On those days when I am bemoaning the state of the political climate in Wisconsin (which hopefully is moving back toward being progressive), all I have to do is look towards Idaho to get some perspective.
A friend on an email list who lives in Idaho shared a news story with us that still leaves my jaw hanging down. This week a committee in one of their state houses killed a measure to enstate minimum safety requirements for daycares. Why, might one ask, would anyone not want to see even minimal standards for the places where thousands of little kids spend their days? Well, several members of the committee felt very strongly that mothers should be home with their chldren and that no child should ever have to go to a daycare. Because their belief in the premise of "the woman's place is in the home" was so strong, they killed legislation to create minimum safety standards for daycares!!
Now usually I work in my life to extent curiosity - to set my judgments aside until I learn more - well, its a little hard to do here as it seems to me a leap of logic that spans the width of the Grand Canyon was made here.
Hmm, if we have substandard daycare, goes the logic, than moms won't want to send their kids and they'll stay home with them and we'll fulfill our "American dream" of the little woman at home with the kids.
I'm quite sure that will work wonderfully for
*single moms who have to work to house, clothe and feed their children - if they stayed "home" with them, home could end up being a homeless shelter.
*two working parents trying to make ends meet.
*women who know they parent better when other parts of their lives are fulfilled too.
There's nothing classist or sexist in this decision is there?
My "favorite" quote from the article was from a Representative who said that he felt children who weren't home with their mothers all day would be harmed by the experience of the separation. Sure, the kids in daycares might be harmed - not from the experience of being away from mom during the day - rather from the potentially hazardous conditions in the daycare.