Dear Mr. President:
You held a Forum on Women and the Economy today at the White House, I guess to talk about the women’s economy or something. This forum was just wrong on so many levels. You said that women are not “a special interest group”, but then you host a special interest forum for women..on Good Friday at that, the start of one of the holiest seasons for both Christians and Jews (many of whom are women, by the way).
What bothers me is how you spoke of a “women’s economy”, as if the economy of a woman were somehow separate from the regular economy as a whole. The real “war on women” isn’t about birth control or aborting babies; it’s not coming from Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum or anyone else on the right. The real war on women is coming stratight from the White House, led enthusiastically by you, Mr. President. You separate us as if we have some secret relationship to the economy that men don’t have. It’s a political ploy, a campaign strategy and frankly I think it’s a big, fat fail.
You see, I’m a stay at home mom. My economy is no different from my husband’s economy; and in case you weren’t sure, my husband is a man. How is it that these two completely different genders could share the same economic concerns, you ask? Well, no need to organize a forum on the issue. I’ll tell you. In my home, my husband makes the money, but I also contribute to the economic health of our family by providing child care and making decisions on how to spend our income. While we sometimes have different ideas about what to do with our ever-dwindling paycheck (I like shoes, he prefers paying the mortgage), we both are intimately involved with how far our dollar stretches. The failing economy affects us both and that has nothing to do with our chromosomes. You see, my husband likes to eat food. So do I! He likes having gas in the car to go places. So do I! He hates having to ration our milk budget because inflation and gas are causing prices to rise exponentially. So do I! He hates not being able to afford all the fun things with our kids that we used to do – like taking vacations and frequent movie dates. I hate it too! He hates having to make decisions between shoes for the kids and a tank of gas, or little league for our son and a date night with his beautiful, intelligent, amazing and gracious wife whom he is so lucky to have. I hate it too! He hates having to leave his family without a vehicle everyday when he drives to work because we are down to one car, unable to fix the other or afford to take on a car payment. SO..DO…I! He hates that we had to drain our children’s college fund in order to stay afloat. So do I. We really hate that part. We really, really hate it.
Mr.President, my husband and I both hate this economy ; your economy, sir. When we are struggling to figure out how to pay our taxes and the gas bill at the same, we are not separating those worries by gender. In fact, our gender never even comes up. Our children, our family, our future – all those things come up, but never our gender. In the end, the economy has nothing to do with breasts and testicles. It has to do with the people responsible for the economic direction of America making selfish, ill-informed and ridiculous choices that have done all but derail what was once the most robust, thriving economy on earth.
Instead of working to secure our nation’s energy future, you ordered offshore drilling suspended and practically brought the economy of the Gulf region to a grinding halt. You reduced Wall Street confidence in our ability to produce or procure oil (which, despite your algae pipe dreams is still what we use to get around these days), driving up the price of gas to unheard of levels. You shoved a 2,000 page “healthcare” boondoggle down the throats of the American people that necessarily gutted Medicare and raised the cost of my family’s insurance premiums (insurance that we were HAPPY with, by the way) by nearly 190% in just one year. Your adminstration touts 8.2% unemployment as if it were some kind of victory, while expecting Americans to be ignorant of the government math that doesn’t even include those who have given up looking for work altogether.
Mr.President, the last thing you need to be doing is having special interest forums to discuss the “women’s economy”. There is no “women’s” economy. There is THE economy…and THE economy sucks right now. Address that and stop playing politics while claiming not to be . It’s petty and infuriating to people like me who are slowly watching all the dreams and hopes they had for their own children fade away into the bottomless pit of government.
Indeed we are not a “special interest group”, so stop treating us that way. Stop trying to make us into people who are somehow detached from the day-to-day consequences of your horrific administration.
crossposted at kiradavis.net