Update: Since I wrote this, the Times changed the headline from "Poor Economy Slams Brakes on Women's Workplace Progress" to "Women Are Now Equal as Victims of Poor Economy." (You can still see the old headline in the page title.) Which was sort of the point of this post, although obviously I claim no credit.
Once again, we dust off the old joke about the New York Times headline: "Cataclysmic Meteor to Smash into Earth; Women, Minorities Among Those Likely to Die."
Complaining about liberal bias at the Times is like bitching about your ice cream melting in
I thought I'd seen the worst example of this behavior a
couple years ago, when the Times
claimed that workplaces are sexist because women are discouraged from crying in
their cubicles, while it's perfectly okay for men to threaten people and break
But today the Times printed something far more akin to the aforementioned meteor joke, because it took a study that said, "Both sexes are equal," and spun it into "women are being hurt."
Across the country, women in their prime earning years, struggling with an unfriendly economy, are retreating from the work force, either permanently or for long stretches
They had piled into jobs in growing numbers since the 1960s. But that stopped happening this decade, and as the nearly seven-year-old recovery gives way to hard times, the retreat is likely to accelerate…
OK, so far, so good. Sounds like an interesting social
So it's not the "new motherhood movement" that's pushing women out of the workforce. It's the economy, genius. It's the general hollowing of the middle class. And while men still generally earn more – whether by career choices, less time with their families, or just sexism – both sexes have achieved sufficient equality that the transformation of the American workforce is impacting both sexes.
After moving into virtually every occupation, women are being afflicted on a large scale by the same troubles as men: downturns, layoffs, outsourcing, stagnant wages or the discouraging prospect of an outright pay cut. And they are responding as men have, by dropping out or disappearing for awhile.
The Joint Economic Committee study cites the growing statistical evidence that women are leaving the work force “on par with men,” and the potentially disastrous consequences for families.
“Women bring home about one-third of family income,” said Carolyn Maloney, Democrat of New York and vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. “And only those families with a working wife have seen real improvement in their living standards.”
Now we get into the bad math. There are two real stories here:
- Men still outearn women, so the destruction of jobs in traditionally male-oriented career paths have major impacts on the economic mobility of American families.
- Women are also leaving the workforce, but not necessarily by choice. The jobs just aren't there.
Next week: "Nuclear War with Iran Potentially Devastating to Hispanic Immigrants.