How Utterly Depressing

How completely and utterly horrifying:

Once the 2007-2009 recession hit, the female retreat from the workforce halted for a couple of years: Women and men alike returned to the workforce when their spouses lost jobs or when their incomes fell, and also to make up for a loss in the value of housing and stocks.

But as the economy stabilized in the past two years, there have been signs that the retreat has resumed, Albanesi said. Of all working-age women, 58.6 percent were either working or looking for a job in 2010, down from 59.2 percent in 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expected the rate to fall further by 2020.

According to Albanesi, it’s not the tug of looking after young children that makes most educated women give up their career.

“These women usually give up their jobs when their children are school-age and not babies any more,” Albanesi said.

This means that 40% of adult women do not work. Can that be true?

Well, what can you expect when even feminists are chirping merrily about the joys of being a kept object at a man’s disposal with no life of their own.

Jeez, people, this is so depressing. I still cherish some hope, though, that this study is a conservative fake aimed at convincing women that it’s normal not to have a professional and social realization because their husband has one. The last lines of the article this quote is from makes me think that might be true:

“Stay-at-home wives are a status symbol for men. The opposite is not true.”

This might have been true 50 years ago. Today, however, one never gets to meet a man who doesn’t feel intensely uncomfortable and apologetic over owning a kept woman instead of sharing his life with a partner who is an equal and a fully valid human being.

13 thoughts on “How Utterly Depressing”

  1. I wouldn’t pay much attention to these articles. They always have an agenda of some sort, and are also probably out of date. And they might not be taking certain things into consideration: self-employment, for one thing. Not all women work for large corporations, retailers, and academic institutions — many have small businesses they run out of their homes because they aren’t interested in the 9-to-5 drag. Or they are writers, or artists, or musicians, or something like that, who work out of their home or have a home studio.

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  2. I wonder if (assuming the articles facts are even correct), some of the increase in women leaving the workforce is that couples may have put off having children during the recession, so there may just be an increase in babies (and therefore, mom’s taking a few years off to look after them. Even though the article claims that women mostly do that when the kids are older.)

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  3. “58.6 percent were either working or looking for a job in 2010, down from 59.2 percent in 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expected the rate to fall further by 2020.”

    Really? A ‘fall’ from 59.2% to 58.6% warrants a serious writeup? Nevermind that this 0.6% change is well within any margin of error used to compile the data. Looks like the author had made up their mind on what to write about, found out that reality didn’t exactly match with their hypothesis, but went ahead and finished the article anyway.

    The author seems to be using statistics the same way a drunk uses a lamp post, for support rather than illumination.

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  4. The authors also apparently believe that a kid who is in school magically stops being a small child who needs lots of care from parents. Since the school system emphatically does not believe this, it’s actually often easier to deal with daycare+work than school+work. So their reasoning that women are not leaving to care for kids is highly suspect.

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      1. I was trying to suggest that the logistical and financial hassles involved in having a kid or two in school are larger than the ones in having a pre-school kid in childcare. And actually it’s more livable, too.

        Are you trying to suggest that all women who don’t work are hovering, miserable and depressive? I would have been miserable alone all day with a toddler, but a school-age kid would leave me able to do my own stuff. Not everybody requires a day job to do their work.

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        1. “Are you trying to suggest that all women who don’t work are hovering, miserable and depressive”

          – People who have castrated their existences out of laziness and immaturity are a horrible burden to those who surround them. Housewives suffer from the highest levels of depression than any other group in the population. I have offered a bibliography on that many times on this blog.

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  5. I agree that those are some depressing statistics and I share your hope that they aren’t true. I slightly disagree with you here though “Today, however, one never gets to meet a man who doesn’t feel intensely uncomfortable and apologetic over owning a kept woman instead of sharing his life with a partner who is an equal and a fully valid human being.”

    I know many men who sadly associate “having a housewife” with social status. They might not use the term housewife (and women never self-dentify as housewife) because the _term_ has become embarrassing. Instead these families use the terms “stay at home mom” or “primary caregiver” or something. But it’s the same model. When women have fully fledged and fulfilling careers, it is still very threatening to many American men. And a silly little part time/volunteer job (the primary outlet for the 21st century STAHM) does not constitute a fulfilling and fully realized career. Most women that I know that are STAHMs had pressure, even if was “loving” pressure, applied by their husband’s (always cast as ITS FOR THE CHILDREN.)

    So I think when women choose to be STAHMs it is frequently because they (delusionally) think it’s best for their children and husbands and are willing to sacrifice their own personal happiness and independence in order to achieve family unity/stability. That’s my experience anyway. But I loved the post! 🙂 (Side note: the Seinfeld chain worked for me! I sent my article off to a journal last week!!!)

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    1. I’m not disputing your experience but mine is very different. Every single housewife I have seen hides nothing but laziness and immaturity behind the verbiage about sacrificing herself for the family. Every man I have ever met dreams of a successful, professional adult woman who can be a real partner in life, not a perennially whining burden.

      I understand, of course, that this is just my experience and my circle of acquaintance.

      “Most women that I know that are STAHMs had pressure, even if was “loving” pressure, applied by their husband’s (always cast as ITS FOR THE CHILDREN.)

      – I have honestly never seen anything of the kind. The economy is tough and poor men who have to carry the financial burden for an entire group of dependents are extremely miserable. In every single case that I have observed, a housewife bullies everybody relentlessly into granting her wish of being kept. In many cases, the housewife has no children, so that excuse doesn’t even fly. A young childless housewife I know has faked every disease under the sun to trick her husband into keeping her. It works, too. While he is at work, she invites her friends to her place and gleefully shares stories of how she dupes the husband into believing she is mortally sick. He does all the housework, too, because, remember, she has convinced him she is very very sick.

      Again, everybody’s experience is different.

      “the Seinfeld chain worked for me! I sent my article off to a journal last week!!!)”

      – That’s SO GREAT!!! I hope it gets accepted! Good luck!!!!!

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      1. My personal experiences similar to yours. When I was living with a friend of mine and his family, the wife was a SAHM. And she behaved in exactly the same way. He would be the one to get up at 6:30 in the morning every day to get their oldest daughter off to school, then he would head off to work. She would turn their bedroom TV onto cartoons for their youngest to watch and sleep until about 10:00, then she would screw around on Facebook until about noon, roll out of bed and slap a sandwich together for her daughter’s lunch. Then it was back in front of the TV/computer. until her husband came home. Maybe she would do a load of their laundry.

        After husband ame home, he would help the oldest with her home work, and eventually would get them ready for bed. She didn’t do hardly any of the cooking, he and I did. We did the cleaning, except very rarely. We did all the yardwork. We took care of the trash

        And just like the woman you mentioned, she was always “sick” with something or the other. Migraines usually. There was another woman friend of ours who stayed home with her daughter too. his other woman suggested that maybe they could trade off watching the kids so they could both at least get part time jobs, since neither of them could afford daycare.My friend’s wife absolutely refused to do so. Wouldn’t even attempt looking for a job… because she “hadn’t worked in six years.”

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  6. I don’t work just yet. But just wait ’til after exams, when I have a full-time job for ten whole weeks. My first real job, and it’s even something I’m interested in. 🙂 Research rocks.

    That said, I agree with the Twisted Spinster. A person who’s not officially in the workforce might perform for a living, or own their own business, or work by contract or commission.

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