Miss Utah flubbed her answer. We can all agree on that, right? The question, though, shows how badly our society has flubbed on women’s issues. Did anyone even bother to listen to the question? Did it make you think?
One thing I am likely to say over and over and over again is that poverty is a women’s issue. It is the main, most important women’s issue we face, and one of the hardest to overcome. At every step of the way, women are less likely to have control of their own money than men are, are less likely to obtain jobs to make as much money as men do, and are more likely to be blamed for a lack of money than men are.
How many of you remember a few years back when a study showed that the most effective way for a woman with children to rise above poverty was to marry? Think about that for a second. What does that mean?
Politicians, yes, mostly Republicans, ran with it. Women should get married. We should make it easier for women to get married. All our problems can be solved by just making marriage more important!
Can we back up, please? Can we look at what it means that women must get married to rise above poverty? Can we look at the fact that men can live comfortably by leaving their children to be raised by a woman whom they do not support financially? Can we look at the fact that a man with a child can still get a job that pays as much as a non-father while a woman is unlikely to do the same? Can we look at the fact that with or without children, a woman is unlikely to ever be offered the same salary as a man?
There is something terribly wrong with this scenario, and there is something terribly wrong with the way we view women’s issues as a whole. On Facebook, those who are most vocal about women’s rights speak only of reproductive rights, meaning the right to have an abortion, to have access to free birth control, and to have sex as casually as men do. None of those are really the issue, here, and in fact, they obfuscate the true issue.
Men do not have to choose between children and careers, or children and a decent standard of living. Women shouldn’t either.