1. In today's NYT, an opinion column by Stephanie Coontz: "How Can We Help Men? By Helping Women."
Social and economic policies constructed around the male breadwinner model have always disadvantaged women. But today they are dragging down millions of men as well. Paradoxically, putting gender equity issues at the center of social planning would now be in the interests of most men....2. On "Meet the Press" today, David Gregory interviewing Maria Shriver about the current state of the war on poverty, which began in the Lyndon Johnson administration, with Shriver's father in charge. (At one point Shriver says: "Daddy ran the war on poverty.") Anyway, Shriver's done some new report, which Gregory calls "so interesting." There's much discussion of the centrality of the concerns of women, Gregory declares the "role of men" to be "interesting." Shriver says:
Putting women’s traditional needs at the center of social planning is not reverse sexism. It’s the best way to reverse the increasing economic vulnerability of men and women alike.
Men are totally a part of this conversation in terms of how they raise their daughters, in terms of how they support their wives and their partners. And what's good for women, at the center of the economy, is also good for men. Men need flexible hours. Men need sick days, because they're going to be caring for parents, as well. Men need all of the things that these women need. These are smart family policies that we're talking about in this report.A bit later, Shriver again pairs the idea that women are "the center of the economy" with the assertion that what's good for women is good for men:
I think women are at the center of our country. They're at the center, as I said, in electing our political leaders. They're at the center of the economy. They're in the center of the family. And when women do well, men do well, and the nation does well. And when women do well, they don't just support other women doing well, but we support our sons and our daughters.