8.14.2007

Who Says We're Not Political?

This past month the media have given a fair amount of attention to the supposed dearth of female voices in the political blogosphere. There are plenty of women bloggers out there, but supposedly they are only talking about the challenges of raising children, taking care of aging parents, balancing work demands and family life, and other "non-political" topics.

TomPaine.com has published a fantastic article by Ruth Rosen titled "The Care Crisis" describing the need for a public, political solution to the lack of support for the family, in particular in terms of childcare and elder care. The comparisons to the stats for other countries is plain embarassing. In any case, I would posit that women bloggers are indeed engaged in political discourse when they discuss what are characterized in our society as "private" problems. These problems are "private" only insofar our elected leaders have failed to act to address them. As she points out, domestic violence, date rape, economic discrimination and sexual harassment were once considered "private" problems as well, until the political will to address them finally crossed the tipping point and a public, political solution was advanced. Eventually, I have to believe, all those politicians advocating for pro-life agendas will start to follow-through with the rest of the solution: in a country where less than 1 in 4 2-parent families can afford to have one parent at home full-time, it's time to have some pro-family legislation helping parents to obtain safe, affordable, quality care for their children and for their aging parents, and while they're at it maybe some paid maternity leave and sick leave so that one bad fall, one hospitalized spouse, one parent suffering dementia - doesn't throw the precarious balance most families are walking into a complete tailspin.

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