M. Faraday on Family Values in Cuba
"Confessions of a Cuban Housewife", Salon.com (April 30, 2002)
Another woman on the block, a ranking government official, told me, "You know, the one thing we really have to thank ... [here she tugged at an imaginary beard; those less kindly disposed toward El Jefe of the Long Wind massage imaginary horns but similarly do not speak his name] ... for is that he relieved us of the Catholic curse, and so we have fewer sexual hang-ups than anyone in the Latin world. We use birth control like happy whores and we can divorce with the drop of a jockstrap." Some 82 percent of married Cuban women 15 to 49 regularly use birth control, compared with 70 percent in the U.S. Abortions are free of stigma and charge, and they are readily available and volubly defended by government officials. Divorce, my neighbor tells me, is so common in Cuba that the joke is that the child who actually lives at home with both biological parents will surely require psychotherapy.