This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," April 25, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Picture the 1950s housewife: The apron-clad, Tupperware-collecting kind of gal. One writer says every woman has this "Inner Housewife" — they just need to find out what to do with it. Jane Skinner is here with the story.
JANE SKINNER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Well, John, it is all about being conflicted. Caitlin Flanagan has caused quite a stir, more like a frenzy, suggesting mothers should stay home, that indeed deep down, they want to tend to the perfect household.
Her book is called "To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife" and she joins us from L.A. Caitlin, thanks for being here.
I was exhausted just reading the reviews of your book, all done by women I should point out. They say you are a beautiful writer, but they were agitated and confused about what you are getting at here. So in 30 seconds or less, what are you getting at here?
CAITLIN FLANAGAN, AUTHOR, "TO HELL WITH ALL THAT": I think they were agitated and confused. I think they represented themselves correctly. It's not a book that advocates anything to anyone else. It's about a lifestyle choice that I made.
It's kind of a fun and funny book that looks at my life the way Erma Bombeck looked at her life. And I think women are outraged about the book because it even suggests something that might be valuable is to stay home with children. The book never says anyone else should do it. It's a book about what I did.
SKINNER: And one of the reviewers said you are just too glib in it, that it doesn't rise to the level of really advocating some sort of social change. Are you advocating that?
FLANAGAN: Well, this is where they seem to have really, again, been confused. Why would a book about my life and about the comparisons between the 50s housewife and my life, why would that need to be anything at all about social change? I think that they are always looking to books about motherhood to kind of comment on the American political situation, how women are constantly getting the shaft by the government.
In the first place, I don't even agree with that and don't care about that and in the second place, it's not a book about that. I think feminists would really like to marginalize and ostracize anybody who has anything to say other than what they believe in. And I think there are a lot of women who feel the same way I do, that staying home with kids is really important. It's valuable work and that there's a whole lot of men in this country that value the women who do it.
SKINNER: And Caitlin, you know, what people point out is that you are a hypocrite they say you have a lot of contradictions that you profess to want to stay home with your kids and do all the dirty work so you speak, but you hired a nanny at one point, for example.
FLANAGAN: Well, you know, the book was about many of the hilarious things that happened in my own life, one of which was we were living in kind of a ratty little apartment without a washer and a dryer and I had twins and we decided to get a baby-sitter instead of buying a first house and paying a mortgage.
And a lot of funny things happened and a lot of gratitude developed between me and this woman and I set out and made a big platform to pay both Social Security, set aside for women who do that kind of work and I don't think that's hypocritical. I think that that's a part of the book, that there were a lot of funny, crazy things that happened when my kids were really small.
SKINNER: Caitlin, before we let you go, I have to ask you, as you said this has become quite political. You are kind of in the midst of this firestorm. One of the critics said this book is a conservative social prescription masquerading as something much lighter than that. But I've read that you are a pro-choice Democrat who grew up in Brooklyn, California. So where do you fall?
FLANAGAN: Well, I am a Democrat and what's so interesting is the Democratic Party can't wait to get rid of me. They want to shake me like a bad habit and that's why we keep losing elections. We've got a really small tent over here.
SKINNER: Caitlin Flanagan, "To Hell With All That." We are at the midst of a hard break here so we have to leave it there. "Living and Loathing Our Inner Housewife." Caitlin, thanks very much.
GIBSON: She is making a lot of waves with this book. Even I have read about this book.
SKINNER: I heard that you were the one interested in this topic.
GIBSON: I was very interested and I've read a lot about her and she turned out to be a very interesting person. Good job, Jane, thanks a lot.
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