In her nearly 400-page feminist screed about the plight of women in America, “A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink,” Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress have fired the first volley in the pivotal campaign of 2014 that will determine whether the President’s leftist agenda will proceed forward unimpeded or whether the Constitution and common sense will prevail. It is no small matter that the document also propels Hillary Clinton’s goals forward and seeks to revive a moribund feminist movement’s struggle for relevance. Served with a dollop of celebrity and a high-powered roll-out — including President Obama promoting the report with Shriver at the White House — the skill of the marketing effort greatly exceeds the heft of the report. It is long on glamour and glitz and short on substance and scholarly depth.
The President’s support comes as no surprise as sane Democrats must be terrified to contemplate future investigations into the scandals of Obama’s and Holder’s time in office should enough patriotic members of Congress be elected in 2014 and an honest president elected in 2016. The publication seems designed to mobilize the single-women voters essential for the Left’s future. It is, bottom-line, a political document, an ideologically slanted report that sees the world purely through a feminist lens. The degree of its bias can be measured by the fact that it glosses over two of the most serious issues of the day –– the rise of female-headed households that predictably are dependent upon taxpayer largess (the report calls this “the adverse economic impact of motherhood”) and their father-absent children who predictably are at risk of a wide range of undesirable outcomes that threaten the nation’s schools and streets. It is a marvel the way the report dances around the fact that single motherhood is so often a pathway to poverty and that the poverty rate of children living in mother-only families is five times that of children in married-couple families. Promoting feminist myths is a lot easier than addressing real problems.
Feminists are obviously hoping to revive the dying embers of feminism and ignite a new generation who are, at best, apathetic to the claims of oppression and lack of opportunity for women. Sadly, the essays exacerbate rather than help resolve the growing divides between men and women (caused, in large measure, by feminist rhetoric and attitudes toward men) as well as the societal divides stemming from bad economic policies that have dramatically decreased the male labor force participation while precipitously increasing food stamp and disability payments.
This nation is not a “woman’s nation”; it is a country of individuals and families, most of whom want to interact with each other respectfully and in harmony as we jointly work to build our communities and the nation so that our children will have a bright future full of promise and potential. Most of us have had enough of elites talking about “gender equality” and other special interest causes while both our freedoms and median incomes are being eroded by government policies, while unemployment is declining, for the most part, only as a result of discouraged workers hopeless of finding a job dropping out of the labor force, and more and more of our friends and neighbors are going bankrupt.
The report’s recommendations rely on the old, failed government solutions — free childcare and paid leave. The report complains about the lack of equal pay even though numerous careful analyses show that when you compare the earnings of men and women of equal education, experience, and career choices the gender pay gap essentially disappears. Further, today more women than men are in college, graduate school and entering the high-paying professions (law, medicine, business). Plus, 20-something women are making nearly 4 percent more than men in their 20s. Sadly though, surveys indicate that even with all their advances, women today are less happy than men. The report is dismissive of men and masculinity; to read this report one would conclude that men face no challenges today and that women are the only ones hurting from the bad economy.
Shriver’s report is obviously ammunition for the president’s “War on Women” meme with Hillary Clinton and other high-profile Democrats contributing essays and promoting the tome in the media. The report echoes the worn out claims about gender inequality that we’ve heard so often throughout the Obama campaigns and presidency. This is just the latest payback for the single women who put Mr. Obama in the White House and a down payment toward getting Hillary there to appoint another corrupt crony to head the Justice Department.
While the stories of women struggling to cope with unfortunate circumstances in Shriver’s report can be emotionally compelling, they leave out the hard facts of the effects of the ill-advised choices documented by social science research; the deck is so stacked against children whose mothers choose to raise them without their fathers present, that the research is virtually unanimous in detailing all the ways that children’s well-being is best served growing up in a married-mother-and-father family. That data is not even close: compared to any other family formation, the traditional mom and dad provide the best hope for a child fulfilling his or her potential. Yet, Shriver’s report skirts around the problems stemming from declining marriage rates and the breakdown of the family. Instead, celebrities in movies, government, and the entertainment industries offer government solutions to women’s problems, with taxpayer-funded entitlements coming to the rescue as substitute husbands and fathers.
But while a check from the government may allow women to squeak by and eke out a stunted life without the father of their children present in the home, in their hearts young women still want it all — romance, marriage, children, and career — and children can never not need unconditional love from both a mother and a father.