If it is true that illegitimacy is spreading through all levels of the population, perhaps one of the reasons is that state-supported single motherhood has been for some time the one situation in which women can actually be relatively relaxed about putting motherhood first. The idea of a nonworking wife has already become unthinkable for many middle- class men. "Welfare Mothers Have a Big Job To Do Raising Their Children," ran a defense of welfare opposing the idea that mothers on public assistance should be made to work. Who makes such an apologia for the harried middle-class mom, "juggling," "balancing," and "having it all"? Our society should rethink its ideas about motherhood, if it is serious about reducing illegitimacy. Come to think of it, it should rethink its ideas about motherhood, period.
-- Carol Iannone