By Bob Hoyt
Women now comprise more than half of most college student populations. The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that women make up about half of U.S. payrolls (49.3 percent as of Feb. 2012). One in five persons in our armed forces is female. There are nearly 100 women in the U.S. Congress. The Tennessee General Assembly is 18 percent female (most are Democratic).
More change is coming. Get used to it. Like it or not, the number of strictly male occupations is shrinking as the power of women increases. Women may still make less than men for the same work in some jobs, but that problem will level out.
Clownish mossbacks and political reactionaries still rant against birth control, but how long should we expect savvy women to accept a future that puts them neck deep in needy children while at the same time earning their daily bread and peanut butter? Roe v. Wade is safe for a while.
Will women stand against science? Forward-looking women may teach their children to seek beliefs that do not denigrate science. But there are still many fundamentalist women who trust the old beliefs more than modern science. They fight evolution and global warming with every weapon in the arsenal of misinformation. But their enlightened sisters are likely to prevail against the intimidating pecksniffs who want women uninformed, pregnant and near the pantry. There’s no good way to go back to such a regressive time.
How about women who are unwilling to accept the legitimacy of the Obama Presidency? They are led by the Tea Party and by bloviating moguls such as Donald Trump. Trump is no big respecter of women. Women may exile him to a penthouse in Trump Tower and tell him to be quiet or else to help them solve some real problems that ordinary people face every day.
Some women may become political wind-bags and pretend they are inherently superior to men, as some men still behave toward women. But today’s woman is pretty busy mothering, ironing out the Washington mess, bringing home the bacon and defending us. Those are not completely new roles for women but the trending line is upward. Call it evolution or call it change. Women don’t always want instructions from men. And female members of Congress especially don’t react kindly to being left off committees that involve reproduction and the health and welfare of families.
Men must improvise and adapt. Males are not in danger of soon becoming extinct. We are still useful now and then, but evolution is making daddy’s old world smaller and smaller while more ground is given to women who want their chance to be something other than mamas surrounded by herds of little cowboys. Some women may even want to run the world. Considering the mess that men sometimes make when they are in charge, the idea is worth serious consideration.
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This column represents alternative thoughts to other published columns in the Crossville Chronicle. "We the People" is published each Wednesday. Opinions expressed in "We the People" columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact John Wund, editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.