Not to belabor the point…

February 11, 2009 § Leave a comment

But just in case you didn’t get it, women really love chocolate.

And I thought I was the only one with this fantasy. How could I forget that every member of the weaker sex is utterly susceptible to her senses. How do we get anything done?

Some Thoughts on the Stimulus Package

February 8, 2009 § 5 Comments

Hello! 

For my FIRST EVER POST ON WOMEN’S GLIB (wooohoooo), I wanted to get some information up about Obama’s $825 billion stimulus package and what it will do for us ladyfolk. I snooped around some blogs and newspapers, and here’s what I’ve come up with. Feel free to add anything you’ve noticed about the plan in a comment! 

Joan Entmacher, VP of family economic security at the National Women’s Law Center, says that the package will work on “Expanding health for them [women], child care, unemployment insurance, direct help in higher food stamps and energy assistance.” Additionally, the package “protects a lot of jobs for women in education, early education and social work services.” 

This all sounds pretty sweet, but I do have to wonder about the job protection detailed by Entmacher. Education and social work? Those sound like ‘typical woman’ jobs to me. I am all for protecting positions in these fields, but what about women with jobs closely tied to the manufacturing industries, agriculture, etc? Lindsay Beyerstein from the Washington Independent says that the stimulus is “expected to create or sustain significant numbers of jobs in female-dominated sectors of the economy, like teaching, nursing, and social work.” Again, that sounds really awesome, but what about women who already have a hard time in the work-force because they belong to male-dominated labor sectors? Will they be overlooked because they’re pursuing careers that aren’t considered feminine? 

My suspicions are somewhat confirmed by Linda Hirshman from the New York Times, who stated in an article that ran this past December that a package primarily aimed at building automatically excludes women because women make up such a small part of construction labor forces (9%, to be exact). To make the plan more woman-friendly, she suggested that it also include money for human capital jobs (social workers, educators, librarians, etc.), because these are the kinds of jobs that women are more likely to hold. Hirshman ends the article by saying that “maybe it would be a better world if more women became engineers and construction workers, but programs encouraging women to pursue engineering have existed for decades without having much success.”

For some reason, this seemingly pragmatic sentiment makes me really nervous and uncomfortable. I just don’t like the idea that we should give up on eradicating the idea that women, if they are working, must be doing something that is directly nurturing. And maybe all of the construction work proposed by Obama’s plan could help break down some of the barriers that women face in the manual labor industries!

In short, I’m glad that Hirshman got her wish and that Obama’s plan will protect woman-heavy industries, but I am worried about the women in the male-dominated sectors. And I’m worried about how this might all reinforce the idea that if a woman is ballsy enough to leave the home, she must be doing some sort of caretaking.

Stimulus?

February 2, 2009 § Leave a comment

President Obama’s stimulus package has been all over the news lately. There have been many debates about the plan, especially from the conservative side. One of the biggest issues that had many conservatives crazy was the family planning aid. This program did not become part of the package that passed the House last Wednesday with no Republican votes. Now the stimulus has made its way to the Senate, where it’s being debated over and poked and prodded by Republicans and Democrats. I’ve found myself somewhat lost in the midst of the media coverage of the stimulus package and I want to know how the stimulus package will affect young women. The family planning aid would probably have directly affected the lives of young women the most out of all the programs in the stimulus package. From what I understand about the stimulus, which, granted, is not a lot, I haven’t seen any other programs meant to directly affect the lives of young women.

The goal of the stimulus plan is to save and create jobs which are being lost rapidly, in fact, Obama predicts that about 3.7 million jobs will be created. However, the Republicans are finding fault with almost every single part of the stimulus plan. One major issue they see is that there is not enough attention being paid to the housing market. At this point it’s difficult to tell how the stimulus package will affect the lives of young women, but if programs as important as the family planning aid are not going to be included, we are going to be in trouble. I hope that as the Senators of both parties work on the stimulus package in the next couple of weeks, they think of groups whose interests seem to have fallen by the wayside.

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