Robert Franklin: Presentation to the International Conference on Men’s Issues 2014

We will over the next few weeks present full transcripts of all the presentations at the International Conference on Men’s Issues 2014. Here we bring you Robert Franklin’s speech, the fourth presentation from Day 2, Saturday, June 28, 2014. It was another presentation misrepresented by the mainstream media. Our thanks once again to Rick Westlake for doing the bulk of the work of this transcription. —DE

(Attila Vinczer) Before I have you come up, it’s very important to me that we give away two more books. Bachelor Pad Economics by Aaron Clareyif you are number 107, you are the proud owner of this amazing book. 107? How about number 19? Anybody with the number 19? Well, you can come and claim these books a little bit later.

I hope you enjoyed lunch; I know I certainly did. My boys decided to stay back at the hotel and watch the soccer game. Very understandable.

Our next speaker is someone that I have been following for many years. He’s an incredible man that does so much work, tirelessly, for men and boys.

Robert Franklin has been an attorney in Texas since 1980, and a Men’s and Fathers’ Rights Activist since 1998. He has written the blogs for GlennSacks.com, Fathers & Families, and now the National Parents Organization. He’s contributed op-eds and essays to numerous online and hard-copy publications, including The Hill, the Toledo Blade, The Seattle Times, The Bakersfield Californian, the Manchester Union-Leader, A Voice for Men, Men’s E-News, Townhall, and many others.

He works daily with men, fathers, mothers, activists, attorneys, social scientists throughout the English-speaking world to promote the recognition and rights of men, fathers, and children, in equality and family courts. He currently blogs for the National Parents Organization, the largest organization in the country advocating for equal parents’ and fathers’ rights. Over the last five and a half years, he has written over 2,100 blog posts, postings, comprising some 3,500,000 words.

He serves on the Board of Directors of the National Parents Organization.

Let me tell you, not only does he write these blog posts, but they are incredibly well thought out, well researched, and they are untouchable. When he writes about a matter, it is exactly what you are reading.

Would you please put your hands together for Robert Franklin?

(Applause. Robert Franklin takes the podium.)

Can we hear me? … Attila, I love the way you lie … Let me join the accolades for Paul and Dean and everyone at A Voice for Men for making this conference possible. This is the type of event that, years from now, we are going to look back on as a milestone in the movement for men’s human rights and towards a sane dialogue on the sexes.

Thank you so much for having me speak. It is an honor and privilege. And finally, let me thank you all for being here. Our numbers, our commitment, and our enthusiasm are all on display, right here, right now. Friends, the worm is turning.

Like so many people here, I’ve had my own red pill moment. Mine came in 1997, when a friend of mine, Greg, received a telephone call from a young man. The young man was Greg’s son; he was 21 years old. But Greg had never heard of him before. Twenty-two years previously, Greg had a brief affair, and the woman had conceived a child. She’d broken off the relationship, and they’d gone their separate ways until the young man asked his mother for a gift on his 21st birthdayto meet his father.

As an attorney, I wondered what Greg’s legal remedies were for her intentional deprivation of his parental rights. So, I researched that issue, and quickly learned the astonishing answerhe had none. The legal system found nothing amiss with what she’d done.

But I didn’t stop there. The thread of information I was getting was simply too enticing not to follow. It took me to books like Cathy Young’s Ceasefire!, Sanford Braver’s Divorced Dads, Warren Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power, and countless others. And lo and behold, the picture that came into focus was nothing like the one I’d seen a million times in the public discourse on men and women. The men I learned about in those books looked nothing like the father I’d grown up with, my friends’Pardon me: The men I learned about in those books looked like the father I’d grown up with, my friends’ fathers, teachers, relatives, coaches, and the like. Assaulted daily with images of men as callous, violent buffoons, I had unconsciously assumed that the men I had known were, in some way, outside the norm. Now I knew better.

I plunged into family law, and over 17 years of study and writing I’ve come to some hard conclusions. First, broken families, mostly fatherless ones, are the single greatest problem to face Western culture. Second, family law creates broken families bythey create broken families by separating fathers from their children; and that’s bad for children, bad for fathers, bad for mothers, and bad for society generally. Third, the invariable claim that this is all done “in the best interests of children” is factually false. Finally, we know what we should be doing in family court but resolutely refuse to do it.

Most of you know the facts. Children of divorce or of single-parent families are more likely than others to drop out of school, and do worse when they’re there. They’re more likely to exhibit a range of psychological deficits, engage in crime, drug and alcohol abuse. They’re less likely to be employed, more likely to live in poverty. Girls without fathers are more likely to become pregnant as teenagers. Children of single mothers are more likely to become victims of physical or sexual abuse, and 10 times as likely to commit suicide. These deficits continue well into adulthood, where children without fathers do less well in their careers, and in their love-lives, than do children of intact families.

The problem of fatherless children has reached levels undreamed-of just 50 years ago. In 1960, about 6% of children were born to unmarried women; now the number is 42%. Today’s divorce rate is 70% higher than it was in the late 1950s. An astonishing 50% of children will experience their parents’ divorce before age 18; and half of those, 25% of all children, will go through a second divorce. A third of children of divorce never see their father. A third of all children don’t live with their dad.

Unsurprisingly, social dysfunction has proceeded in lockstep. With the rise of fatherlessness has come the rise of our prison population, now the largest in the world; and between 60 and 72% of long-term prison inmates come from fatherless homes. The increasing division of wealththe increasing division in wealthis, to a great extent, that between intact and non-intact families. Remember those 42% of children born to unmarried mothers? About 41% of those mothers and children live in poverty.

Poverty, crime, drug and alcohol abuse; declining educational achievement, increased psychological deficitsimagine all the resources this society devotes to addressing those problems. We spend over $35,000 per inmate per year, to house about 2 million inmates. We spend who-knows-how-much fighting poverty and paying the bills for its side effectsillness, mental illness, housing, homeless shelters, police resources, child welfare agencies, school security, and the like. How many resources do we devote to treating drug and alcohol addiction? How many to address physical violence in the home? The list goes on and on. But the point is clear: the costs of fatherlessness to children and society are enormous!

But they don’t stop at children and society. Fathers separating from their children are far more likely than others to suffer severe depression. They’re more likely to be out of work, engage in crime, and abuse drugs and alcohol. There’s almost a 10-fold spike in the suicide rate for fathers in divorce. And the problems of fatherlessness extend to mothers as well. A single or divorced mother, lacking the father’s time, energy, and resources, finds herself saddled with 100% of the parenting obligation; so single mothers report higher levels of stress, depression, feelings of helplessness and the inability to cope than do other women.

Single mothers with children are the most likely of all adults to live in poverty because the demands of those children take time and energy that displace paid work. So, the median annual income for unmarried mothers, in the United States, is $23,000: barely enough to support one person, much less an adult and children. We rightly bemoan the gap between the rich and poor, but seldom mention the role broken families play in creating it. Twelve percent of married couples are poor, 44% of single-parent households are, according to the US Census Bureau.

Given the many adverse impacts of fatherlessness throughout society, it is not too much to say that broken families constitute the single greatest problem we face. Indeed, that was the conclusion drawn by Barbara Defoe Whitehead in her article in the Atlantic Monthly magazine in 1993; but in the ensuing 21 years, the problems she identified have only gotten worse.

Given all that, we would expect to see public policy taking a full-court-press approach to keeping fathers in the lives of children. After all, if we do that, we dramatically ameliorate a host of societal and individual deficits, and reduce the drain on the public purse. But no; we do the opposite.
Separation of fathers from their children is perhaps the signal accomplishment of divorce courts. As such, they’re the major force in perpetuating the greatest problem of our time. Let us be clear, the removal of fathers from the lives of their children is … public … policy.

Consider child custody. In 1993, about 84% of parents with child custody were mothers. By 2011, the figure was 82%, i.e., no statistical change. But that’s the good news; that’s in the United States, of course. In the rest of the English-speaking world, Western Europe, Scandinavia, and Israel, rates of maternal custody run to 90% or more. In practice, this means that, when parents divorce, children lose their fathers and fathers lose their children.

Most jurisdictions have a standard visitation order that calls for Dad to see his kids only 14 to 20% of the time. Harmful as this is for fathers and children, the marginalization of Dad is actually a major cause of divorce. Mothers file 70% of divorce actions. Why so many? As researchers Brenig and Allen discovered, mothers file because they know they won’t lose their kids. In other words, divorce courts encourage divorce by assuring mothers they’ll win the Winner-Take-All Sweepstakes.

Where did anyone get the idea that children should go from seeing Daddy every day to seeing him only one day in five, or six, or seven? More than anything else, it came from a 1973 book entitled Beyond the Best Interests of the Child by Goldstein et al. Despite its outrageous flaws, it’s still the most-cited book on the best interests of children, by US courts. The main conclusion to that book, and the author’s next, too, in many states make up the bedrock of state child-custody law.

According to those authors: First, a child needs only one psychological parent, i.e., the primary caregiver, usually Mom. Second, once custody is decided, it should be altered in only the rarest of cases. Third, visitation by the non-custodial parent should be at the sole discretion of the custodial one. Finally, laws should discourage joint custody.

The legal community has warmly embraced this thesis, that was, in the time it was written, known in academic circles to lack any evidentiary basis. Since then, the social science on child well-being is essentially uniform that children need both parents. Goldstein et al. were simply wrong. As Canadian researcher Paul Miller wrote in 2009, quote: “The major tenet of the Goldstein thesis is not only unsupported by evidence, but worse, appears to promote harmful outcomes for children through the legal support given the destruction of one of the important parental relationships for the child.” Quotes closed. And that’s a fair description of custody law today.

The necessity for judges to find one parent superior to the other leads to bizarre splitting of hairs. So we see parents explicitly found, by courts, to be fit and loving, sidelined as mere visitors. “But waitare fathers really taken from their children’s lives? After all, they get to see them 14 to 20 percent of the time.” The argument fails in several ways. First, social science shows that, unless a parent sees a child around 35% of the time, the benefits of shared parenting are lost. The child will tend to have the same problems as a literally fatherless child. Second, as sociologist Susan Stewart has described, those fathers tend to become “Disneyland Dads,” more entertainers of children than actual fathers. That’s not parenting, it’s babysitting, and both fathers and children suffer because of it. Woody Allen once said that 80% of life is just showing up, and that’s precisely what family courts prevent fathers from doing.

But again, that’s the good news. It assumes that mothers honor visitation orders. But routinely they don’t, and the refusal is seldom punished by the courts. Few fathers can afford to hire a lawyer to assert their visitation rights; and even if they can, they must demonstrate a pattern of interference by the mother that requires several motions, hearings, and the like. By the time the judge gets around to punishing her, years may have passed, and tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, during which he’s seen his child rarely, if at all.

Why the refusal to enforce visitation? For one thing, it’s federal policy. The Office of Child Support Enforcement spends some $5 billion a year for child-support aid, but a mere $10 million to enforce visitation orders. That’s a 500-to-1 ratio, and, for my money, a rough approximation of the value the system places on support versus visitation. Into the bargain, federal regulations prohibit any of that $10 million from being used to pay lawyers to represent non-custodial parents, i.e., the very thing they most need.

Nor is custody interference published criminally, despite laws passed to do exactly that. In Texas, where I live, interference with custody is a felony. It’s a jail felony. But a recent investigation by the El Paso Times revealed that the police and district attorneys of the state’s major cities simply ignore the law—those officials whose job it is to enforce criminal law, but in the case of fathers’ visitation rights, nullify it instead.

It’s even worse in Australia. There, the non-enforcement of visitation rights is a matter of public policy. Historian John Hirst tells us that in Australia, 30 years ago, family courts decided that, alone among all the orders they issued, only one, visitation orders, would go unenforced by contempt. Ninety percent of those orders are issued on behalf of fathers, who are therefore essentially the only litigants in the country on behalf of whom courts refuse to act.

To top it all off, we’ve long known that parents whose access to their children is not obstructed are far more likely than others to pay child support. So, you’d think we’d work extra hard to ensure access by the parent who pays. But no, we do the opposite.

Speaking of child support, it, too, helps separate fathers from children. One of the many scandals bemoaned by the OCSE is that courts set support levels higher than non-custodial parents can pay. But that same agency financially rewards states for child support collected, ensuring that the practice will continue. The more support ordered, the more is paid, the more federal money collected by the state. And of course, the life of—the loss of his driver’s licence, and possibly jail, also stand between Dad and his ability to pay support.

Plus, fathers are far more likely to be punished for non-payment of support than are mothers. First, under 29% of non-custodial mothers are even ordered to pay child support at all versus 56% of fathers. And when they fall behind, mothers are much less likely to be punished. A Massachusetts study last year showed that 95 to 98 percent of the parents sent to jail for non-payment were fathers, even though mothers are less reliable about paying support. Fathers with arrears were eight times as likely to go to jail as mothers who had fallen behind.

But the drive to keep fathers out of their children’s lives extends far beyond family court. Consider adoption. In New York, in the late 1970s, the Putative Father Registry was born; and today, at least 31 states have one. Putative-father registries have but one purpose, to facilitate adoption by denying unmarried fathers the opportunity to contest it. They do this by requiring single men to file a form with the state, for any child they may have fathered, whether they did or not. Failure to do so means the father is denied notice of any adoption of the child. But PFRs are closely guarded secrets! Texas, for example spends no money to publicize the registry, or its consequences. The unsurprising result? Fewer than 1% of children born to single mothers had a father file with the registry. That result, though, of course, is highly agreeable to adoption agencies and lawyers—fewer inconvenient fathers to impede the process by which the two get paid.

Utah is so anti-father it’s become a mecca for mothers across the country to place their children for adoption without Dad’s knowledge or consent. Until this year, even a mother’s fraud to the state gave the father no cause to reverse an adoption. And when Utah attorney Wes Hutchins sent women wearing wires to adoption agencies, they recorded personnel saying things like, quote: “Birth fathers have zero rights in Utah.” Quotes closed. Give ’em an A for being honest! Others simply wrote the birth mothers’ sworn affidavits for them, to ensure the fathers wouldn’t be identified.

Unjust as that is to fathers, it’s doubly so to children. In the United States, there are only about 75,000 “stranger adoptions,” meaning not step-parent adoptions, completed every year. But there are some 425,000 children in foster care with no legal parents; plus, of course, millions of children languish in orphanages around the world. Those are all kids who desperately need parents. So, you’d think we’d do everything in our power to connect good adoptive parents with the children who truly need them. But no! We do the opposite. We force adoption on children who do not need it.

Putative-father registries deprive fit fathers of the opportunity to care for their kids, while using the scarce resource of adoptive parents on children who don’t need to be adopted. Every time they do so, a child in foster care or an orphanage goes without. Nice, huh?

Consider foster care. Single mothers are very likely to live in poverty, and often have their children taken from them by the state child protective agencies due to abuse or neglect. That happened to about 700,000 children in the US last year. Once taken, the children are placed in some form of foster care. Now, the social science on foster care is not pretty, despite many foster parents providing good, loving homes for children in need. Overall, foster children are at greater risk for physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, do worse in school, etc., than are children in parental care. So, given that being taken from one’s parents is itself traumatic for children, and the fact that foster care often has deleterious effects, and the fact that the state has to pay foster parents, you’d think we’d approach foster care as a last resort.
But no, we do the opposite. CPS agencies routinely railroad children into foster care; and when they do, we notice the absence of a certain person—Dad. When CPS agencies take children from a mother, they often ignore the father as the obvious next choice for the child’s care. In 2006, the Urban Institute did a study entitled “What About the Dad?” that found that in over half the cases in which a child was taken from a mother, CPS caseworkers made no effort to contact the father. None. The situation is so bad that a federal court in California ruled the practice a violation of fathers’ civil rights, but there’s nothing to indicate it’s evaded.

Data show that father care is better for children than foster care. In any case, it’s cheaper. As he’s the child’s biological parent, the state pays nothing to fathers who care for their own children. But rather than improve the lives of children, and save taxpayers’ money, states routinely opt for foster care over father care, as the Urban Institute study showed. Does that make any sense? Actually, it does—in the perverse world of family law, it does! As usual, money is the root of the problem. The federal government pays states for every child taken into or adopted out of foster care. In short, the more children a state can channel into foster care, the more money it can receive from Washington.

So, listen to the former chairman of the South Dakota Senate Appropriations Committee, Bill Napoli, on National Public Radio—quote: “When that money came down the pike, it was huge!” Napoli said. “That’s when we saw a real influx of kids being taken out of family. There was little lawmakers could do to rein in the Department of Social Services. This was federal money, and it went straight to the department.” Quote. “I’m sure they were trying to answer a public perception of a problem,” he said; and then, “Slowly, it grew to a point where they had so much power that no one—no one—could question what they were doing.”

What they were doing was trafficking children.

And intentionally deprive—(Applause.) … And they were intentionally depriving fathers of children, and children of fathers, to do so.

Just who is it that supports this dysfunctional and unjust system of laws and policies on fathers and children? Principally, two groups—family lawyers and feminist organizations; usually part of the Domestic Violence Establishment, but not always. When shared-parenting bills come before state legislatures, those are the ones testifying against them.

Lawyers, of course, benefit from the Winner-Take-All system of child custody. The prospect of losing one’s child encourages many parents to fight tooth-and-nail, and lawyers thrive on conflict. Bad blood means more motions to file, more hearings to attend, more custody evaluations to conduct, et cetera, all of which lawyers take straight to the bank. So, divorce lawyers fight every effort to make divorce less adversarial; hey, they’ve got yacht payments to make. Ya gotta have sympathy for ’em! Y’know?

Of the countless shared-parenting bills that have come before legislative bodies throughout the world, not one has ever been supported by a feminist organization, and many have been opposed by them. As a few examples, the National Organization for Women, its affiliates in Michigan and New York, the National Association for Women Lawyers in Canada, the Fawcett Society in the UK, the National Council of Single Mothers in Australia have all actively lobbied against even the most modest improvements in the rights of children and fathers. This is true despite the fact that more parenting time for Dad would increase Mother’s time to do paid work, earn, save, and advance in their careers. All of those, of course, are long-time feminist goals. But it seems, that for feminist organizations, some things, like keeping fathers out of their children’s lives, trump even their dedication to women. Who’d a’ thunk it?

This opposition to equalizing the roles of fathers and mothers is, as you might expect, laughably disingenuous. For example, opponents of fathers’ rights say that cases are decided on “The Best Interests of the Child” and are therefore sacrosanct. But are they? If judges are acting in children’s best interests, why are so many faring so poorly? The answer is, of course, that judges, however sincere their belief, are doing no such thing. As Paul Miller points out, what predicts custody orders is not children’s interests but the sex of the parent. Overwhelmingly, mothers get custody and father’s don’t. But does that promote child well-being? It does not. As Miller says, quote, “Parental gender is not a good predictor—in fact, not a predictor at all—of any of the child outcomes examined here, that is, behavioral, educational, or health outcomes. Thus, there appears to be a disconnect between the theoretical criterion of custody determination, best interests, and what actually plays out in the justice system.” Quotes closed.

Why this uniform failure on the part of judges to do what they claim to be doing? Surely one reason is our refusal to educate them on the science of children’s welfare post-divorce. We now have a large body of science that tells us what parenting arrangements promote children’s welfare. So, you’d expect that science to be a big part of judges’ training. But no, we do the opposite.

Nowhere in the English-speaking world do we teach judges the science upon shared parenting and its many benefits to children, parents, the justice system, and society generally. Indeed, when one UK—when one fathers’ rights organization in the UK asked what science on parenting judges are taught, the Judicial College informed them that it had no such science and wouldn’t use it if it did.

Nice! So much for the Best Interests of Children.

Another claim by the anti-Dad crowd is that custody orders reflect parenting time during marriage, and so should be maintained afterward. First, no science demonstrates that children’s well-being is promoted by keeping them with their primary caregiver. But even if there were, the claim is simply false. According to the data of, among others, the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, Stats Canada, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, fathers and mothers, both doing paid work, do essentially—perform essentially equal amounts of parenting. When non-working parents are added to the mix, the difference in parenting time expands, but even then fathers do between 40 and 42% of the hands-on child care.

So, even if those opposed to increased fathers’ rights were correct, which they are not, fathers should still see their children at least 40% of the time. But that standard exists nowhere in the world.

Then there’s the old war-horse of the anti-father groups, domestic violence, according to which fathers are uniquely apt to hit their wives and kids, and so should be marginalized in their lives. Of course, we’ve known for decades that men and women commit domestic violence about equally, and women are more likely than men to initiate physical conflict. And, the US Administration for Children and Families shows mothers do between 60 and 100 percent more abuse and neglect to children than do fathers. But what’s new information is just how little of this is ever an issue. The State of Nebraska just completed a study of its custody cases over a 10-year period, and the results opened a lot of eyes. Allegations of domestic violence were made at all in only 5.4% of cases, while child abuse or neglect was alleged in 6.2%. In short, domestic violence and child abuse are, in the overwhelming majority of cases, non-factors in deciding parental fitness.

By now it should be clear that family courts routinely do the opposite of what they should be doing if, as they claim, they’re promoting children’s interests; that they, in the process of harming children, also harm fathers, mothers, the social fabric, and drain the public purse. It’s a situation that fairly screams for reform.

And we know the direction that reform must take. We’ve known for decades that children do better in intact families; and now, social science demonstrates that for children of divorce, equal parenting is the optimal arrangement. By equal, I mean any ratio of parenting time between a 35/65 and a 50/50 split, since the benefits to children tend to kick in when they see each parent at least 35% of the time.

I don’t remotely have time to delve into the social science on equal parenting, but here is the briefest of summaries:

First, equal parenting helps preserve children’s relationship with both parents, and that is vital for their ability to adjust to the psychological trauma of divorce. If divorce courts truly want to act in the best interests of children, they will, in most cases, order equal parenting. That children in shared-parenting arrangements do better, by all measures, than kids with non-equal parenting has been established at least since 1992. Since then, studies with data from 36 countries and hundreds of thousands of people found the same thing. Meta-analyses of data, conducted in 2002 and 2012, found that, quote: “Joint custody and shared parenting resulted in significantly better outcomes for children and parents on all measures of adjustment, including family relationships, self-esteem, emotional and behavioral adjustment, and level of conflict between parents.”
Second, equal parenting is good for parents as well as kids. Parents with equal custody tend to have better physical and emotional health, a greater sense of purpose, and personal gratification. By contrast, non-custodial fathers and mothers have high levels of depression. They experience a grief reaction much like to the death of a loved one. They report, quote: “increasing isolation, loss of employment, and inability to form new relationships; more disturbed patterns of thinking and feeling, including shame, stigma, self-blame, hopelessness about the future.” Quotes closed.

Third, children want equal parenting! Studies over 10 years revealed that between 70 and 93% of children prefer equal contact between their parents. Children in equal-parenting relationships, quote: “were found to have the best relationships with each of their parents, and reported outcomes far superior to those in primary-residence homes. Children in sole-custody arrangements reported feelings of insecurity in their relationship with their non-residential parent; perception of rejection by that parent; and anger towards both parents, for denying them meaningful relationships with fathers and mothers.” Plus—we the people say we prefer shared parenting. Multiple surveys of public opinion conducted in the United States, Canada, and the UK over the past decade show support for shared parenting between 70 and 84%.

In short, if the Best Interests of Children is the goal, we know how to reach it. But a million times a year, year in and year out, we do the opposite.
Given all that, the question arises: Why aren’t advocates for children and fathers winning? After all, we have so much on our side. So why is it that our equal-parenting bills routinely go down to defeat? The answer is simple—we aren’t playing the game. It’s as if we’re a football team that, instead of blocking the other players, asked them politely to get out of the way and allow us to score. It’s very civilized, but it’s not calculated to win!

Time and again, we lobby state legislators, many of whom genuinely support us; but what those office-holders know is that if they vote against our bill, they will pay no price for doing so. And then they look at the Family Law Bar, and then they look at the Domestic Violence Establishment, and realize that if they don’t vote their way, they’ll pay for it next time in money and votes. For politicians stuck between their conscience and re-election, the choice, unfortunately, is not a hard one.

We need to change that. We need to add electoral politics to our lobbying efforts. We need to organize locally to defeat wrong-voting officeholders. That’s something we can do with volunteers, a good strategy, and comparatively little money. I can comment on that, at much greater length, another time.

For many years, we’ve tried playing nicely. It’s now time to show the state legislators both the carrot and the stick.

Thank you. (Applause.)

… Wait a minute … We don’t have time for questions, but that doesn’t mean I can’t ask you one. And this is for extra credit; you get a gold star by your name if you get the correct answer, it goes on your permanent record … You remember the book I was talking about, called The Best Interests of the Child. It was incomprehensibly bad, the book. It was written by three people with connections to Yale University. It was published in 1973, which means it was written in the early 1970s. Now, for extra credit, tell me, who was the student researcher, research assistant, that they …

(From audience: “Clinton!”)

Yeah, anybody else? You got the star—Hillary Rodham, soon to be Hillary Clinton. Author of It Takes a Village. It was her.

Thank you again. (Applause.)

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