Douthat believes the above two groups can and should find common ground in regards to women’s issues. Both groups, he says, will be concerned about a new study which shows women are unhappier today than they were fifty years ago. This is in spite of the fact they have entered the job market and gained autonomy on sex-related issues since then.
Originally these two groups were at loggerheads-think of Betty Friedan’s attack on suburban housewives in The Feminine Mystique. But Douthat points out that these two groups came together in the 1980’s to combat pornography. Both sides saw this as exploitation of women: the formation of men’s imagination so they would view their spouse or girlfriend as a tool for their own gratification.
He also makes another suggestion, albeit one which will not go over well with Feminists. There should be a stigma, less harsh than a scarlet letter for sure, but a stigma nonetheless on single motherhood. It is brutally difficult on women, especially those living on the margins. Lifting the aura off our sexual libertinism would help in this regard, but he recognizes this is a tall order.