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Divisive Recession

August 6, 2010
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If you could read Kirk’s mind, he’d be saying Yes Charlie, that’s a girl. Right after Charlie (ST:TOS Episode 2 Charlie X), a raging-hormonal adolescent, sees a girl for the first time, and Kirk just smiles. But if you had to pick from his quotes maybe it would be this one; Worlds may change, galaxies disintegrate, but a woman always remains a woman (ST:TOS The Conscience of the King).
CNNMoney has this article on the effects of the recession: women more optimistic than men about finances. Maybe it really should say men more pessimistic than women. But you know, clearly men are the norm. As for explanation they throw aside a quote from a professional and cite this paper with their title of the unemployment rate for men has risen faster than for women.
Charts in that paper show that overall recessions have affected men more clearly than women. Men’s unemployment peaks at much higher levels.
But then this previous graph shows you how men have consistently been more than the majority in the workplace for thirty years now.
It seems logical to me that if men are the “norm” and more than the majority in the workplace, their jobs would be the most effected by economic downturns. Women, who are less likely to be employed period, are still a subset of the employment population. It also seems likely to me that since the unemployment rate affects only those who are “actively looking for work” during the first x months of their unemployment, it might not include women who couldn’t get a job and decided to stay at home, watch the kids, and wait out the downturn. Since men don’t stay at home and watch the kids, even when they lose their jobs, they’re probably overrepresented in the government’s unemployment numbers. But framing the story this way lets angry men blame women for still being employed. Even though, I don’t see too many men lining up to be secretaries or social workers or teachers. Sort of like blaming immigrants for taking all our fruit picking jobs when there’s an obvious lack of citizens who would like employment in the migrant farm industry. That’s why I love this site, Take Our Jobs: it raises the issue of how much of our nation’s food supply is picked/grown/cultivated by undocumented workers who can not get citizenship. This site connects unemployed citizens who would like to work in this industry to jobs. I wonder how much interest it’s getting. I’m going to bet not a lot.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2010 8:25 pm

    The other thing is that this completely ignores the fact that, if the man is the only wage earner in the family, the rest of the family is affected by the fact that they have difficulty getting a job. The family he may be supporting is invisible in the numbers and therefore assumed to be unaffected. So men may directly be affected more than women, but I wonder how things would balance out if one has to look at indirect impacts as well.I had an argument about the whole farm worker thing with someone this weekend, and it only made me crabby. I just get the sense that it is easier to point fingers at those who are helpless than to try to deal with the powers that be. Of course, I'm also in a farming area where a lot of people actually would rather be farming, but because of the farm bust in the 80s, a lot of people were forced to leave family farms and move to cities to find work. Not that any of that is the results of migrant workers…

  2. August 6, 2010 8:47 pm

    Agreed. You make an excellent point about indirect impact almost always being overlooked. And good point about migrant farm workers often being the scapegoats. I suspect the Americans who want to return to farming are unwilling to work at the wages and working conditions of the migrant farm workers. And that's more of the problem than the workers themselves.

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