Letter: Response to Skip Hellewell’s column

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If the white Christian patriarchy, as represented by Skip Hellewell in your paper, would like to see American women having more babies, may I suggest he support gender pay equity, mandatory paid maternal leave, and state-supported childcare? 

American women are having fewer babies because it is too expensive, and the burden of caring for them falls mainly on the mothers. Women do 65-85 percent of unpaid labor in a relationship and 95 percent of the cognitive work.

We make birthdays and holidays happen, soccer games and orthodontic appointments happen while being primarily responsible for housework and food prep. American society clearly does not value mothers’ contributions. We clearly don’t value children, either.

And lastly, climate change has made many young people of both sexes reluctant to bring children into a world where the future is so fraught.

Eva Segovia, Laguna Beach

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1 COMMENT

  1. Eva:
    Thank you and the Indy for publishing your comments.
    Personally, after showing a few of his first columns to my former girlfriend (a staunch feminist who re-wired/re-plumbed the chauvinist elements of this old house ME), she had several concerns, called his columns “Finding Misogyny”:
    As a successful physician in a specialized field of medicine, she’s fought that veritable culture of patriarchal dominance profession, the “glass ceiling,” for decades.
    From medical school, thru internship, thru residency, even now though highly sought after for major conference panels in far away cities, 100% expenses paid, the old guard are wary, guard and protect their niche at the top of the pyramid.
    Stats indicate that during the advent of modern feminism (the pill, sexual liberation circa early 70s), women were paid ≈70% of what their male counterparts were. I clearly remember that time, seemed a new dawn, new day. Nearly ZERO female corporate CEOs, etc.
    Online stats today seem to reflect women have only advanced about 1/4%/year, not exactly the speed of the light, is it? Maybe 80% or so for the same job?
    Women are STILL not even close in earning power—yet are being required to be the chauffeurs for kids, cooks, maids, etc., perform the dominant roles in a household with children.
    Being a career woman who wants to provide a 2nd income (sorely needed in today’s economic stressors), try to multi-task and basically be a slave must be mind-boggling.
    I never had kids, but what Eva has noted, men should be embarrassed but were/are being brainwashed by their peers and fathers.
    Her biggest gripe? “The beautiful wife.” My lady pointed out that this is a “dog whistle,” a misogynist symptom in her opinion.
    And as an atheist, she added that most religions place women in a subservient role from berth. Even Budhhism: Notice that there’s never been a female Dalai Lama?
    Male dominance, female subservience, are systemic globally.
    That “beautiful wife” schtick? Women get wrinkles, men age, men are assertive, women are aggressive, a double standard descriptively for the same exact behavior, mannerisms.
    Only women know the incredible demanding pressure of physical appearance.
    Remember My Fair Lady (Pygmalion)? “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”
    Hey Skip, why can’t a man be more like a woman?
    If his wife likes that sobriquet, accepts that, fine—–but it’s the online optics, it’s being published and promulgated.
    Guess it’s gonna take more than 1-2 generations (50 years), men are still knuckle-dragging “kings of their castle,” won’t let that go until women pry that TV remote from their cold, dead hands.
    Just kidding, but readers get the metaphor–unless they’re pigs too of course!

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