According to Hirshman's own biographical byline for periodicals, she "landed spot No. 77" on author Bernard Goldberg 's list of 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America "with almost no effort." Goldberg criticized Hirshman for comments she made in a segment produced by Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes in October 2004. Hirshman's comments involved young, well-educated women who chose to give up high-paying, high-powered, and prestigious jobs in order to stay home and take care of their children. In the segment, Hirshman argued that this kind of decision would only lead to a lesser life for these women: "These women are choosing lives in which they do not use their capacity for very complicated work, they're choosing lives in which they do not use their capacity to deal with very powerful other adults in the world, which takes a lot of skill. I think there are better lives and worse lives."
As a working woman and a feminist, I would decry this important social development, rather than celebrate it. Doesn't the culture always want new insights? Visions of book contracts danced in my head. The first hint of a problem hit when a young editor at a publishing house considering my proposal called to tell me that her editorial board members had been screaming at one another for three weeks about the project, and had then, surprise, turned it down. It's not nice to criticize Mother Nature, as they say. Or, it turns out, Mother anyone.