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The Essential Ellen Willis$
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Ellen Willis and Nona Willis Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816681204

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816681204.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

Say It Loud

Say It Loud

Out of Wedlock and Proud

(p.368) Say It Loud
The Essential Ellen Willis

Nona Willis Aronowitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter addresses the debate over unwed mothers on welfare. Former Education secretary William Bennett and Peter Wehner of Empower America call unwed childbearing the “road to economic poverty and social decay.” According to Bennett and Wehner, “having children out of wedlock is wrong—not simply economically unwise for the individuals involved or a financial burden on society, but morally wrong.” The bottomline of the current barrage of propaganda against unmarried mothers on welfare is not saving the taxpayers money or keeping children from growing up in poverty, but restoring women’s dependence on marriage and submission to a sexual double standard. In their latest offensive, Bennett and Wehner remind us that what the right is pushing as welfare reform is moral fiat rooted in religious dogma. It is the churches that have made a moral issue of confining sex and procreation to marriage. The scariest aspect of this latest rhetoric is that the Clinton administration has embraced the right’s agenda.

Keywords:   unwed mothers, welfare, William Bennett, Peter Wehner, women, marriage, right, welfare reform, sex

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