Just when you thought the cliché 'war on women' had plunged to its lowest demagogic depths, Maria Shriver launched a 400-page report, A Woman's Nation Pushes Back from the Brink, that seems designed to mobilize the single-women voters essential for the Left's future The report –– full of essays by celebrities and high-profile political figures and containing moving, emotional stories of individual women –– is, bottom-line, a political document, an ideologically slanted report that sees the world purely through a feminist lens. The degree of its bias can be measured by the fact that it glosses over two of the most serious issues of the day –– the rise of female headed households that predictably are dependent upon taxpayer largess (the report calls this "the adverse economic impact of motherhood") and their father-absent children who predictably are at risk of a wide range of undesirable outcomes that threaten the nation's schools and streets. Essentially, the report dances around the fact that single motherhood is so often a pathway to poverty and that the poverty rate of children living in mother-only families is 5 times that of children in married-couple families. Promoting feminist myths is a lot easier than addressing real problems.
Sadly, the essays exacerbate rather than help resolve the growing divides between men and women (caused, in large measure by feminist rhetoric and attitudes toward men) as well as the societal divides stemming from bad economic policies that have dramatically decreased the male labor force participation while precipitously increasing food stamp and disability payments. This nation is not a "woman's nation;" it is a country of individuals and families, most of whom want to interact with each other respectfully and in harmony as we jointly work to build our communities and the nation so that our children will have a bright future full of promise and potential. Most of us have had enough of elites talking about "gender equality" and other special interest causes while both our freedoms and median incomes are being eroded by government policies. We also bemoan the unemployment figures; although they are declining, experts tells us that is only because discouraged workers have given up on finding a job and are dropping out of the labor force. Worse, we see friends and neighbors going bankrupt and losing their homes.
The Shriver Report relies on failed government solutions –– free childcare and paid leave –– and complains about the lack of equal pay even though numerous careful analyses show that when you compare the earnings of men and women of equal education, experience and career choices the gender pay gap essentially disappears.Today, women are doing better than men in many areas. More women than men are in college, graduate school and entering the high-paying professions (law, medicine, business). Plus, 20-something women are making nearly 4 percent more than men in their 20s. Sadly though, surveys indicate that even with all their advances, women today are less happy than men.The report is dismissive of men and masculinity; to read this report one would conclude that men face no challenges today and that women are the only ones hurting from the bad economy.
The essays rehash the claims about gender inequality that we've heard so often throughout the Obama campaigns and presidency. This is just the latest payback for the single women who put Mr. Obama in the White House and a down payment toward getting Hillary Clinton in the White House.
While the stories of women struggling to cope with unfortunate circumstances in Shriver's report can be emotionally compelling, they leave out the hard facts of the effects of the ill-advised choices documented by social science research; the deck is so stacked against children whose mothers choose to raise them without their fathers present, that the research is virtually unanimous in detailing all the ways that children's well-being is best served growing up in a married-mother-and-father family. That data is not even close: compared to any other family formation, the traditional mom and dad provide the best hope for a child fulfilling his or her potential. Yet, Shriver's report skirts around the problems stemming from of declining marriage rates and the breakdown of the family. Instead, celebrities in movies, government, and the entertainment industries offer government solutions to women's problems, with taxpayer-funded entitlements coming to the rescue as substitute husbands and fathers.
The biggest failing of Shriver's report, however, is that she totally ignores what women really want. In their hearts young women still want it all –– romance, marriage, children and career. Further, she ignores what social science research clearly reveals –– children desperately need unconditional love from both a mother and a father. Most of today's social ills can be traced back to the breakdown of marriage and family that leaves women and children on their own.