29 March 2011

June Cleaver, I am not. Despite my demographics.

I'm the June Cleaver that the Conservatards are targeting. (I don't know how to link to a tweet, but that's what I saw twice this morning).

Okay, first and most important: Income splitting would help my family ENORMOUSLY. We'd pay far less tax if we could split my husband's income with my non-existent income. But so what? We can afford to pay the tax we're paying now. Many people can't afford to pay for daycare, so the mom (usually the mom) stays home. The family makes far less than they otherwise would, and the family suffers. So Harper says, "let's give them a tax break so it doesn't hurt so much". Well, okay... but there's clearly a better way. In Harper's plan, the family still can't afford for one parent to work. The choice is made for them by circumstance. Giving families universal daycare would allow for parents who want to work to be able to do so, and parents like me, who'd rather stay home*, can choose to stay home. Add income splitting to that, and I'd be thrilled, but hey, you can't have it all. Mind you, I think that if there were universal daycare, a lot fewer families would have only one employed parent, and there'd be less income splitting needed. But that's just a guess.

Second, and less importantly, I am getting REALLY sick and tired of having my choice to stay home be denigrated by feminists. I don't know one single SAHM who is at home because that's what her husband wants or that's what's expected of her by the patriarchy. Every one of us that *I* know, stays home because (1) she can't find a job that pays more than daycare costs; (2) she can't find a job, period; (3) there is no room in any of the daycares; (4) her kids are special needs kids. And I know one whose husband makes so much money**, she said, "I'd be stealing someone else's job for no good reason. And besides, I like being at home with the kids." You know, here we are, trying like hell to do what's right for us, for our kids, and everywhere I turn in the feminist world, I get June Cleaver shots thrown at me. As one of my favourite bloggers says, "Fokk that in the ear!" How about instead of tearing us down, give us some credit. We're not vapid dupes of the patriarchy, most of us. Of course, there are exceptions. But I tell you what, there are at least as many of them in the workforce. Do you see the high heels in offices?

* I'd rather have a safe daycare situation, but even with universal daycare, that'd be unlikely given my son's conditions. I'm choosing to stay home to look after him in a way that no one else reasonably can. I am extremely privileged to have this choice.

** Seriously. Dude. You should *see* their house. OMFG.