My daughter will be 32 this summer, but she’s still my baby. I’m just so proud of her. Recently, she let me read a proposal she had written for academic research. I was astounded by her command of the English language and her ability to communicate an idea… especially since she had the disadvantage of a working mother most of her growing up years. Poor baby! It’s a wonder she can read at all.
All week long, I’ve listened to all-male panels discussing the latest Pew poll about working women and using it to justify their outdated, simplistic views. They make it sound like women are plotting the downfall of society.
No, bubba. All we’re trying to do is get by. Most women who work have little choice in the matter. That was certainly my case when I was faced with a terminally ill husband. And if women improve their lot and make more money than their husbands, more power to them! Most families must contend with rearing children and working to provide for them at the same time. These days, it’s all hands on deck to get the job done.
Now Gov. Bryant suggests our education problems in Mississippi are because women fled the home in droves for the workforce. Well, I guess that lets him off the hook for underfunding education and for failing to find ways to help children and families succeed. If he’s right, then all we need to do is “git” those women back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, and magically, our children will regain genius status.
Poverty, undereducated parents, poor family structures, addiction, poorly funded schools, poor quality educators… these are just some of the issues that are part of the complex puzzle of why our education system in Mississippi is so bad.
My daughter is a stable and successful contributing member of society. That is due, in large part, because of the example I set through my own work life. To suggest that working women undermine the education of their children is simple-minded and just plain ignorant. We’ve come a long way, baby! And our baby daughters have come a long way.
Governor, I’d like to propose another reason for the poor education of our children. Old men. Specifically, old men in leadership positions who can’t adjust to a new world. If we could just get more women in office leading the charge for our children, for our families, for our country, what a wonderful world it would be.
Educated children. Stable families. Who knows? Maybe even peace on earth.
Nancy Lottridge Anderson, Ph.D., CFA, is President of New Perspectives, Inc., in Ridgeland, 601-991-3158. She is also an Assistant Professor of Finance at Mississippi College. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and her website is www.newper.com.