The Truth Might Be Mean, But I’ll Pretend it Isn’t
Erick Erickson is shocked, shocked! to learn he thinks “women cannot be breadwinners.” Ever since his remarks on income inequality between men and women on Lou Dobbs’ show, liberals have been unfairly smearing him as some sort of cave-man era sexist.
In trying to defend himself, Erickson tells it from the heart, explaining how his own wife had to win the bread because, big surprise, his early go at RedState was not enough to pay all the family’s expenses. They struggled! And it was good, because God arranged for his wife to stay at home, and also apparently him since he is “fortunate” to work “most” of his three “rather constant” jobs “from home” as well.
All of which is to say, continues Erickson, that he’s not “judging” anyone! We’re all swimming in of anti-biological, unscientific gender-confused sin, and those who live in glass houses, well, they shouldn’t cast stones, especially if they also work there.
“Ladies,” writes Erickson, just in case you didn’t know he was talking down directly to you, “if you want to work that’s fine.” See, the founder of RedState himself grants you his approval! And, he goes on, “If your position in life makes it advantageous for you to be the primary bread winner,” that’s fine too! As long as you understand that you’re familial arrangement is sub-optimal. The Cleavers are the ideal, after all, and can be blamed for failing to live up to an ideal? Also, it’s not single moms fault that they can’t have the perfect family—it’s their baby daddies’ faults for abandoning their “obligations” (Erickson refers to his own children as blessings).
And Erickson’s evidence for this epic assertion of platonic proportions?
- Feminists and emo lefties wear panties and those panties are in wads
- Three quarters of people think “more women being the primary or sole breadwinners in families is harmful to raising children.”
- “In many, many animal species, the male and female of the species play complementary roles, with the male dominant in strength and protection and the female dominant in nurture.” Or, as Erickson later rephrases it: “It’s the female who tames the male beast.”
- “children in a two-parent heterosexual nuclear household have a better chance at long term success in life than others.”
- “kids most likely will do best in households where they have a mom at home nurturing them while dad is out bringing home the bacon.”
- Since we abandoned the nuclear family norm, “we’ve been on a downward trajectory of more and more broken homes and maladjusted youth.”
- As Pew found, “Three-fourths of those surveyed say these mothers make raising children harder, and half worry that it’s bad for marriages. About half of those surveyed felt it was better if mothers stayed home with young children. In contrast, 8 percent thought it was better if fathers did.”
- Women as primary breadwinners does make raising children harder, increasing the likelihood of harm in the development of children.
- “who is less valuable — mom or dad?”
But there appear to be some holes in his otherwise seamless reasoning. First off, I’m a leftie and I don’t wear panties. Second, what Erickson doesn’t note: “But at the same time, the report notes that other polls have found that nearly 80 percent of Americans don’t think mothers should return to a traditional 1950s middle-class housewife role.”
Of course, what people think has absolutely no bearing on what is actually the case. Also, I’m not sure why Erickson thinks it’s an okay move to extrapolate from the rest of the animal kingdom to humans. Obviously, there are a lot of things people share with other animals–cells and a metabolism for instance. But we were also made in the image of God, or at least I’m sure Erickson would maintain that, which is grounds enough I think to render any argument by analogy completely baseless.
This next piece of evidence is actually just a re-assertion of Erickson’s original point. As is the one that directly follows it. And the usual caveats apply: are the children doing better because dad’s bringing home the bacon and mom’s not…or simply because they’re being raised in a stable family which is affluent enough to do well on only one person’s income?
The “downward trajectory” is another assertion masquerading as evidence since Erickson makes no attempt to back it up with, like, actual scientific data or anything. Then Erickson again selectively references a survey of people’s opinions which makes it completely irrelevant to his argument. Also, the point that follows: another unsupported assertion.
So who is more valuable in the end? According to the economy it’s the father, since he’s paid more, on average, to do the same work as the mother. To Erickson it’s clearly the mother. What either point has to do with whether their is a biologically prescribed “ideal” family arrangement is beyond me (perhaps because my development was harmed by the fact that my mother and father both worked part-time while raising me, and she made more than him).
One last point: Erickson repeats over and over again that, hey, if you can’t afford to be a stay at home mom, or the person you procreated with abandoned you, don’t worry: It’s Not. Your. Fault. But what Erickson makes clear is that he believes, if you can afford to be a nuclear family, if you can emulate the Cleavers, then you have a moral responsibility to do so because otherwise you are literally harming your children.
Maybe, just maybe, you’re right Mister Erickson (I’m speaking directly to you!) But if that’s the case, stick to your guns and don’t pretend like it isn’t morally egregious that mothers are working and having kids and not giving them the proper family life when they could afford not to.