depicted casual sexual intercourse as common and
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
LAMB: Is that from you viewing it?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Oh, yes. That's from me viewing it. Now other
commentators have said the same thing. In fact, I think Robert Bork
always thought "M*A*S*H" was one of the worst programs, and I know
I've discussed that with him.
LAMB: Did you think it was that bad?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Oh, at the time, this--this was a horrible problem for
parents trying to raise children to believe in what I would consider
the conservative values. During that period almost everything on
television was preaching that premarital sex was a perfectly
acceptable thing; that sexual intercourse was--is to be expected, just
as a way a goodnight kiss once was on a date. Now this was a message
that television was preaching at that time. That certainly was the
message of "M*A*S*H." And I--but my kids would look at "M*A*S*H."
I was never one to say that we're gonna take the television out of the
house. I feel that if you're gonna live in this society, you have to
know what's going on in this society. I mean, I made it perfectly
clear--we--we both did--to our children that this isn't our message.
But "M*A*S*H" was a well-done program. It was very slickly done, and
the actors were excellent. And it was part of our culture. And so I
would never have said, `You can't look at the program.' And I used to
look at it with them. And they certainly knew--I made perfectly clear
I thought a lot of it was a mistake.
LAMB: What's the reaction to your book so far?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Well, it depends on who you talk to. I get letters
from women all over the country and some from men. But it--it's the
women that I'm so happy I'm reaching because they'll--they'll say the
s--the same thing. They'll say, `I thought I was the only one who
felt this way about staying home with my children.' They'll say, `We
have gotten no support. This is the first support that I have ever
gotten.' I'll get letters--I got a letter from one wonderful woman who
said that she had--and she was a minister. She's a minister. She
says, `I have a liberal feminist mother, I have a liberal feminist
sister, I'm in a liberal feminist church and they all tell me I'm
wasting my education. And I was so happy to get your book.' And I get
letters like this all the time. It makes it all worthwhile. But I--I
certainly have aroused hostility, too.
LAMB: Have you had a debate yet with anyone?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Oh, I debate. Yeah, I have. Since the book was
written, no. Actually, I'm--they're going to do a panel on my book at
the American Political Science Association, which has its meeting the
beginning of September in Boston. And they're going to do--Claremont
Institute is going to do a panel on my book and I think Daphne Patai
and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Tom West and I are going to be
discussing the book.
LAMB: Now wh...
Ms. GRAGLIA: So that should be fun.
LAMB: Have you personally seen anybody get furious about what they
Ms. GRAGLIA: People don't get furious with me, no. Now I h--I have
debated Elizabeth Fox-Genovese several years ago. We were on the same
panel--I refer to it in the book--at the University of Virginia. And
she--well, I think she's come a little closer to my views recently.
She gave me what I thought was a wonderful review, even though I
criticized a--a lot of things that she said in her last book. I
thought she gave me a marvelous review in Crisis magazine. But when I
debate--and I have debated feminists and--no, they don't get mad.
They never--I--I have never personally experienced any hostility.
But, certainly, I got a very bad review in Reason magazine.
LAMB: Which is a libertarian...
Ms. GRAGLIA: Libertarians. Libertarians were not at all happy with
what I say. A lot of women, and this would certainly be libertarian
women, object to my sexual analysis. They object very fiercely to it.
But, personally, people have always treated me very well.
LAMB: And is it fair to say that there's a lot of discussion in here
Ms. GRAGLIA: Yes, there is.
LAMB: A lot of discussion about sex.
Ms. GRAGLIA: There is. There's a lot about sex.
LAMB: And--and how did that--how did that get here?
Ms. GRAGLIA: How did that get here? Well, because I see the
feminist endorsement of the sexual revolution, and there's no doubt
that they did. And that's why I devote so much attention to the book
that Ehren wrote--Ehrenreich wrote with the other two women because
they concede--they--they'll say, `Well, feminists are now deeply
divided over sex, but the fact is we appropriated the sexual
revolution and it helped our movement.' And they're absolutely right
A lot of feminists today want to deny that because they see how much
the sexual revolution hurt women. But the sexual revolution was very
important to feminism because, as Betty Friedan said in the "Feminine
Mystique," `Why is it that all these women are so content just being
homemakers? Why is it? Why do they want to waste their lives this
way?' And she objected to the fact that most women were pursuing what
is called the matrimonial strategy, the idea that when you get out of
college, you marry and you only work until you have your children and
then you stay home. And she saw this as a terrible thing.
And the feminists who followed her realized that if you wanted to
replace the matrimonial strategy, you had to replace it with
something. And so they both attempted to degrade the status of the
housewife's role, but by encouraging women to become as sexually
promiscuous as men--as--as the ideal for women should be behaving like
male tomcats, which is what all the feminists were preaching
originally, what that does is it completely destroys the matrimonial
strategy because if men are getting all the sex that they want in a
market of free sex, they're less likely to marry. There's no doubt
about that. I mean, all commentators admit that, and that's just what
feminists wanted. They wanted women to devote themselves to careers
and not be worried about finding a man who would support them.
LAMB: Where did you get the--Chapter 3, The Groined Archway.
Ms. GRAGLIA: The Groined Archway. That's from--I quote from
Flaubert, which--I just love that quote. Now you say, `Where do I get
these things?' That's--that's interesting. I told you that way back
in 1965 I decided that someday I was gonna answer Betty Friedan, and
everything I read from then on I'd take notes on. I'd remember.
So years ago I was reading a biography of George Sand, and in that
biography--it was by Andre Moreau and it was written in 1953. Well, I
hadn't started working on my book then, but I was working in a way
because I was taking notes on everything I read and saving it. And so
I read this wonderful statement by Flaubert and I thought, `That
describes men exactly.'
LAMB: Let me read it.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Re--you read it. I have it sort of half memorized.
LAMB: `Men will always be of the opinion that the one serious thing
in life is sexual enjoyment. Women, for all the members of my sex, is
a groined archway opening on the infenite--infinite. That may not be
a very elevated attitude, but it is fundamental to the male.'
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right. I think that's absolutely true. Now it's not
true of all men, or as I say in my book even of Flaubert at all times
because he pursued many homosexual relationships as well. But--and I
quote Jean-Paul Sartre for that. It--it wasn't something that I had
known until I read that book by Sartre. So--and--so I quote him. But
I think that that is just a wonderful statement of the male attitude,
and to me it's a fine attitude because...
LAMB: Now what--what is `the awakened Brunhilda'?
Ms. GRAGLIA: The awakened Brunhilda--and, again, that is based on
a--the Wagnerian series of operas, "The Ring of the Nibelung."
Brunhilda was the warrior-maiden who disobeyed her father, who was the
king of the gods, Wotan. And to punish her, he said that he was going
to make her a mortal. She would no longer be a warrior-maiden riding
her horse through the clouds rescuing heroes. Instead, she was going
to be bound on a rock and have to stay there until she was awakened by
a man, and then she would have to submit to the man. And as he says,
`You will have to sit by the hearth and spin.'
And so he surrounded the rock with fire. And Siegfried, the greatest
hero of all, came through the fire, awakened her with a kiss and
convinced her that she should abandon all her dreams and everything
that she was to be his bride. And she very happily agreed. And it
has a sad ending, but I--I love that opera. I love the series of
operas. And to me, that so clearly shows the way many women react to
marriage and motherhood; that you think of yourself in the beginning
as a striving warrior-maiden, you're out there in the workplace and
that's just how I felt.
I thought, `Oh, I'm a lawyer. I'm this neat, wonderful lawyer and I
do all these things.' And there weren't many women lawyers then, so I
even got more attention. I mean, now 40 percent of the people in law
school are women, so it's not nearly as exciting. But I was--back
there, I was so exciting and I did, I felt like a Brunhilda riding
through the sky doing all these great things in the marketplace. And
then the longer I was married and, as I analyze it in my book i--in
detail, the more feminine I became.
And then when I--I became pregnant, I was like an awakened Brunhilda.
It--it just opened a whole new world to me; that there's a lot more
than being a market producer. And so that's what I mean by the
awakened Brunhilda. It's the realization that much as the workplace
may be a fun place when you're single or when you don't have children,
once you have children and the feminine, the female part of you takes
over, you can become a very different person. And that's what I'd
called awakened femininity.
LAMB: You dedicate your book to your husband...
Ms. GRAGLIA: Yes.
LAMB: ...who you call the foundation of it all.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Because he--he is the foundation of it. If it hadn't
been for him, I never would have had any of these feelings.
It--it--it was because of this tremendously satisfying marital
relationship that I ever was able, I think, to feel secure enough not
to need the security of a job. It takes a lot of courage to give up a
job when that's been your whole identity. And it's because he made me
feel so good about myself just as a woman that I--I didn't need to
have that job. And--and, of course, he's the foundation of it because
he's the one who supported me all these years.
LAMB: What does he teach?
Ms. GRAGLIA: He teaches constitutional law and antitrust law.
LAMB: And how did he make you feel so secure and so good about
Ms. GRAGLIA: Well, tha--that's a good question. A lot of that is
sexual analysis, which I go into at length. I think that some women
eventually react to their marital sexual experiences by feeling very
contented, very happy as a female, that just--and that's how he always
made me feel: that being a female is an absolutely wonderful thing.
And when you read feminist writings, you definitely get the idea that
being a female, it is a gross thing. Many feminists seem to feel this
way. He has always just been wonderful to me. I mean, when we got
married, I was gonna be a career woman, and that was OK with him. I
mean, he has always accepted me in whatever incarnation I assumed.
And that's why I say he's the foundation of it. I--I don't--I mean, I
don't know. I've never been married to anyone else, but I can't
imagine that I could have ever become the woman who wrote that book
without a wonderfully loving relationship.
LAMB: You say in your book 43 years married.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Right. Right.
LAMB: How many years living in Austin?
Ms. GRAGLIA: Thirty-two.
LAMB: How many years did you actually work in the workplace and not
in the home?
Ms. GRAGLIA: I--I worked in Washington for five and a half years.
LAMB: Do you ever want to go back to work in the workplace?
Ms. GRAGLIA: No. No. I find it--oh, I could. I mean, in a way,
I'm working. I mean, there's a lot of work that went into that book.
You could call that work, except it--it's done--when you're writing a
book, you don't have deadlines. I find--and I address this at great
length in my book--I find that stressful work makes it--I think it's
harder on women than on men. I think men react to stress in different
ways from women. And I found that practicing law--although at the
time, I thought it was fun and I enjoyed it. Once I realized that
life could be so relaxing and so calm and so satisfying, I never
wanted to go back to what I had remembered as a very stressful life.
LAMB: What would you change through the government, if anything, to
get back to the way it was or to get away from what you call feminism?
Ms. GRAGLIA: I--in my book, I talk about derailing the feminist
engine of reform. We have to change no-fault divorce laws. Every
state has got to institute a r--divorce regime that will protect the
long-term homemaker because if you don't do that, it's not safe for
women to stay home with their children. We also have got to make
changes, I believe, in all preferential treatment of women. We now
have a regime in place that gives women preferences. I think all
people should be judged on their merits. And preferential treatment
of women, whether in education or in the workplace, not only
disadvantages men, but it disadvantages the women who would depend on
the men to be breadwinners for their family. So that's the second
thing I would change.
The third thing that we should change is to stop discriminating
against one-income families in order to provide subsidizations of
two-income families. Any government money that is going to be devoted
to help families should go directly to the families. All government
money that goes to support day care is a discrimination against the
one-income family which doesn't use the day care. There is no
question that today there are lots of families with young children
where they could use government help. That should be given to them in
a way that doesn't subsidize the working mother at the expense of the
mother who stays home with her children.
That can be easily done. You can do it through family allowances,
directly to all families. We should not, in our tax laws, give a
credit for day-care expenses because that credit is being subsidized
by the one-income family which doesn't use day care. You can go
through the tax laws and find lots of things. Provision four utflex
where you put aside tax free the money you used to pay for day care.
We should increase the dependent exemption. That would be a wonderful
way to help families. All those people who say, `Oh, well, it's sad
that women have to work, but economic necessity drives them to work,'
the fact is there are more women working whose husbands earn above the
median than women working whose husbands earn below the median.
It's the best-educated women who go back to work the soonest. It's
the highest-paid women who do--well, they should not be getting an
exemption or a credit in--in their tax for the cost of day care
because that's being subsidized by the one-income family, which has
chosen to sacrifice the extra money. So all--and there are lots of
things that are--are discussed. All initiatives--e--every bit of
money that the government wants to allocate for helping families
should go in a non-discriminatory way so that we do not discriminate
against the one-income family.
LAMB: Here's the cover of the book. It's called "Domestic
Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism," by our guest Carolyn Graglia.
Thank you very much for joining us.
Ms. GRAGLIA: Well, thank you very much for having me. I enjoyed it.
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