From the poor widow of Biblical times to the divorced mother of today, women have always experienced a disproportionate share of poverty. But in the United States in the nineteen-sixties and seventies that share appeared to be increasing in a trend known as the ‘feminization of poverty’ (Pearce, 1978.) Events in the nineteen-eighties, however, raise the possibility that the feminization of poverty trend has either reversed itself, or that it has been overwhelmed: unemployment, homelessness, and poverty have increased in this decade, for men as well as women, to a degree not seen since the Depression. Popular aricles on poverty in the nineteen-eigthies focus on plant closings, displaced workers, competitiveness, budget deficits, trade imbalances… and the “New Poor.” The “New Poor” are not women, or even children, but are archetypically the 47 year-old Pittsburgh steelworker, more of less permanently laid-off.