A recent report revealed that more women & mothers than ever are working full-time. In fact, roughly 40% of moms are the primary breadwinners in their household. This revelation sparked a series of sexist discussions in the media about what a bad thing this is. Some men theorized that this was upsetting the balance of nature since men are supposed to play the “dominant” role, at least according to their non-scientific evaluations of the animal kingdom. But I have to say… those backwoods, sexist men are wrong about WHY this is a bad thing, but they’re 100% right that it is a bad thing and a sign of the downfall of our society. Why? Allow me to explain…
There’s a big group of modern day women that have chosen to go work full-time, and that’s just fine. You go girl. Some are single mothers that have no choice and others have opted to balance being a mom and having a career. But I feel that the dramatic increase in your average working mother is NOT by choice, it’s a result of the crushing income gap we have in this country. The middle class are being squeezed more than ever. The facts show that the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are struggling more than the last several generations ever had to. The “American dream” of doing better than your parents is D.O.A. Parents used to have the option for only one of them to work while the other worked full-time raising the kids at home. But I can tell you, firsthand as a middle class parent in 2013, that’s no longer possible for most families.
Since the 80’s, we’ve been raising a lost generation of middle class families. Kids need their parents around to help raise them to be productive members of society. It’s kind of hard to do that when you’re both working constantly to make ends meet. The next time you see a terrible news story and say “how could anyone do that?” the answer is probably because they were raised with a lack of parental involvement and have spent way too much time surfing the net, watching TV & hanging with kids that come from even more messed up families. After all, you’re not making much money, so how can you afford top-notch child care that will actually engage and educate your kids as opposed to letting them be couch potatoes and play with matches?
Which brings me to one of the great ironies of this income gap-induced money crunch… both parents are working full-time, but are still struggling financially. That’s because the second parent ends up working full-time too, even though half of the money they raise goes to child care so they can keep working and earn the other part of their pay. So they’re working full-time for the privilege of taking home part-time pay and spending less time with their kids. That little extra money is enough to scrape by, but never enough to get you any real security. All of that adds up to nothing but bad times for families and the ripple effect goes throughout society.
So those sexist talking heads on cable TV are right, more working moms is a bad thing, but not for the narrow-minded reasons they listed. We need to continue to callout the 1% and demand better pay for all. Once that happens, society will be better off and we just might be able to reestablish the “American Dream” for the next generation.