Posts Tagged ‘Working Moms’

WAR ON MOMs ALL OVER AGAIN!

April 17, 2012

Over the past two weeks we have been discussing the War on Moms.  Both Democrats and Republicans have taken the august position of championing motherhood. My interest in this topic was peaked when I saw Melissa Harris-Perry do a 30 min. segment on War on Moms on MSNBC last Saturday.

 

On this topic I want to paraphrase President Obama’s comment to the Congressional Black Caucus in saying to the vocal minority of American Working Women “shut up and quit whining”. Poor mothers and most Black mothers historically worked outside of the home and took care of their families in a traditional manner without complaint.

 

The concept of today’s Tiger Mom, is the way Black American mothers raised their children before the government got involved in financing family decisions in the 1960’s through various well intended, but flawed social welfare programs.  Thusly it led to the decline in the Black American family and missed opportunities up the ladder to success, foretold by advisor to President Johnson, former U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan.

 

Hillary Rosen’s comment that Ann Romney “had never worked a day in her life” was surely ill advised, and a poor choice of words.  All mothers, whether stay at home or not should be respected and praised for raising productive citizens.

 

Neither Melissa, nor her guests ever mentioned how for generations Black Mothers raised White Americans children all day, did all the household chores, as well as raise their own families and clean their own homes year after year.  These women were the proud mother’s of military men and women, doctors, lawyers, nurses, attorneys, teachers, factory workers and civil servants. Domestic work was the major means of employment income for most Black women until the 1970’s and the Nixon’s Affirmative Action and Woman’s Movement took shape.

 

I found it interesting the way that Mellissa kind of shirted around the issues that could have lead to more interesting debate, than that of professional working women.  She noted that Eleanor Roosevelt, “…. although wealthy she did a lot of work with the poor”.  Her children were raised by nannies and domestics, mentioned in biographies of Eleanor, whom she found indispensable, raising of her children.

 

However, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote the New Deal Social Security legislation, he excluded two areas of employment, domestic and agriculture labor, which at that time provided livelihood for over 90% of Black Americans. I like many conservative historians conclude that Pres. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies adversely affected the social and economic gains of Black Americans for decades to come.

 

An example of how engrained the use of Black domestics were to the raising of children in our country we can look at Hollywood, and the maids listed are only a few.  Hattie McDaniel was the 1st Black actress to receive an Academy award, for her supporting role in Gone With The Wind. She said “I can be a maid for $7 a week or I can play a maid for $700 a week.  Of 17 Black actresses nominated for Best Supporting Actress 8 had roles as domestics or a helper of some type. Out of 9 Black actresses nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, 4 were domestic workers or helpers.  Try finding a little Shirley Temple movie of the 30’s without a Black domestic helper.

 

Melissa, posed and interesting question that her guests kind of boo-booed. “That’s been part of the angsts if it is good for a middle class woman with resources to be home her under aged kids who are not yet school age, then shouldn’t we also think that is good for a poor woman to be home with her children who are not yet in kindergarten and in that sense the entire Welfare to work politics was moving against valuing stay at home Moms.” Well, who should fund a poor woman staying home? Is there a right to have the government fund your parenthood?  If you can’t afford children, then you shouldn’t have any until you can support them without government assistance, simple.

 

Joanne Bamberger interjected “You can’t have a world where it is o.k. for privileged Moms and middle class Moms who have the means to stay at home…. And it not O.K., for lower income class women to do that.  …Then why do Republicans go against the Family Medical Leave Act…can’t have it both ways?

 

I find both Melissa and Joanne reasoning flawed for the following reasons.  First of all having children is a matter of personal and financial responsibility shared between a man and woman.  It should be a bilateral instead of a unilateral decision as it often is in lower socio-economic communities.  Since the enactment of President Johnson’s Great Society programs of the 60’s women having babies without financial support have meant access to decent financial subsistence i.e. source of income, housing, general welfare assistance and even paid education. We should maximum state and federal resources to assist single mothers, and families that have their first unexpected child.  However, after the first child we should cap assistance package at that level regards of the number of children produce by the single mother or the family.

 

Whatever happened to getting an education/trade, married, saving money to buy a home, then having children when you can afford them?  People used to have only the number of children you could afford on the family’s income.  This was before the advent of birth control products in the late 1960’s.  Women should not be entitled to government financial assistance Just Because They Have a Womb!, and want to start a family. The taxpayer should not fund irresponsible behavior and decisions.

 

We all know about the generations of Blacks and poor Whites on welfare since the 1960’s, before Pres. Johnson’s attack on the American Family, chronically poor people rarely received public assistance of any kind.  Under President Johnson’s welfare policies the federal and state government provided a woman with children, and without a man in the home, more money than the man could bring home working an honest 40-hour week job.

 

Yes, there is a difference between economic classes in this country and there should be based on a family’s financial ability to make decisions that impact the family. Melissa, Joanne and Ellen Bravo are pushing for the taxpayers and employers to fund the raising of children.  We are not a socialist nation and people have to make decisions based on their ability to fund their lifestyle.

 

I want a Gulfstream 10 to fly around the country stay in the best hotels, play golf and give speeches.  Will the government fund my lifestyle decision for me?

 

Today many men help out with household chores.  There isn’t the stigma attached to going domestic work, or child rearing that it used to have five years ago.  In our modern society it is necessary and enjoyable for most men that I know. When I was growing up everybody pitched in to get things done in the families in my neighborhood.  My Dad didn’t wash dishes, but my brothers and I did every night.  We did all the yard work too and cleaned our rooms before we left for school in the morning.

 

It has been my experience as an adult that of my friends participated in household chores without a second thought. I guess that’s because they were most military officers.  They were secure in their manhood and wanted to do whatever to spend more time with their family.  In order to do that, things needed to get done, no gender roles, just tasks to be completed.

 

If modern professional women are going to treat as equals in the workplace then they will have to do what Black American and Tiger Mothers having been doing for generations, get in gear and get the job done and be quiet.

 

Too many American Mothers today want to be BFF with their children instead of parents. People like me very little sympathy for mothers of unruly and undisciplined  children, because their mother’s feel guilty for not spending more time at home with them.

 

It is a choice for some women to stay at home and a necessity that others work and the reverse is true.  The results of those decisions are a personal or family matter.  I do not think that  it should be subject to public discourse and drive taxpayer-funded policies of the entire country.

 


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