Best Quotes by Stephanie Coontz

By | May 13, 2016

In personal life, the warm glow of nostalgia amplifies good memories and minimizes bad ones about experiences and relationships, encouraging us to revisit and renew our ties with friends and family. It always involves a little harmless self-deception, like forgetting the pain of childbirth.

Stephanie Coontz

As time passes, the actual complexity of our history – even of our own personal experience – gets buried under the weight of the ideal image.

Stephanie Coontz

The origins of modern marital instability lie largely in the triumph of what many people believe to be marriage’s traditional role – providing love, intimacy, fidelity, and mutual fulfillment. The truth is that for centuries, marriage was stable precisely because it was not expected to provide such benefits.

Stephanie Coontz

Using the existence of a marriage license to determine when the state should protect interpersonal relationships is increasingly impractical.

Stephanie Coontz

As a historian, I’ve spent much of my career warning people about the dangers of nostalgia.

Stephanie Coontz

Inequality was written into the creation of the American Republic when our Founding Fathers denied voting rights to women.

Stephanie Coontz

The real gender inequality in marriage stems from the tendency to regard women as the default parent, the one who, in the absence of family-friendly work policies, is expected to adjust her paid work to shoulder the brunt of domestic responsibilities.

Stephanie Coontz

Contrary to the fears of some pundits, the ascent of women does not portend the end of men. It offers a new beginning for both. But women’s progress by itself is not a panacea for America’s inequities.

Stephanie Coontz

Feminism needs a political program because gender inequality has been fostered by political decisions.

Stephanie Coontz

As a child, I was lucky enough to spend each summer with my grandmother.

Stephanie Coontz

Having more education is one of the biggest predictors of women having careers.

Stephanie Coontz

When I speak on work-family issues to audiences around the country, some of the biggest complaints I hear come from individuals who are described by the census as living in ‘non-family households.’ They resent the fact that their family responsibilities literally don’t ‘count,’ either for society or for their employers.

Stephanie Coontz

For a century, women have binged on romance novels that encouraged them to associate intimidation with infatuation; it’s no wonder that this emotional hangover still lingers.

Stephanie Coontz

It’s always seductive to know where one stands in relation to the average.

Stephanie Coontz

There is no denying that we have made great progress toward gender equality.

Stephanie Coontz

Social changes always involve trade-offs.

Stephanie Coontz

Marriage is generally based on more equality and deeper friendship than in the past, but even so, it is hard for it to compensate for the way that work has devoured time once spent cultivating friendships.

Stephanie Coontz

Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to reject the idea that the ideal man is taller, richer, more knowledgeable, more renowned, or more powerful.

Stephanie Coontz

Couples need time alone to renew their relationship. They also need to sustain supportive networks of friends and family.

Stephanie Coontz

Donald Trump has tapped into a deep vein of racism, nativism, and misogyny.

Stephanie Coontz

Parents who obsess about every detail of child-rearing and orchestrate their children’s ‘resumes’ may run themselves ragged while their own personal identities and adult relationships wither for lack of care.

Stephanie Coontz

Nostalgia is a very human trait.

Stephanie Coontz

No single choice about how to organize work and family life is right or possible – for every family. And every choice has tradeoffs.

Stephanie Coontz

Establishing a ‘livable wage’ floor would immediately reduce the gap in average pay between American women and men.

Stephanie Coontz

Rising inequality has changed family dynamics for all socioeconomic groups.

Stephanie Coontz

Usually, Valentine’s Day comes and goes with just a day or two of news media attention to courtship and marriage.

Stephanie Coontz

Throughout history, people with few educational or economic resources and little bargaining power have often looked to authoritarian, ruthless people to stand up for them.

Stephanie Coontz

Sometimes, having a mom stay home is a big help. On the other hand, when a mother works outside the home, her husband generally does more child care and has higher parental knowledge about his childrens’ friends, routines, and needs, cutting across the tendency for fathers to be second-string parents at home.

Stephanie Coontz

As Americans lose the wider face-to-face ties that build social trust, they become more dependent on romantic relationships for intimacy and deep communication and more vulnerable to isolation if a relationship breaks down.

Stephanie Coontz

Labeling people single parents, for example, when they may in fact be co-parenting – either with an unmarried other parent in the home or with an ex-spouse in a joint custody situation – stigmatizes their children as the products of ‘single parenthood’ and makes the uncounted parent invisible to society.

Stephanie Coontz

The growing diversity of family life comes with new possibilities as well as new challenges.

Stephanie Coontz

Marriage is no longer the main way in which societies regulate sexuality and parenting or organize the division of labor between men and women.

Stephanie Coontz

When you can’t change what’s bothering you, one typical response is to convince yourself that it doesn’t actually bother you.

Stephanie Coontz

The notion that marriage is an impediment to commitments to the larger community is a long-standing one – and one reason early Christians did not place the institution at the top of their moral hierarchy, complaining that married couples cared more about pleasing each other than doing the Lord’s work.

Stephanie Coontz

There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the good things in our past. But memories, like witnesses, do not always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We need to cross-examine them, recognizing and accepting the inconsistencies and gaps in those that make us proud and happy as well as those that cause us pain.

Stephanie Coontz

Contrary to myth, ‘The Feminine Mystique’ and feminism did not represent the beginning of the decline of the stay-at-home mother but a turning point that led to much stronger legal rights and ‘working conditions’ for her.

Stephanie Coontz

Cooking ought to be, quite literally, child’s play. And every child ought to have access to the game. Just don’t tell them it’s healthy.

Stephanie Coontz

Over the ages, some societies have accorded far less value and respect to singles than to married individuals.

Stephanie Coontz

Especially around Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to find advice about sustaining a successful marriage, with suggestions for ‘date nights’ and romantic dinners for two. But as we spend more and more of our lives outside marriage, it’s equally important to cultivate the skills of successful singlehood.

Stephanie Coontz

People feel better when their spouses have good friendships, over and above the effects of their own friendships.

Stephanie Coontz

Marriage can provide a bounty of emotional, practical, and financial support. But finding the right mate is no substitute for having friends and other interests.

Stephanie Coontz

The closer we get to achieving equality of opportunity between the sexes, the more clearly we can see that the next major obstacle to improving the well-being of most men and women is the growing socioeconomic inequality within each sex.

Stephanie Coontz

If the ascent of women has been much exaggerated, so has the descent of men.

Stephanie Coontz

One thing standing in the way of further progress for many men is the same obstacle that held women back for so long: overinvestment in their gender identity instead of their individual personhood.

Stephanie Coontz

Indeed, the spread of ‘virtual’ communities on the Internet speaks to a deep hunger to reach out to others.

Stephanie Coontz

Putting women’s traditional needs at the center of social planning is not reverse sexism. It’s the best way to reverse the increasing economic vulnerability of men and women alike.

Stephanie Coontz

Putting women first would mean strengthening America’s social safety net, because a higher proportion of single-mother families live in poverty here than in any other wealthy country.

Stephanie Coontz

Social and economic policies constructed around the male breadwinner model have always disadvantaged women.

Stephanie Coontz

Our goal should be to develop work-life policies that enable people to put their gender values into practice. So let’s stop arguing about the hard choices women make and help more women and men avoid such hard choices.

Stephanie Coontz

Some people may long for an era when divorce was still hard to come by. The spread of no-fault divorce has reduced the bargaining power of whichever spouse is more interested in continuing the relationship. And the breakup of such marriages has caused pain for many families.

Stephanie Coontz

Turning back the inequality revolution may be difficult. But that would certainly help more families – at almost all income levels – than turning back the gender revolution.

Stephanie Coontz

Marriage is no longer the only place where people make major life transitions and decisions, enter into commitments, or incur obligations.

Stephanie Coontz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.