During the 2012 election we heard about “Julia,” the woman who benefited from government programs or more specifically from President Obama being in office. What we didn’t hear (because Republicans failed to make the case) was the harm that big government does to women.
From Carrie Lukas at Huffington Post:
So what really stands in the way of women achieving that holy grail of work-family balance? Ill-conceived government policies shoulder part of the blame. Government imposes a wide-variety of regulations and policies that limit the employment opportunities available for women. Most of these are done in the name of protecting workers, but they can backfire by making it more difficult and expensive for businesses to offer jobs, particularly flexible work arrangements. The good news is that, unlike so many of the other factors that complicated this issue, these policies can change.
Consider the Fair Labor Standards Act, a law that was enacted in 1938. FSLA’s rules for pay, hours, and worker classifications may have made sense during the Great Depression, but it is out-of-date today, leaving the work-world much less flexible than it should be.
Technologies that allow at-home work–for workers to respond to email, participate in conference calls, and complete computer-based tasks–have been a boon for professional workers who are exempt from FLSA’s requirements and are on salary. Parents who need to stay home with sick children or want to be at home for after-school hours have the ability to complete work tasks later in the evening from home.
I’ve always said that techonology has done more for women than feminists ever have. New techonologies in housekeeping (washing machines, prepared foods, vacuums, etc.) gave women the freedom to work outside the home. New techonologies in telecommuting and entrepreneurship (Etsy, internet, Skype, etc.) gave women more choices for working from anywhere and at any time. All feminists have done is work with government bureaucrats to limit women’s choices.