Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Political Fluff in The Second Presidential Debate

What would Romney do to benefit women in the workforce, based on last night's debate?

The specifics he argues are to do with a) a strong economy and b) more flexitime for women.  If I combine those two I get the idea that a strong economic tide will lift all boats, including finally those boats that need flexitime because of the societal gender roles which leave childcare and such mostly to women.

That sounds like political fluff to me.  How would Romney achieve more flexitime for workers in general?  And if only women with children are expected to take advantage of that flexitime, wouldn't they look like more cumbersome workers and end up with lower earnings etc?

Obama did somewhat better, in terms of fluff, because he also promised to enforce existing laws against discrimination and made the connection between economic opportunities and access to birth control. 

Romney then promised not to let the government or the employers decide who can have access to contraceptives. But I'm not sure what he meant by that statement when it comes to the question whether health insurance policies offered by firms could specifically exclude coverage for contraceptives or not.  Such exclusions don't mean that women would no longer have access to contraception; it just wouldn't be covered.

Truth to tell, the issue invites fluff treatments, partly because many voters don't like the topic at all but largely because so many of the problems are based on existing gender roles at home.  Still, I shouldn't let the fluff go past unquestioned.