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There's also a bit of academic tedium, when Kaufman carefully asserts the obvious: "When both spouses work, spending quality time as a couple becomes even more difficult." Or when she equivocates into meaninglessness: "Sociologist Patricia Voydanoff argues that multiple work and family roles may lead to either negative or positive consequences."
It's unlikely Kaufman's sample size is large enough to tell us much if anything about national trends, but it is an at times fascinating qualitative study. Her policy prescriptions—capped workweeks, paid family leave—seem tacked on. The real value is in the portraits she's built.
The value in Smith's book is one that you can often find in online commentary: If you let someone rant enough, he'll eventually have sufficient rope to hang himself. That's what happens when the author talks to "Vox Day," who runs a video game blog. (This is in a subchapter called "What Gamers Are Saying About Marriage.") Smith quotes Day at length, presumably because he's sympathetic to her thesis: "The 'strike' theory is generally correct, I think. The problem is that games and porn are entertaining, inexpensive, easily accessible, and reliable. Women can be entertaining, but they're expensive, inaccessible for most men, and from the male perspective shockingly unreliable." Dear women, if you could be more like Bioshock Infinite, that would be awesome, kthxbai.
On behalf of myself and my fellow scabs, let me say to the strikers: Good riddance.
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