You’ll excuse me if I find Pres. Obama’s words way too little, way too late. Because of his ineptitude to make the economic case to women before the midterms, since foreign money “stealing” the election was more important than women, our power in the workplace has been diminished even further. In the absence of any Democratic leadership on the economy, women split their vote, giving the edge to Republicans in places that handed the majority to the Right. Others simply stayed home.
Republicans in the Senate did what the Right always does, but this time it included Collins and Snowe, all of them voting against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which protects women from being second class working citizens.
The Right has their priorities, with women and the middle class not being part of them.
From Maria Shriver’s “A Woman’s Nation” report:
As women move into the labor force, their earnings are increasingly important to families and women more and more become the major breadwinner-even though women continue to be paid 23 cents less than men for every dollar earned in our economy. Nearly 4 in 10 mothers (39.3 percent) are primary breadwinners, bringing home the majority of the family’s earnings, and nearly two-thirds (62.8 percent) are breadwinners or co-breadwinners, bringing home at least a quarter of the family’s earnings. What’s more, women are now much more likely to head families on their own.
These gains are by no means an unqualified victory for women in the workforce and in society, or for their families. Most women today are providing for their families by working outside the home-and still earning less than men-while providing more than their fair share of caregiving responsibilities inside the home, an increasingly impossible task. At home, families cope with this day-to-day time squeeze in a variety of unsatisfactory ways. In most families today, there’s no one who stays at home all day and so there’s no one with the time to prepare dinner, be home when the kids get back from school, or deal with the little things of everyday life, such as accepting a UPS package or getting the refrigerator repaired. Instead of having Mom at home keeping her eye on the children after school, families face the challenge of watching over their latchkey kids from afar and worry about what their teenagers are doing after school.
Yet the flip side is this: The presence of women is now commonplace in all kinds of workplaces and many are in positions of authority. Millions of workers now have a female boss and the more collaborative management styles that many women bring to the workplace are improving the bottom line. Increasingly, businesses are recognizing that most of their labor force has some kind of family care responsibility, and therefore are creating flexible workplace policies to deal with this reality. Many of the fastest-growing jobs replace the work women used to do for free in the home. The demand for home health aides, child care workers, and food service workers, for instance, has increased sharply.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand went on MSNBC to rail at Republicans. It’s good to see her up front and center. But folks, Democrats have made a mess of the economic message.
If an alternative to Republicans and Democrats shows up in ’12, and if they have a strong economic message, look out.