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Joining NOW in the war against the Mommy Wars U.S.A., By Carrie Lukas, Mar 23, 2006

The National Organization for Women wants a truce in the Mommy Wars the fight between women who stay home with children and moms who work. In response to a Good Morning America segment that weakly pitted a stay-at-home mom and working mom against each other, NOW President Kim Gandy wrote to Diane Sawyer and her producer, urging programming that advances women's choices:

Here's a compelling topic for a future feature: How can our society better support mothers and caregivers so that they can choose to work either outside or inside the home whether it's full-time or part-time without additional guilt, financial strife or other barriers?

An enticing vision, to be sure. Many women want to stay home with their children, but others must work due to financial need. Some choose labor outside the home for the challenge and stimulation. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for families, and society should respect the inevitable tradeoffs women must make.

So never mind NOW's history of denigrating stay-at-home-moms. Forget the continued distain that many feminists and women's studies professors have for women who value raising children. Lets assume that all parties truly share the goal of fostering respect for women's choices. Would the feminist agenda accomplish that aim?

NOW lobbies for regulations requiring family friendly policies at businesses, government funding for early childhood education, and giving stay-at-home moms greater access to entitlement programs. These policies would exacerbate the Mommy Wars because each favors one woman's choice over anothers.

Individual women already overwhelmingly respect and understand the choices of fellow women. Sure, society could value more ..lly the contributions of stay-at-home moms and better respect working moms as mothers. As Gandy notes, society also should welcome stay-at-home dads. Most Americans get this. That's why Good Morning America has to struggle to manufacture conflict between working and stay-at-home moms.

Its different when government gets involved. A government giveaway to working moms reduces a stay-at-home moms value to her family and vice versa.

Consider free daycare a favorite of many feminists. Much of fiscal value of staying home stems from the fact that daycare costs money. Even families who believe kids are better off with a parent at home would find it more difficult to forego a second income if daycare were free. And while the government may not charge users for daycare, someone namely, taxpayers pays for it.

Most perverse, tax dollars from families that sacrifice to keep a parent at home will go to pay for other peoples daycare. Intentions aside, government-subsidized daycare effectively enlists the state in the Mommy Wars and tilts the scales toward work outside the home.

Policies to benefit stay-at-home parents are equally misguided. Gandy, for example, proposes Social Security credits for stay-at-home moms. The justification is that stay-at-home moms provide services that have economic value and these women need support during retirement, too.

Yet consider what such credits would mean in practice. Government bureaucrats would have to assign a wage for the work of raising a child no controversy there that would determine how much Social Security pays at retirement. Meanwhile, a working mom who earns the same wage assigned to the stay-at-home mom will lose more than one tenth of her earnings to Social Security taxes. The working mom who may lack the means to stay-home would earn no additional Social Security benefits despite thousands of dollars in tax payments. Working moms would rightly view this as unjust favoritism for those who stay home.

Peace in the Mommy Wars begins with government neutrality. Instead of funding programs or providing tax incentives, policymakers should free women to follow their own preferences. Lower, flatter taxes, for instance, would benefit all mothers. The after-tax pay of stay-at-homers spouses would increase. Working moms would also have Rmore money to purchase childcare or cut back on hours.

NOW says it wants society to respect women's choices, whether to stay-at-home or to work. It should start by advocating freedom, not social engineering.

Carrie Lukas is the director of policy at the Independent Women's Forum.

Copyright 2006

National Post - Canada

The mean T-shirt: From the Stupid Factory
Todd Goldman says his popular boy-bashing T-shirts are simply funny.

So why are retailers having second thoughts?

The National Post, Georgie Binks, Saturday Post, May 29, 2004

Three teenaged girls, ponytails swinging, riffle through the T-shirts at a Bluenotes clothing store in Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre. They giggle when they spy a T-shirt with the words, "Boys Are Stupid, Throw Rocks at Them" emblazoned on the front. Lisa Sanzo, 16, shakes her head, "They're pretty stupid, kind of childish. I would never buy one."

LA Chain Agrees to Pull 'Boys are Stupid' T-Shirts After Storm of Protest from His Side Listeners

Men's News Daily
January 6, 2004

The campaign began Sunday evening at 9 PM, and by 9 AM the next morning, it was all over.

Men's and fathers' issues radio talk show host Glenn Sacks declared a campaign against Tilly's clothing store, which sells T-shirts which say "Boys Are Stupid, Throw Rocks at Them" , during the Sunday, January 4 broadcast of His Side with Glenn Sacks in Los Angeles and Seattle. The shirts depict a little boy running away as several rocks come flying at his head.

The next morning Tilly's, which has 32 locations in Southern California, was deluged with angry e-mails and phone calls. Sam Mendelsohn, Tilly's Senior Vice President, issued a statement Monday morning saying he had "immediately instructed the removal of merchandise in question [throw rocks] from all locations." Mendelsohn expressed his "sincere apologies regarding the merchandise." Read More ..

National Post

The mean T-shirt: From the Stupid Factory

Todd Goldman says his popular boy-bashing T-shirts are simply funny.

So why are retailers having second thoughts?  Read More ..