Katha Pollitt:

The ongoing public inquest into Dr. Judith Steinberg makes me see, however, that we need First Ladies: Without them, American women might actually believe that they are liberated, that modern marriage is an equal partnership, that the work they are trained for and paid to do is important whether or not they are married, and that it is socially acceptable for adult women in the year 2004 to possess distinct personalities–even quirks! Without First Ladies, a woman might imagine that whether she keeps or changes her name is a private, personal choice, the way the young post-post-feminists always insist it is when they write those annoying articles explaining why they are now calling themselves Mrs. My Husband…

I have no idea why Judith Steinberg hasn’t slogged through the snow for her husband. Maybe she’s nervous in public. Maybe she’s busy. (“It’s not something I can say, ‘Oh, you take over for a month,'” she explained to Diane Sawyer. Imagine that, Tina, Diane, Maureen–a job where if you don’t show up, it matters!)

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