It takes a village, idiot
Lou Dobbs and his all-male review freaked out over a recent Pew Research Poll revealing that 40 percent of American mothers are their family’s sole or primary bread winner. Juan Williams, infamous for getting canned by NPR for admitting that Muslims on a plane made him nervous, tells big Lou that working moms are “… responsible for the disintegration of marriage… hurting our children (and)… are going to have an impact for generations to come.”
Panelist Number 2, Erick Erickson, editor-in-chief of the blog site, RedState.com (and child of unimaginative parents) used the term “anti-science” when claiming that it goes against nature when males are not in the dominant role.
And Puff Daddy Dobbs summed it all up by saying, “We are watching society dissolve around us.”
I know I shouldn’t be surprised by this misogynic spew from FOX News, whose stable of on-air readers appear to have been hired merely for their Miss America contestant good looks.
But then The New York Times ran an essay by Richard Thaler, business school professor at the University of Chicago. Thaler also commented on the research and claimed these bring-home-the-bacon ladies “may be contributing to a decline in the formation and stabilizing of marriages.”
Enter Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant who publicly blamed mediocre education on working moms. (Oh God, I just had a flashback to Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin and Bob “Vaginal Probe” McDonnell.)
As a human woman, I’m baffled by these ridiculous comments. And I think (hope) many men are too. As an empathetic person, I always try to see the other point of view. As an example, I force myself to watch FOX News Sunday nearly every week. And sometimes I even watch with the sound on.
So I reached deep down to figure out where this is coming from.
A long time ago, the caveman was assigned the job of hunter. It was a scary world with big, bad animals, no automatic weapons and… hold on to your wooly mammoth hats… no Second Amendment! So prehistoric man had a full-time job, using sharp rocks tied to sticks, the new phenomenon called fire, and even his bare hands to kill beasts and put food on the kitchen slab.
Wilma, on the other hand, had several things to do. She cooked the wild boar, raised the wild kids, cleaned the dirt floor cave, grew vegetables on the cave terrace and generally made the caveman happy. She invented multi-tasking. And she relied on her man to relay what was happening out in the big, bad world.
Fast forward to June Cleaver. While Ward went to work to provide for the family, June baked tuna and potato chip casseroles, reared Wally and the Beave, attended the garden club, thwarted Eddie Haskell’s creepy compliments and greeted her hubby every night wearing a neatly pressed dress and heels. She counted on Ward to let her know about life in the rat race.
In 1963, Betty Friedan wrote “The Feminine Mystique” and told the truth – not all housewives were content with their narrow roles. Finally, 115 years after the first women’s rights convention in 1848, the women’s movement was born. Women dared to want things men had. And some men couldn’t (and still can’t) handle that.
I’m sure men want different things today than they did back when their knuckles dragged on the ground. But women don’t hold that against them or try to derail them. You don’t see gals going on talk shows blaming the guys for junior’s low SAT scores. We’re in this together. Women want a partner in a marriage, not a boss. She’s not giving up her dreams for her man anymore. She deserves a shot at total fulfillment. Without guilt trips from Lou Dobbs.
So I think it’s time for Hillary’s village to step in. I applaud Melissa Harris-Perry’s current TV commercial recognizing that kids belong to our communities, our villages. We need great after-school programs. We need extended family, friends and neighbors to become more involved, especially for single parents. Big Brothers and Big Sisters, official and unofficial. And yes, we need dads to take a day off work to stay home with a sick child and to take more responsibility in their kids’ lives.
It’s time to man up and understand that “providing” for your family means so much more than bringing home a paycheck. Things were simpler when you worked your butt off at the office or the plant and the Mrs. did all the rest. But now you need to view your marriage as a partnership. And for those women who choose not to work outside the home, their monumental contributions of raising the kids and running the home mustn’t be considered “secondary.”
And for you fantastic men who have evolved, who joyously celebrate women’s successes and see us as equal citizens – thank God for you! We just need you to speak up because when we try to explain all this to your less evolved counterparts, they just think we’re on our periods and assume it’ll all blow over in a week.