Many politicians have been making headlines for their ridiculous ideas about women’s bodies. In Missouri, Senator Akin claimed that women’s bodies could block pregnancy when they are what he called “legitimately raped.” For this idiot not only are some rapes more legitimate than others but women have magical powers to turn on and off pregnancy. And more recently, Indiana Senate candidate, Richard Mourdock, said that when women get pregnant from rape, they should be forced to give birth because that is a pregnancy “God intended to happen.” So this idiot believes in a God who intends women to get raped. And these guys are running for office?
And if these attacks weren’t bad enough, they are happening at a time when women are doing the most work and are the most stressed out that they’ve ever been. And this is something rarely even talked about.
These past few years have been disastrous for workers everywhere but have been even worse for women. Since 2007 at least 13 million workers have lost their jobs. Most new jobs have been part-time and low paying. Those who still have jobs have seen their pay and benefits cut as they struggle to do more work with fewer people. Of the millions of jobs lost, many have been in construction and heavy machinery, which are typically jobs that men hold. About 80 percent of the workers that have lost jobs since 2007 have been men.
So women have had to take on more work, getting a second or third job. And all of these jobs pay an average 23 percent less for women than men. And it’s even worse if these women have children. Working moms are 79 percent less likely to be hired and make at least seven percent less than women without kids.
Many people might think that as all these women have had to take on more hours working, that the men would help out with some of the extra work at home. But this turns out not to be the case at all. While it is true that many men do help out, women still end up doing the majority of the work at home. A recent study showed that even unemployed men currently do less housework than their working wives. So on top of having to work more hours for less pay, women still are expected to continue doing all the extra work of keeping the family together.
So after a long day of working two or more jobs, another job is still waiting for women once they come home. This extra shift includes cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, getting groceries, raising children, dealing with their husbands’ stress and holding the family together. They become cooks, maids, chauffeurs, counselors and therapists without getting paid a single dollar for any of it. A recent study found that working women come home and do an average of 58 hours of extra work. And if they were actually paid for this extra work, they would make about $67,000 extra per year. If these families were rich, they might pay a nanny to help out but working moms are expected to do all this work for free.
The result of all this extra work is just more and more stress on everyone but especially women. Sadly since 2007, there have been increases in alcohol abuse, the use of antidepressants, and recently suicide took the lead as the most common injury related death. Even the rate of child abuse has been on the rise during this same period.
Whether or not we take out our stress in destructive ways, we can all feel it weigh down on our lives, and women have had to cope with it the most. On top of everything else, women are under pressure to try keep everyone healthy and well cared for but how is this really possible? It is no surprise that half of marriages in the US end in divorce, mostly initiated by women. This level of stress is literally ripping working families apart.
Working more, working harder, struggling to hold the family together – this is an impossible burden that women have to carry. No one should have to put up with all of this.