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 :: 1941-, American Author, Columnist

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So why do people keep on watching? The answer, by now, should be perfectly obvious: we love television because television brings us a world in which television does not exist. In fact, deep in their hearts, this is what the spuds crave most: a rich, new, participatory life.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Television]

 

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In economics, we borrowed from the Bourbons; in foreign policy, we drew on themes fashioned by the nomad warriors of the Eurasian steppes. In spiritual matters, we emulated the braying intolerance of our archenemies, the Shite fundamentalists.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Twentieth Century]

 

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If that's how it all started, then we might as well face the fact that what's left out there is a great deal of shrapnel and a whole bunch of cinders (one of which is, fortunately, still hot enough and close enough to be good for tanning).
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Universe]

 

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America is addicted to wars of distraction.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [War]

 

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No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Patriotism]

 

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Heads of state are notoriously ill prepared for their mature careers; think of Adolf Hitler (landscape painter), Ho Chi Minh (seaman), and our own Ronald Reagan.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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Those Romans who perpetrated the rape of the Sabines, for example, did not work themselves up for the deed by screening Debbie Does Dallas, and the monkish types who burned a million or so witches in the Middle Ages had almost certainly not come across Boobs and Buns or related periodicals.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Pornography]

 

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If men were equally at risk from this condition -- if they knew their bellies might swell as if they were suffering from end-stage cirrhosis, that they would have to go nearly a year without a stiff drink, a cigarette, or even an aspirin, that they would be subject to fainting spells and unable to fight their way onto commuter trains -- then I am sure that pregnancy would be classified as a sexually transmitted disease and abortions would be no more controversial than emergency appendectomies.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Pregnancy]

 

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Surely there must be some way to find a husband or, for that matter, merely an escort, without sacrificing one's privacy, self-respect, and interior decorating scheme. For example, men could be imported from the developing countries, many parts of which are suffering from a man excess, at least in relation to local food supply.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Relationships]

 

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Thus will the fondest dream of Phallic science be realized: a pristine new planet populated entirely by little boy clones of great scientific entrepreneurs free to smash atoms, accelerate particles, or, if they are so moved, build pyramids -- without any social relevance or human responsibility at all.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Science and Scientists]

 

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In sci-fi convention, life-forms that hadn't developed space travel were mere prehistory -- horse-shoe crabs of the cosmic scene -- and something of the humiliation of being stuck on a provincial planet in a galactic backwater has stayed with me ever since.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Science Fiction]

 

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There is the fear, common to all English-only speakers, that the chief purpose of foreign languages is to make fun of us. Otherwise, you know, why not just come out and say it?
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Language]

 

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The label of liberalism is hardly a sentence to public ignominy: otherwise Bruce Springsteen would still be rehabilitating used Cadillacs in Asbury Park and Jane Fonda, for all we know, would be just another overweight housewife.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Liberals]

 

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Marriage is socialism among two people.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Marriage]

 

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Considering the absence of legal coercion, the surprising thing is that men have for so long, and, on the whole, so reliably, adhered to what we might call the ''breadwinner ethic.''
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Men]

 

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Someone has to stand up for wimps.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Men]

 

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Given the cultural barriers to intersex conversation, the amazing thing is that we would even expect women and men to have anything to say to each other for more than ten minutes at a stretch. The barriers are ancient -- perhaps rooted, as some paleontologist may soon discover, in the contrast between the occasional guttural utterances exchanged in male hunting bands and the extended discussions characteristic of female food-gathering groups.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Men and Women]

 

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Upscale young men seem to go for the kind of woman who plays with a full deck of credit cards, who won't cry when she's knocked to the ground while trying to board the six o clock Eastern shuttle, and whose schedule doesn't allow for a sexual encounter lasting more than twelve minutes.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Men and Women]

 

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No culture on earth outside of mid-century suburban America has ever deployed one woman per child without simultaneously assigning her such major productive activities as weaving, farming, gathering, temple maintenance, and tent-building. The reason is that full-time, one-on-one child-raising is not good for women or children.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Mothers]

 

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Take motherhood: nobody ever thought of putting it on a moral pedestal until some brash feminists pointed out, about a century ago, that the pay is lousy and the career ladder nonexistent.
~ Barbara Ehrenreich - [Mothers]

 

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