ABSTRACT

The sexual liberation movement strengthened feminist critique of marriage, especially the demand for safe, affordable birth control. Early on feminist activists focused so much attention on private bonds and domestic relationships because it was in those circumstances that women of all classes and races felt the brunt of male domination. At first it appeared that changes in the nature of sexual bonds would lead to other changes in domestic relationships, that men would also do an equal share of household chores and child care. However when couples work hard to maintain equity in all spheres, especially child care, it can be the reality; the key issue, though, is working hard. The fact that no one talks about men leaving work to be full-time parents shows the extent to which sexist thinking about roles prevails. Patriarchal male domination in marriage and partnerships has been the primary force creating breakups and divorces in our society.