January 17, 2005

More On Women And Work

Ayelet Waldman, Allison Kaplan Sommer, and Mary Garth all have excellent posts on David Brooks' Times op-ed on women, work, and children. (And three blogs I really ought to read more!) One good point running throughout is that men should also have greater flexibility in being able to sequence their lives. That sounds about right. For various reasons, it's still very much expected that men will enter the workforce immediately and never leave. And while it's all well and good to say that men should spend more time child-rearing—and indeed, that's slowly starting to happen—but if you look at the latest BLS statistics, women still spend, on average, over twice as much time providing childcare as men do. Simply wishing that men will pick up the burden won't make it so; something substantial needs to change.

Later on, I'll try to respond to some of the comments to my "caretaker voucher" post below, but I see that I completely forgot to link to Anne Alstott's Boston Review article on the subject. (Which is sort of inexcusable, since I had a hand in working on it while I was at the magazine.) But here it is. She comes at it from a very different perspective, but the policy preference is the same.
-- Brad Plumer 4:52 PM || ||