I try to stay away from politics in this blog, but when my exact demographic is attacked – young, married, white, educated, middle-class, homemaker – I have to speak out.
First of all, the press makes it seem like white married women everywhere failed Hillary Clinton if they didn't vote for her. I hope Hillary Clinton explains in her book why this reasoning is absurd. California, New York, and every other state that sent all their delegates to vote for Hillary didn't fail her. She can blame the electoral system, or she can blame those white married women who sent their state's delegates to Trump, but she can't make a blanket statement that all women like me failed her. I can say with 100% certainty that I did NOT fail her.
My Vote is Not My Husband's
While my husband and I do discuss politics, I don't automatically vote his way. He and I have voted for different candidates, and have sometimes canceled each other out on ballot measures. Other times, we have persuaded each other to change their vote by giving logical and educated arguments. In the end, we always vote separately and autonomously.
And second, I do not vote only to keep my financial security (i.e. my husband's pocketbook). I am confident that he and I could switch roles if necessary. Admittedly, however, my economic situation does factor into my vote, as I think it should factor into everyone's vote. If a bond measure is going to raise my taxes, I'm going to weigh the perceived benefits against the new cost my family will incur.
I firmly believe that opportunities for income and benefits should be open to all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or religion. But I also believe in the right to choose. Just because I chose to support my family as a homemaker instead of an income-earner doesn't automatically mean that I will vote against opportunities for women. And I think that if a woman wants to have a family she should consider how her income-earning career will support that family financially, and also how her household will be managed while she's at work.
As a fictitious example to illustrate my point, let's say a child is sick and needs to be picked up from school.
As homemaker, it's my job to go and pick up the child so the school calls me first. They only call my husband if I can't be contacted. Even then, my husband is more likely to call a friend to step in rather than leave work to get the child himself. And afterward, I will need to explain why I failed to do my job.
But let's say it's not my child. Instead, this child has both parents working outside the home. Does the school know which parent to call first? Is it always the mother who picks up the child or who calls the friend to step in? I would argue that it shouldn't be. If both parents share the income-earning responsibilities, then they should also share in the household management responsibilities.
Now, let's say that both parents are working, but the mother's income doesn't help support the family financially. It doesn't pay the bills or 'win the bread' (if that's even a phrase). In this case, I think the father is justified in expecting the mother to always drop her workload and take care of any household duties that crop up.
In short, I believe in equal opportunities AND equal family responsibilities.
OK, rant done.
I write about, with, for, and around kids all day. (Well, maybe I do the dishes too. Sometimes.)