The Family and the Economy

The New York Times just came out with an article about the changing roles of the sexes in the economy. It’s been slowly transitioning since the feminist movement, and especially since the recession, and now alarming numbers of women are entering the workforce, and over-shadowing men. First of all, I would like to note that I’m very conservative with regards to who should and should not be working in families, namely the man works and the woman stays home with the family. Obviously there are special cases where the woman needs to work, but in general it should be the man. I’ve mentioned before that Josh and I sacrificed a lot for me to stay home, but it’s totally worth it. Unfortunately the economy is transitioning to favor the women, making it harder for women to stay at home.

The article from the New York Times noted that jobs in nursing, home health, and child care are big industries expected to grow – all of which are fields dominated by women. Also, of the 15 job categories expected to grow, 12 are dominated by women. Unfortunately, women are also improving their education more than men, which makes them more likely to go on into the workplace to pursue careers. Now hold the phone, I’m not saying that women shouldn’t be educated. I have my Bachelor’s degree thank you very much. I’m just stressing the lack of men more than the abundance of women. In fact two-thirds of students at community colleges are now women! Two-freaking-thirds! Michael Greenstone, and economist at M.I.T. said, “An important long-term issue is that men are not doing as well as women in keeping up with the demands of the global economy… It’s a first-order mystery for social scientists, why women have more clearly heard the message that the economy has changed and men have such a hard time hearing it or responding.” In most of the U.S., young, childless women in their 20’s make more than men in the same life stage.

This is reflected in the youth as they prepare to graduate high school and college. Girls are wanting to go see the world and have big dreams while boys are being idle and playing their video games. One of the interviewees from the article said, “I’ve heard other girls say, ‘I want to stay home.’ and I’m thinking, Why? What would you do? Vacuum four times a day?”

Oh man, where do I begin? Okay so the issue with this problem affecting families is kind of complicated. It’s not like working women are ruining their families by any means. The thing is, men are kind of made to be providers. If they’re not in the bread-winning position, they’re not as happy as they could be. And if men aren’t that happy, marriages get strained. Also, with women in the workplace everywhere, they can’t be at home to raise their children, which affects a child’s development and self-esteem. I’m sure you can think of all kinds of reasons why this shift in the economy is an issue for the family unit, so the question is – what do we do about it?

It’s not like we can go and send all the women in the workplace home, that’s not right because sometimes it’s a necessity. But maybe we can do something by teaching our kids. If we don’t want our daughters to be obsessed with careers (not that we would ever dream of raising them to not want a career), perhaps we can teach them while their young about the importance of motherhood and raising a family. Many girls don’t like domestic things (i.e. cooking, sewing etc.) because they haven’t had any experience in it. And what about our boys? We need to teach them how to treat a girl, the importance of having a career with which he would be able to support his family, and most importantly – not waste his time with idle habits (like video games). Disclaimer: I come from a family of video gamers and Josh and I love video games, the key is just moderation. I dated a guy a few years ago who spent DAYS at his friends’ houses to play WOW (World of Warcraft)… Ya glad I got out of that one… Anywho, the future is in our hands as mothers and fathers of upcoming generations, so it’s OUR responsibility to raise our children with the right values in life. Ok, I’m stepping off my soap box now 🙂

What do you think about this?

This entry was posted in Domesticity, Just 'Cause, Saving the Family and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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