Republicans and 'family values'
Equal Pay and the family
This article made the news recently.
Green said in his letter, published Wednesday by the Park Record and the Wasatch Wave, that men make more than women because they’re “the primary breadwinners” of their families, and paying women equally would somehow ruin the makeup of a traditional family where “the Mother” remains at home raising children.
That is basically his argument. The consequence of the statement is that other Republicans distanced themselves and Green resigned.
I want to explore this as it comes up a lot with Republican issues. What I find problematic in the modern day is that it is become difficult for people to have an honest discussion.
Women's Rights Do Ruin the FamilyThe reality is that women's rights do ruin the traditional family. Look around the world and you will find statistic after statistic that where women's rights go, the family degrades. This doesn't mean all families disappear. It simply means that the traditional family model is not the dominant basic unit of society. Single people, single parents, communal relationships... all take a greater emphasis. I want to emphasize here, that I personally don't think this is a bad thing. In my view, it is possible the family unit is and outdated model.
Early Feminists Campaigned against the Family
Heck for many early feminists who were honest, they actively campaigned on the destruction of the nuclear family.
|Functions of the Family, Linda Gordon, WOMEN: A Journal of Liberation, Fall, 1969.|
The Results are Clear
Europe is the prime example.
As far as political realities go, the trend is pretty clear. Yet, look at the quote from the main article where the writer mocks the idea. It is thought of as 'absurd' that equal pay or what not would ruin the family.
You don't need a Phd to understand that a lot of women's rights issue, be they equal pay, abortion, the pill... all have a negative impact on the traditional family. You can get that as a thought experiment as many did when women's rights first came about or now that time has passed, we can see the actual results. By thought experiment, I mean going throw the motivations and potential actions of people. For example, before birth control, getting pregnant was a real issue for a woman have sex. It would be a tell tale sign that you were sexually active, and having a child without being married would be a burden to many. A young woman would be wiser to wait for marriage. Introduce birth control and you remove a barrier for a young woman to have sex. She could sexually satisfied without being married. The same goes for anything that empowers a woman to work. If she works, she is not dependent on a man and does not need to get married.
What is Wrong With The Claim
So the question I have is simple. Why can't US politicians make this claim? If you value the family, you want it to remain the core functioning unit of society, it is a pretty straight forward and reasonably accurate statement.
Republicans look silly when they talk about the Family, but then can't actually defend it publicly.
If we as a society no longer value the nuclear family as the prime structure, can't we just have that debate out in the open, like the early feminists did? I want to emphasize again, that this about the main functioning unit of society. We still value the traditional family, but we don't view it as core. Single people, single parents and other forms of being are given more weight.
Just recently, President Trump made another claim that said women who have abortions when it is illegal should be punished. He went back on that statement.
But of course, doesn't that seem silly. If we are to believe 'pro-life' people that abortion is murder. If you really believe that... wouldn't it make sense to actually... punish the mother who is choosing to kill the baby? Not to mention that mere fact that if something is illegal... doesn't that normally come with a punishment?
These Republican positions are just coming off as silly. They want to stand for the family and want to stand for the unborn child... but when faced with the consequences of actually talking about those policies...they back down... look silly... and their opponents have basically won.
Let's Have That DebateI say we have that debate. What kind of society do we want? If we want the family as the core functional unit of society. If we want women to stay at home to raise children to be the norm. If we want that... then we have to have policies to make that the norm.
If we don't mind losing the family as the core functional unit of society. If we want women in the workplace to be the equal of a man. If we want children to be supported by the state. If want sexual liberation... then we have to have policies that make that the norm.
Sadly, I don't think we're having this debate. Progressives pursue policies that gut the idea of the family norm, while everyone talking of it being 'good' for families. Republicans talk about 'the family' yet back down on any policy that would actually have any cost.
For me, although I'm married, I'll lean more to the side of freedom of women to choose. I don't see maintaining the family structure as the norm as being worth the cost of freedom.