Letter: Patriarchy has always left women out of the loop
I am writing with regard to congressman Peter Welch's response to my point on VPR today. During the show Peter brought up the need for trillions of dollars to be spent on infrastructure and all the jobs that would create. I had to call in and thankfully, they took my call. I said, well, this is all very well and good — for men. It doesn't do very much for the women among us who make 73 cents to every man's dollar. I said, forgive me for pointing this out but the patriarchy has always left women outside the loop, and this massive infrastructure spending bill is no different. What about the infrastructure of caregiving, where is the money for nurturing, at least include a minimum for women's pay at 15 dollars an hour in this bill?
Peter said (to paraphrase) "Yeah well, you are right, women have always gotten the stiff end of the stick, and it should be different, but infrastructure jobs are terribly important, everyone has to use the roads and bridges! Anyway, you know the jobs could go to women, and more and more women are getting construction jobs."
Of course, I did not get to rebut his response so here goes: Peter, this is a same old same old patriarchy speaking, the man's work is more important to do, and unless women can do men's work then they aren't really working as hard. Its clear that the patriarchy suggests women's work is not really work, and money for nurturing, well, is it really nurturing if you gotta pay? Do you really expect the public to believe that the massive infrastructure bill isn't going to overwhelmingly benefit the men among us and only minimally the women?
I wish you had responded "You know, you're right, I think the infrastructure bill should make jobs in equal measure for women and men, and in equal proportion of pay, 50/50 for women and men, 50 percent of the massive spending going to women.
Further I wish you had said "You know you are right, the infrastructure of our child rearing needs a serious overhaul. Recent years have shown us that our male children are not being socialized well, and look now, look at all the sex crimes, the mass shooters, the crimes attributable to men, this proves that rebuilding of our methods of socializing of boys is absolutely necessary. We should invest in childcare infrastructure as equally as our roads, and while we are at it, lets make certain that equal numbers of men are offered jobs in childcare and elementary school teaching, nursing and cashiering, and general nurturing fields — at equal pay to the women who already have them."
You could have gone on; "I also advocate that we revisit the Constitution on behalf of women, who were completely ignored and left out of the very foundation of our lawful existence, and now are expected to honor what they had no part of? We need to revisit and update that document and all law going forward for inclusion of feminine concepts that have yet to be codified. If you want to be real with women, let's stop making excuses for selling women second, selling women short. As if society doesn't need what women do. I believe it needs women now more than it needs what the patriarchy has been up to."
Responses like these would have been worthy of my respect. But instead, you showed me that its you first, men first. As usual. We need a massive rebalancing. That's what we really need Peter.
Putney, Nov. 11
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