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Beginning to See the LightSex, Hope, and Rock-and-Roll$
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Ellen Willis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816680788

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816680788.001.0001

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The Family: Love It or Leave It

The Family: Love It or Leave It

(p.149) The Family: Love It or Leave It
Beginning to See the Light

Ellen Willis

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter presents the author’s reflections about family. She argues that institution of the family and the people who enforce its rules and uphold its values define the lives of both married and single people, just as capitalism defines the lives of workers and dropouts alike. The family system divides us up into insiders and outsiders; as insiders, married people are more likely to identify with the established order, and when they do, they are not simply expressing a personal preference but taking a political stand. The issue, finally, is whether we have the right to hope for a freer, more humane way of connecting with each other. Defenders of the family seem to think that we have already gone too far, that the problem of this painful and confusing time is too much freedom. However, she believes that there is no such thing as too much freedom—only too little nerve.

Keywords:   family, women, family values, freedom, marriage

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