Monday, February 21, 2011

Meanwhile, in Frederick County, Maryland, Mothers Should Not Work For Money

The Board of County Commissioners in Frederick County, Maryland, has voted to cut the Head Start program by fifty percent. The Head Start program is: a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.
Two County Commissioners explain why this cut is perfectly fine:
County Commissioner Paul Smith said, ‘As many of you know, I had a lot of kids and my wife stayed home at a significant sacrifice in those early years, because she knew she had to be with those kids. I know everybody isn't able to survive doing that, but clearly if we can strengthen marriage, we can decrease the number of children we have to reach.'
Commissioner Kirby Delauter added, according to the newspaper, 'My wife is college educated and could go out and get a very good job. She gave that up for 18 years, so she could stay home with our kids and we gave up a lot to do that. I agree with commissioner smith. The marriage thing is very important.’
When the predictable reactions came in (including a vigil by women of Frederick County), Commissioner Smith clarified his stance:
"I think the ideal situation is for parents to take care of their own children," Smith told The Baltimore Sun. "The mother is the one to be the best situated to take care of small children. I believe that."
Note that neither Commissioner Smith nor Commissioner Delauter has taken care of his own kids.

But despite that, the two gentlemen hold firm opinions about the proper role of women as well as about who it is who should ultimately bear the financial burdens for child-rearing: Women. Because it is the women who stay at home for several years this way who are left with lower retirement income. It is also these same women who are especially vulnerable in the case of a divorce. I'm willing to bet quite a lot that neither Mr. Smith nor Mr. Delauter finds any of that problematic.

Then how about that classism? Do you know how poor a family must be to qualify for Head Start in Frederick County, Maryland? How many poor families can afford for one parent to stay at home? And what about the goals of the Head Start program? It's not really intended as just a daycare program, you know.

Were these two men born this asinine or did they have to work at it? Not that I really care.
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