What if the goal of women’s equality within the American political system is partly dependent on the persistence of marriage as an institution here?…The problem for women’s political power is that unmarried mothers turn out at the lowest rate of any group of women, when you divide women by whether they are married and have children…In short, as more and more women become unmarried moms, more mothers will find themselves too pressed to vote…The transformation of motherhood into a non-marital phenomenon — a social practice that at the same time hurts women economically and pulls them away from the political world — could well lead to a decline in political power for mothers, and eventually for all women, since more than 80 percent of women eventually have kids. Given that, it’s hard to see how we get to the world Anne-Marie Slaughter is calling for, where women have more power to influence the governance of their country, and eventually transform the workplace to make it more family friendly.
Check out the whole thing – it’s replete with lightbulb-over-the-head data.
The Atlantic has a history of being in the vanguard on this issue. They published “Dan Quayle Was Right” in 1993, when the point was still all but universally sneered at in their world. The Washington Post finally caught up this May with “20 Years Later, It Turns Out Dan Quayle Was Right about Murphy Brown and Unmarried Moms.” Sorry it took them 20 years, but we should welcome them to the party rather than punishing them for doing the right thing! And of course the coup de grace was the New York Times’ lengthy piece last week on how divorce and illegitimacy are driving an increasing economic and social class division.
Could it be that the American cultural elite is taking the first halting steps toward preaching what they practice?