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Miss Utah flubs answer

June 17th, 2013 | Posted by Annette in Perspectives

So it seems that Miss Utah totally flubbed her answer at the Miss USA pageant on Sun­day night. While it’s a shame (and I do feel bad for her) the ques­tion still mer­its an answer.

The ques­tion she was asked: 

“A recent report shows that in 40 per­cent of Amer­i­can fam­i­lies with chil­dren, women are the pri­mary earn­ers, yet they con­tinue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?”

This is a seri­ous issue, one which deserves attention.

What she should have said:

Num­ber 1. In order to answer that ques­tion, the type of jobs reported must be assessed. For exam­ple, a wait­ress will never earn as much money as a CEO–it doesn’t mat­ter how many hours are clocked. The report must be analysed to see what jobs women are work­ing in.

Num­ber 2. Edu­ca­tion is required for high pay­ing jobs. Cre­den­tials are not optional. Women who expect to earn a high wage must put in the same amount of prepa­ra­tion as a male coun­ter­part. Which brings us to the next point.

Num­ber 3. Soci­ety does not respect moth­er­hood. For that mat­ter, it does not respect chil­dren. Women who choose to stay at home to raise a fam­ily are seen as skill-less. And yet, the skills nec­es­sary to raise a fam­ily are all con­sum­ing. No one ever put on their job resume, “Three chil­dren raised to per­fec­tion.” That may sound like a bit of a joke, but the truth is, rais­ing chil­dren forces the devel­op­ment of vital skills, includ­ing an under­stand­ing of com­put­ers, child devel­op­ment, and the edu­ca­tion sys­tem. Fur­ther­more, it is impos­si­ble to run a house­hold with­out an under­stand­ing of man­age­ment. Even so, a resume out­lin­ing these skills–learned on the job as a mother–would be scoffed at by an employer. Instead soci­ety prefers to think of moth­ers as women who sit at home eat­ing bon bons while their chil­dren run amuck.

So what does this say about soci­ety? It says that we have a long way to go. We need to edu­cate, pre­pare, and respect women. We need to stop glo­ri­fy­ing the way women “look” and appre­ci­ate them for who they are: our moth­ers who taught us to read and write, our sis­ters who helped us with our geom­e­try home­work, our daugh­ters who look to us for edu­ca­tion, our cowork­ers, and pos­si­bly even our boss.

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2 Responses

  • Jessica Morrell says:

    This is beau­ti­ful! Its too bad that Miss Utah hadn’t read this before she was asked the ques­tion… But if she had given a rea­son­able answer, I guess that no one would have heard about it and those that had wouldn’t have thought twice about it. It’s sad the way that works out. I’m glad that I got to read such a great response here though! You are always such a won­der­ful writer!

  • Annette says:

    Jes­sica, such a good point! Had she not messed up, no one would care. Thanks for point­ing that out. :)

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