January 21, 2009 posted by Linda Basch I want to draw your attention to a moving commentary by Deborah Siegel, “Masculine Mystique, Meet Feminine Mistake,” posted at the Women’s Media Center, in which she raises questions as to why the media seems to latch onto outmoded models of marriage roles, where men are the breadwinners and women are the caretakers of  home and family.  This raised in my mind another scenario we also are seeing today: the high cost of child care.  In this scenario, one or the other of the parenting couple opts to stay home to care for home and family.  Then, what happens when the working partner gets laid off?  As in Deborah’s case, though Deborah works fulltime, those families also fall into a tailspin.  This relates to a big problem we as a country now confront -- the lack of adequate, available child care.  As the Council’s research shows,  only 1 in 7 children eligible for publicly-funded child care is actually able to access these programs because of a lack of funding. This brings us to another problem we are now seeing, and that is that the economic stimulus package put forth by the new administration is focusing on building the infrastructure of the country, which emphasizes jobs that have traditionally gone to men.  As Linda Hirshman noted in her op-ed last month, “Where Are the New Jobs for Women?”, little attention has been given to the jobs women frequently fill as teachers, child care, and health care workers, and so on.  I, for one, am hoping for a stimulus package that addresses some of these concerns.

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