Moms Jailed Cause Childcare Unaffordable. GOP Superego Hides Solutions
Poor moms face no-win situations where conservatives are concerned.
Moms shouldn’t work outside the home, because kids need them every second.
But POOR moms SHOULD work outside the home.
Which leads to another double-blind:
Poor moms must work outside the home, even when they can’t afford childcare.
In one well-known case Debra Harrell worked at McDonald’s and told her nine-year-old daughter to play in a nearby park that was packed with kids, because her pay wouldn’t cover childcare. Then mom ended up in jail, charged with neglect.
Next, mom loses her job, and daughter loses her mother when she ends up in foster care. Which brings more trauma than if she had been left playing in the park.
When the less harmful thing lands you in jail
Next, conservatives land in a conundrum. Like New York Times columnist, Ross Douthat.
It’s good to work. But it’s not so great when moms can’t be good mothers. He says:
We have to also find a way to defend their liberty as parents, instead of expecting them to hover like helicopters and then literally arresting them if they don’t.
In fact, the nine-year-old would be at greater risk while being driven to daycare than while playing unsupervised in a park — since way more kids are injured and killed in car accidents. And, she is more likely to face abuse in foster care than by being left at the playground. Is her arrest more about her race than her child’s risk of harm, Conor Friedersdorf wonders over at The Atlantic.
Heck, I know plenty of people who grew up playing in parks with no parents around. And the kidnap rate was no higher back then.
Ideology pushing solutions out of awareness
Otherwise, you could favor both work and supervision.
But how would that be possible, Douthat wonders?
Can’t advocate a living wage. That’s against free-market principles.
And you can’t let the government provide childcare. Because everyone should be self-sufficient.
You can’t support moms on welfare, either, enabling them to stay home with their children. Because welfare’s bad.
Is there is no solution?
Professor Jay Livingston over at Sociological Images, says:
It’s a distinctive challenge, but only if you cling so tightly to conservative principles that you reject (obvious) solutions…
It’s a political version of Freudian repression – the conservative superego forcing tempting ideas to remain out of awareness.
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Posted on August 22, 2014, in feminism, politics/class inequality, psychology, women and tagged Debra Harrell, feminism, GOP, living wage, McDonald's, politics/class inequality, psychology, race/ethnicity, welfare reform, women. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.