From the Palace inbox via WaPo‘s morning missive:
The pill is good for the economy. “The recent controversy over contraception and health insurance has focused on who should pay for the pill. But there is a wealth of economic evidence about the value of the pill – to taxpayers, as my colleague Motoko Rich writes, as well as to women in general. Indeed, as the economist Betsey Stevenson has noted, a number of studies have shown that by allowing women to delay marriage and childbearing, the pill has also helped them invest in their skills and education, join the work force in greater numbers, move into higher-status and better-paying professions and make more money over all…Those changes have had enormous impacts on the economy, studies show: increasing the number of women in the labor force, raising the number of hours that women work and giving women access to traditionally male and highly lucrative professions in fields like law and medicine.” Annie Lowrey in The New York Times.
I will not be reading either of those articles at The Times today, because the facts collected in the above blurb are so blazingly obvious as to be insulting. It’s like listening to someone explain to you that people blink, and also, they breathe. Of course there is economic evidence about the value of the birth control pill to taxpayers. Of course by delaying marriage and childbearing, women invest in their skills and education, join the work force in greater numbers, move into higher-status and better-paying professions, and make more money. Of course this increases the number of women in the labor force and hours that they work. Of course women have more access to traditionally male and highly lucrative professions in law and medicine.
And I don’t need to read either of those articles at The Times to know that like most people, Motoko Rich and Annie Lowrey think it is plainly obvious that all of those facts are a net positive to women, families, businesses, taxpayers, and society generally. But they are 100% dead wrong — in the eyes of social conservatives.
We have seen over and over again that increasing taxpayer costs (and government regulations) are of no concern to these principled primates, provided the purpose is to harm and humiliate women, people of color, an/or the poor. Right-wing conservatives generally do not want women in the workforce at all, and in those cases where they are willing to make exceptions it is most certainly not in higher-status and better-paying careers, or in traditionally male and highly lucrative professions like law and medicine, where dog forbid a man might have to answer to a female superior. It just ain’t right. Goes against god. And nature. Also, America!
There is a violent clash presently playing out, and women’s bodies are the battlefield. It is important to remember that women’s independence and wellbeing is not a shared value in our culture. Conservative family members have told me — me! — that our country’s problems can all be traced back to women entering the workforce (and while I was up, to go grab ’em another beer from the kitchen). Another
tyrant man in my family rigorously enforced the all too common view that women getting an education is unimportant — only their virginity until marriage is — and I have known dozens of American women for whom the same cultural strictures applied. These messages perpetuate themselves in families for generations, in ways both subtle and extreme. Anti-feminist forces are currently winning this war, particularly at the state level, in part because New York Times readers project their own liberal values and reality-based understandings onto those who manifestly do not share them. Facts, evidence and reality hold no sway whatsoever over the enemies of women.
Elf-men in fancy garb are not going away. CPD is not going away. Misogyny is not going away. All we can realistically hope to accomplish is diminishing its toxic influence by chasing it back into the
shadowy caves from whence it came, and where it wants to drag every American woman.
Just FYI: I will not go back there without a good fight.