Ah, I love this discussion. First, let me say that I also was a teen during the start of the "women's lib" movement. However, it was my SAHM mom (who was not at all "feminist") who told me not to get married right away, get an education, see the world, work at something I enjoy, and then have kids later. She didn't have those choices. I also did not think I had to hate men or not marry, though there were certainly those beliefs out there. But I think that's probably the case in the early stages of any movement -- the extremist views. Eventually the pendulum swings to center.
What concerns me with the initial premise of this thread is the idea that the negative effects on family are all the fault of women!
* It is the woman who puts the child in day care when she should be home. (It's always the fault of the mother -- old Freudian stuff).
* Women in the workforce caused a decrease in earning power for men. (Does it matter that they took on low-paying jobs that men don't want? Including caring for the children of others.)
* The sexual revolution damaged the family unit because it was easier for men to cheat. (Maybe we should take a look at the values of men and make them more accountable.).
* Divorce rates skyrocketed. (This is most likely due to the fact that it became possible for a woman to divorce and get out of many a bad situation she previously would have had to endure.)
* Because women work outside the home, the occupation of housewife has been denigrated. (The truth is that women's work is not given as much value as men's work, no matter what you do! Women working outside the home have not created the denigration -- it already existed. Add to that, a capitalist structure that does not value mothering -- otherwise we'd be getting paid for it...or at least a good tax credit. )
I think it's simplistic to think that "women's lib" had the sole hand in changing the family structure. There are so many other variables, and I agree that the economy is a very big element. I also agree with frolix that it is time for feminism to embrace issues of family and children. I see so many AP feminist moms on these boards and believe we can be the next wave.
I will say that I believe it is important for a mother to be with her child at least in the beginning when there are things that only a mother can provide. But I understand that is not always possible. I stayed home with ds until shortly after he was two. Then circumstances changed and I returned to work. Now my husband is a SAHD, and it is the perfect time for it. Their relationship is very special and my dh loves their time together. After ds was born, I used to feel so bad for my husband when he was at work and missing all those wonderful growing moments that happen so fast; now he gets his turn. Ideally, we'd both be working part-time and have equal responsibility, but that may yet come.
I'll close by saying that it's interesting to talk about how feminism has affected the family unit and only come up with negative examples. (thanks to those that finally provided the positive examples!) I think the the pre-feminist picture of the perfect "happy family" is a romantic notion. I have an ad from probably the late 50s that shows a woman who looks lifeless and depressed, standing next to a sink full of dirty dishes. The text reads: "Why is this woman tired? Because she is mentally done in. Many of your patients -- particularly housewives -- are crushed under a load of dull, routine duties that leave them in a state of mental and emotional fatigue. For these patients, you may find Dexedrine an ideal prescription. Dexedrine will give them a feeling of energy and well-being, renewing their interest in life and living."
My mom was the typical 50s housewife with five kids who did what everyone else did (minus the Dexedrine!). And she told me to do it differently. I'm thankful that I've had the ability to make choices in my life that my mom wasn't able to. I attribute that to feminism. And I'm managing to "have it all" in a way that is meaningful to me and healthy for our family.