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In the best seller "The Bitch in the House," edited by Cathi Hanauer, one of the essayists, author and screenwriter Helen Schulman, relates a day in her life.

"So at night - after I'd bathed and fed the children and put them to bed," writes Schulman, "after I did the laundry and the bills, after I'd ignored the phone messages from my friends and made dinner for my husband - elaborate gourmetish things like risotto and fish in parchment, just to remind him that he had a wife - I read trial transcripts and autopsy reports and everything I could about schizophrenia, until I passed out, dirty clothes still on my body, reference books in hand."

She expresses a feeling mentioned often in this book: the terrible indignation of the working mother who does not manage to juggle all the balls in her hands without letting one of them fall. Ilana Dayan shares this feeling.

In a special edition of "Uvda" (Fact) this evening at 9:30 on Channel 2, Dayan speaks with four women: Aliza Bechar, a caregiver for the elderly; Dalit Akiva, former financial vice president for Pizza Hut and a mother who decided to leave her senior post to raise her children; Efrat Harlev, the only female doctor in the pediatric intensive care unit at Schneider Children's Hospital, who is also a mother of four; and Sharon Steinberg, a former engineer at Comverse, who recently opened a small business for second-hand children's items.

Dayan films these women in their homes in real situations, when their children are crying, when the women are a bit peeved with their children, when the telephone rings in the middle of everything and their mothers are on the line. Dayan identifies with them - her mother bothers her on the phone too.

"The most significant moment for me in the filming," says Dayan, "is during the evening with Efrat, when I admit that we have become terrible people in this rat race, insufferable and annoying, not as good as we were. That evening, when Efrat's defenses were down, she agreed that it is a slippery slope."

You say we have become terrible people, but you mean terrible women; why is a man whose self-imposed daily routine keeps him away from the house for 16 hours so that he does not see his children at all not a terrible man?

"That is apparently what we are trying to say," says Dayan. "The revolution enabled us to reach high positions. But we did not make the deep change, not in the sense that the man assumes responsibility for the home, and not that society relates the same way to a working woman as to a working man. Since we did not make that social adjustment, our situation is more difficult.

"This intermediate stage is absolutely horrible. We are still expected to fulfill our traditional roles, and to advance at work like men. We were told that everything was possible, but that is simply not true. The man who is absent from the home should also have guilt feelings, but he doesn't, and that is impossible to change with the press of a button."

After reading "The Bitch in the House," and the other book quoted in your program, "I Don't Know How She Does It," and after watching the program, the voices rising from it seem to be mainly those of white feminism, established women with big refrigerators crying about their hardships.

"The story we came to tell is of the career-motherhood trap. By its very nature, it is a trap encountered by middle-class women. I did not want it to be only about women with the fridge and the ice maker, so we insisted on including the story of Aliza Bechar, who is a reminder that a great many of the women do not have the dilemma of returning to the kitchen, because they never left it."

It is dismaying that someone like yourself - a role model for others - should say such a thing.

"I disagree. It's fine to talk about it. Particularly because I feel that my children need me just as I needed my mother when I came home from school, but I am never there. It is impossible to ignore this because it could, heaven forfend, lead to a revolution. I'm sorry, but I have no solutions. I know that my choice costs my children dearly. It is not dismaying, but rather one of the truest things I have ever said."