“Real Social Advances”

Are there any conservative intellectuals writing now, even the most Paleolithic of all the cons, who argue that the removal of female employment barriers was an unmitigatedly bad thing? Here’s Ross Douthat in Crunchy Cons:

“Conservatives have to concede that the decline in family stability is linked to real social advances, like the removal of barriers that kept women out of the workplace. Few people [who exactly, besides, like, the Amish? – MK] would advocate returning to that era when women didn’t have that choice, but few can deny that it’s taken its toll on family stability. Now we’ve gotten to the point economically where going to work is not so much a choice for many women as it is a requirement.”

So for Ross here we have women-in-the-workplace as a mixed blessing, emphasis on the blessing. Have most of us in America, at least, made it there, or are there silent holdouts circling the gates (or their mother’s basements) who don’t acknowledge the benefits of this state of things — just as there are right-wing, Trump-emboldened holdouts who don’t believe racial integration has been a mixed blessing?

Was Ross even right to say that female mobility endangers family stability? Do we really need to grapple with this? Or are the drawbacks of near-full female employment to be construed differently, if at all?


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