Families which contain two adults who work outside the home often have a layer of economic security that two adult families with one “stay at home” partner do not have. So, on a micro level, everything feminists and our allies have done to enable women to succeed in the workforce is good for us and our families. But last Friday the NYT reported: “Women are poised to surpass men on the nation’s payrolls, taking the majority for the first time in American history.” The article noted:
… a full 82 percent of the job losses have befallen men, who are heavily represented in distressed industries like manufacturing and construction. Women tend to be employed in areas like education and health care, which are less sensitive to economic ups and downs, and in jobs that allow more time for child care and other domestic work.
Bob Hebert explained that this labor force gender shift is happening “..[N]ot because women have been doing so well, but because men have been doing so poorly.” Women are paid lower wages, and receive fewer benefits, even in better economic times. To paraphrase Helen Reddy, when we have to, we can do anything.
Any minute I’m waiting for someone to accuse women of hurting men by hogging all those depressed salary, low prestige jobs without fringe benefits or health insurance for ourselves.