Tuesday, February 2, 2021


Among the side effects of the pandemic lockdowns is this: more and more women are leaving the workforce. More women than men are leaving the workforce, mostly in order to stay home and to care for children. It's one giant homecoming!

You would think that what with Vice President Kamala Harris and the ubiquity of AOC, women would be rising up the corporate ranks. Apparently, such is not the case. 

Rest assured, feminists are not taking it lying down. They are standing up and complaining about it all. In fact, this week’s New York Magazine has a number of articles addressing just this issue.

Hanna Rosin, author of a 2012 wish fulfillment fantasy called The End of Men is totally torqued over the lower workforce participation rate. Being a good feminist, she can find no rational reason for it, and therefore she blames it on men.

She offers something resembling an analysis of the problem. In truth, it’s just a rant, based on ideology, ignoring the real reasons why this might be so. She has no sense of why women might choose to stay home to care for their children. You know, the children who have been deprived of access to school, largely because teachers’ unions do not want their members to go back to in-person learning. 

So, these redoubts of patriarchy have not only damaged the economy and children. They have actively undermined women’s career prospects. Only the latter seems to concern feminist Rosin.

As you might imagine, Rosin has nothing to say about the responsibility of teachers’ unions and blue city and state governments. Why should she? She’s an ideologue and wants to blame it all on the patriarchy, certainly not on pro-feminist politicians.

She offers this pretend analysis:

It’s now painfully obvious that the mass entry of women into the workforce was rigged from the beginning. American work culture has always conspired to keep professional women out and working-class women shackled. Add to that late capitalism’s stagnant wages, making it nearly impossible to support a family on one salary. As with so many things, the pandemic just exposed what should have been obvious all along.

What do we have here? A conspiracy theory. But I had been led to believe that people who peddle conspiracy theories are mentally unstable, even deranged.

And then, we blame it on American work culture. Has Rosin compared American work culture to the work culture in other nations around the world? Or is she comparing it only to her gauzy fantasy of how her ideology sees the world.

And then, of course, being a socialism sympathizer, she blames it on late capitalism. Were things better during early capitalism? Were things better in middle capitalism? Are things better in socialist countries where people routinely starve to death?

By the way, are union leaders and government officials-- the ones who are setting these policies, tools of late capitalism or do they belong to a vast right wing misogynist conspiracy:

The recent employment wipeout dates to September 2020, when 865,000 women dropped out of the labor force, compared with 216,000 men. What complex confluence of demographic shifts converged at that critical time? School started. Parents of little kids had already experimented in the previous school year with trying to do their own work while serving as teachers’ assistants and realized it was impossible. When September came around, they wisely opted for just one of those jobs.

If you are a feminist, the notion that women might choose freely and voluntarily to give up work in order to care for children is incomprehensible. If it does not fit your ideology, it can only be the result of advanced capitalist patriarchy:

Rosin becomes a bit snarky here:

Two heterosexual working parents decide to scrape by for the year rather than let their children miss out. The mother feels that maybe she is more “patient.” The father confesses that even though they’re his children, he feels like he’s “babysitting.” Neither of them wants to quit, but it’s understood between them that she could better handle the blow. Or maybe she feels lucky that, as a woman, she has a plan B. She can quit and take care of the kids and no one will judge.

If you think that this has something to do with a maternal instinct, Rosin dismisses your thinking as retrograde and misogynist. The simple fact, explained clearly by Nancy Chodorow in her book The Reproduction of Mothering, that “only women mother” seems to have escaped her. To be fair, Chodorow does not much like it either, but at least she does not dismiss biology and science quite as cavalierly as Rosin does.

Note how easily Rosin dismisses of science. She is saying that if you defend women's choices on the basis science, you will be expelled from her club-- canceled, as it were.

Despite the tragedy of it all, you may start to feel that these individual decisions about who should stay home make intuitive sense. Resist that urge. They really don’t. I challenge any pastor, rabbi, or imam — or geneticist — to make a convincing case for why only women can fix broken Zoom links and do simple arithmetic. Or, for that matter, why men should spend less time with their children. Just to be clear, I wouldn’t flinch or judge or even notice if any individual woman decided to stay home. But when 865,000 of them make the same decision in one month, I get suspicious. It can’t be that popular.

But, what if women are better at being mothers than men are. 

Being a feminist, Rosin does not much care about whether or not children are being neglected by their careerist mothers. She thinks it’s all a big plot to keep women out of the executive suite.

Consider how much hand wringing and teeth gnashing went into this paragraph:

What’s more likely to happen is a backward cascade. A woman who’s a lawyer misses a year and now she doesn’t have quite enough years left to make partner. A woman who works at a day-care center can only manage babysitting here and there because she has to be home with her own children. She makes hardly any money this year, falls behind, and struggles in retirement. Multiply that by 800,000 or so and that’s a lot of lost CEOs and comfortably retired women. “Hard-won progress on closing the gender wage gap may also be set back decades,” Glynn and her co-authors write.

Now we know that the nation’s problems can be solved by having more women in power. And yet, we have more women than ever in power today. Heck, we have the Squad. What more do you want?

Somehow or other, when women take more time off to care for children, because they consider it responsible, they incur the wrath of the feminists. So much for freedom to choose.

Obviously, Rosin has no interest in what is best for children. She has nothing to say about it. She has no concern with the responsibility women feel for raising their children, and for knowing how to do it better than men. Obviously, she has no concern for how men’s careers are affected when they do extra diaper duty.

If she wants to get up to speed, I can recommend my post on a New York Times article by Claire Cain Miller. Written well before the current pandemic, Miller explained that anyone who wants to become a partner in a law firm needs to be on call, as she dubs it, all the time. A woman who wants to be a good mother cannot do it-- unless she is superhuman.

Remember when Anne Marie Slaughter resigned from her highly prestigious position in Hillary Clinton's State Department because her teenaged son had gotten thrown out of school and had gotten picked up by the police. Slaughter decided that he needed a mother at home, not a mother away. For that she was excoriated by feminists like professional ranter Roberta Traister. 

Again, feminism shows absolutely no interest in the duties that are part of motherhood. It doesn't care what happens to children when their mothers abandon them. Rosin closes on this absurd note:

A curious thing happens to humans in crisis. When the world feels shaky in one area, we tend to double down on certainty in another. If we want to be generous with ourselves, we can say that’s what happened in September. We were scared, so we drifted back to ’80s ideas about what men and women are capable of.

Why does she mumble about going back to the 80s? In truth, she is engaging in ideologically driven warfare against human nature. As always happens, human nature will win. That her feminist blinders does not let her consider biological science tells us all we need to know about its deficiencies and defects.


David Foster said...

One factor I haven't seen much discussed: the common belief that people need to do 2-4 years or more of further education *after* graduating from college. This hits the intersection of the career launch and fertility windows.

I know several women who have established good career tracks, dropped out of the workforce for full-time motherhood (while maintaining their contacts) OR have gone to a part-time or consulting situation, and have reentered the workforce as their children got older.

None of them have graduate degrees.

urbane legend said...

What do we have here? A conspiracy theory. But I had been led to believe that people who peddle conspiracy theories are mentally unstable, even deranged.

And rightly so; they are

Feminists have proven over and over they have no understanding of the necessary work done in the real world. Ms. Rosin's rant is just one more proof in a long line.