Women Breadwinners: Deal With Your Small Loaf
October 17, 2012
Watching the 2nd Presidential debate last night while simultaneously social networking, I was dismayed at how many people want the president to “put more money” in their pockets. People believe so hard that a president can control an individual’s finances, that the majority of 2 presidential debates was spent on back-n-forth over how one fella can guarantee that a college grad has his\her dream job upon graduation. Or how one of them could “create” more jobs than the other, a pretty lame creation if you ask me. Watching the debate last night, it became more and more evident to me that the person who occupies the office of POTUS has little to no influence over my financial life. I don’t believe that Obama or Romney can or will directly effect my personal economy. I am in the same situation I have always been in, more or less. I will probably always be in the same tax bracket. And I’m really not being cynical. It’s how social mobility doesn’t work for women and workers in a free market.
In my neck of the woods, my feminine woods, our work is still seen as supplementary or token by the ruling class. Apparently the “jobs” worth mentioning in presidential debates are jobs in male dominated fields. To those of us who are not in the business of business, not happy working in a corporate atmosphere, not mathematicians or scientists, not looking for a long-lost manufacturing position, not working in the oil\ coal\ natural gas industry, the political script is not written with us in mind. The unemployed get more mention than us.
Granted, a couple of points go to Obama for mentioning nursing briefly and some points go to the producers of the show for including a question from a mom in the audience with 2 kids in college. Still, NO mention of the secretary, the average worker in our exploding service industry, the child care worker, the waitress\ barista, the artist, the clerk, the freelance writer, the musician, the social worker or the teacher only serves to reinforce the myth of the male breadwinner. But for many of us women breadwinners, single and married alike, nothing. I guess we’re just supposed to rest on the hope that we could be one of Romney’s binder women. Daddy Romney will take care of us eventually. But we shouldn’t think we deserve access to basic health services like birth control or cancer screenings.
The thing is that many of us will never be one of those people that politicians seem to think symbolize the middle class: he who makes 50K a year. We will probably never top 40K. Cuss, at the rate I and many of my friends are going, and with the dearth of good-paying jobs in female-dominated fields in my area of Oklahoma, most of us probably won’t top 30K for a while.
The over-valuing of the traditional, hetero lifestyle choice was disgusting. Marry, then have children like us presidential candidates did. And to those of us who can’t get married because we’re gay? Or who happen to think marriage is a disgusting invasion of the state into personal matters? Or who have tried marriage but it didn’t work out? Or who just don’t want to because this is America and we should be free to make that decision for ourself and not penalized? Psh. Step aside. Your kids will be out in the streets selling AK47s to drug lords in no time. The story these guys told America last night was this: ladies, deal with your small loaf, change your profession and your passions, or marry up.
Whatever theater was played out on that stage last night was a fiction and a myth as crude as male superiority. The swordfight that happened last night is a shining reminder that we need women to fight for women and for the future of our daughters. ‘Cause those chodes running for president are more worried about calling China cheaters than creating a free market that works for me and you and everyone else we know.
But I’ll choose to deal with my small loaf. And I’ll tell ya something else. I’m actually quite okay with it. My income is supplemented by friends and family, my garden, my creativity, love, curiosity, and fun. They bring me butter and okra and fun and cupcakes and coffee and wine and love. We have potlucks instead of fundraising dinners. Srsly. This is my reality; it includes women at every second, not just for a few seconds during an hour and a half debate.