''Mens Rights Now,'' whose handle always cracks me up, suggests somewhere in the comments on some other post that I blog this piece of propaganda by a right-wing think tank type for an ultra-conservative publication.
Well, you know how I just live to please guys like Men's Rights Now.
Anyhow, the piece is about how unemployed ''burly'' men in the US -- who, admittedly, have been hit hard by the decline in construction and manufacturing jobs -- are supposedly being shortchanged by some grand feminist conspiracy to keep them from benefiting from stimulus spending by President Barack Obama.
Never mind how the author cherry-picks statistics, and compares apples with oranges, to make it seem as if women are living high off the hog while men are on the bread lines. Never mind how women make up the bulk of the poor. Never mind how, except for right now, the unemployment rate for women is consistently higher than for men. Never mind how so many families are headed by women who have no fallback support. Never mind that most women struggle in part-time jobs that the author never mentions. Never mind that women are less like to qualify for unemployment benefits. Never mind how women make less. Never mind how, when the government bailed out the financial sector, it was men's jobs that were saved.
According to the author:
A "man-cession." That's what some economists are starting to call it. Of the 5.7 million jobs Americans lost between December 2007 and May 2009, nearly 80 percent had been held by men. Mark Perry, an economist at the University of Michigan, characterizes the recession as a "downturn" for women but a "catastrophe" for men.
Men are bearing the brunt of the current economic crisis because they predominate in manufacturing and construction, the hardest-hit sectors, which have lost more than 3 million jobs since December 2007. Women, by contrast, are a majority in recession-resistant fields such as education and health care, which gained 588,000 jobs during the same period. Rescuing hundreds of thousands of unemployed crane operators, welders, production line managers, and machine setters was never going to be easy. But the concerted opposition of several powerful women's groups has made it all but impossible. Consider what just happened with the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Last November, President-elect Obama addressed the devastation in the construction and manufacturing industries by proposing an ambitious New Deal-like program to rebuild the nation's infrastructure. He called for a two-year "shovel ready" stimulus program to modernize roads, bridges, schools, electrical grids, public transportation, and dams and made reinvigorating the hardest-hit sectors of the economy the goal of the legislation that would become the recovery act.
Women's groups were appalled. Grids? Dams? Opinion pieces immediately appeared in major newspapers with titles like "Where are the New Jobs for Women?" and "The Macho Stimulus Plan." A group of "notable feminist economists" circulated a petition that quickly garnered more than 600 signatures, calling on the president-elect to add projects in health, child care, education, and social services and to "institute apprenticeships" to train women for "at least one third" of the infrastructure jobs. At the same time, more than 1,000 feminist historians signed an open letter urging Obama not to favor a "heavily male-dominated field" like construction: "We need to rebuild not only concrete and steel bridges but also human bridges." As soon as these groups became aware of each other, they formed an anti-stimulus plan action group called WEAVE-- Women's Equality Adds Value to the Economy.
Now, although this story is American, it has some relevance here in that Canadian men have also suffered in the job market -- although our government completely ignored what women said about so-called ''shovel ready'' projects.
I won't bother to eviscerate the entire piece, despite the easy pickings. I will point out however that these evil feminists were not conspiring to take away jobs from men, but to ensure that money went to families for such things as, horrors, health care and food. They also thought it would be only fair that, since women's tax dollars were going into this (and so much has been lost by the macho men on Wall Street), that it would be a good opportunity to even out some of the incredible inequalities that persist in the trades.
No. 1: Affirmative action plans:
These ensure that women and people of color are actually hired and trained for public-sector jobs. In the years since Bush took office, the number of federal contracts has risen sixfold. Spending has also gone way up, to almost $368 billion currently from $209 billion in 2000. Staff to monitor these contracts at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, meanwhile, dropped. In his inaugural address Obama talked about government conducting its business in the "light of day" and on his first working day in office he emphasized financial transparency. Government contracts are the place to put those sentiments into action.
No. 2: Infrastructure projects:
In 2003 only 4 percent of the roughly 400,000 registered apprentices were women. Scholars with expertise in these matters must be brought to the policy table so this gross discrepancy can be fixed. This is critical because while women hold 10 percent of construction jobs, most--5.8 percent--work in offices where wages are about 16 percent lower. Unless the Labor Department recommits to workplace integration--by gender and race--the jobs that pay a truly livable wage will not benefit women or people of color in proportion to their presence in the labor force.
No. 3: Spending on health care, child care, education and social services:
This spending both provides jobs to women and provides services needed by all families. The fastest-growing segment of the homeless population is families. Forty percent of requests for emergency shelter come from families. More than 85 percent of homeless families are headed by a lone parent, and most are women.
Now, while it's true that WEAVE pushed for more jobs for women in the trades, it also recognized that people were in serious trouble:
Overall, two-thirds of the stimulus program will go toward tax cuts, relief for state budgets and direct payments to the unemployed and others hurt by the recession, part of the administration's desire to provide immediate fiscal relief. Much smaller pieces of the pie will be allocated for weatherization, affordable housing and other projects designed to create jobs.
John Husing, a Southern California economist, said keeping teachers and police officers employed should help prevent the recession from getting worse. But he said the stimulus package would have improved communities' ability to grow over the long haul if it had dedicated more money to public works.
While billions of dollars eventually will flow to infrastructure projects, Democrats who crafted the package say they directed most of it to existing government programs such as Medicaid and education to prevent state economies from slipping even more. One goal was to help fill state budget gaps, keeping teachers and others employed while strengthening the social safety net.
Which is what this ridiculous piece insinuates.
The truth is, when you look at who wrote it, who paid her, and where her piece was published, the truth emerges.
Any money that doesn't go to business is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.
Any money that goes to the public sector is feminist-driven socialism.
Talk about shovel ready.
Happy Men's Rights Now?