Social media has been on fire this week with “news” sites reporting that President Obama does not want mothers to have the choice to be stay-at-home moms. Each bit of “news” is accompanied by a sound clip of Obama saying this clearly and simply.
Here’s the clip that is circulated by faux journalism sites and extremely partisan “news” stations:
While it is still a stretch that Obama is “against” stay-at-home moms from this clip alone, that is what is being pushed by those who wish to turn stay-at-home mothers and those of us who had stay-at-home mothers against President Obama.
So that some can have a more unbiased view without the pushed filter of ignorance, here is the actual speech with the clip in context. It is a tad longer than the 30 second clip that is selectively circulated by “Obama’s War On Women” sites and blowhard pundits.
Here are the points that led up to the famous misquote that so many appropriated without checking the facts:
1. Millions of Americans don’t feel the effects of the recovering economy in their own lives.
2. We have to reverse the erosion of middle class job income, especially in working families.
3. Obama wants to insure that women are equal participants in the economy, especially because he was raised by a struggling single mother who worked hard.
4. Prior to this speech, he spoke with a group of women to hear their viewpoint.
5. The catch 22 of being working parents can be the balance between parenting well and doing a job well. It is our job to make sure we realize this and make policies that enable women (the crowd he’s addressing) succeed since half the work force is currently female.
6. Laws that govern women in the workplace are outdated and need to be revised to accommodate families, sick children, sick parents. “Paid family leave” is the topic considering the laws in Rhode Island.
7. Women often can have no leave for maternity, sick children, sick family. That’s not the way it should be, it’s not good for the economy.
8. Child care, day care, and childhood education should not cost an arm and a leg. Unfortunately, parents don’t always get the best choice in this matter because of sheer cost and employment arrangements, forcing moms have to have to choose to earn better money to pay for hard-to-afford childcare OR to stay at home so that children have better care but earn less money as a result. As a result of their unpaid leave, they are relegated to the part of the workforce that cannot recognize full income potential. THAT IS NOT THE CHOICE HE WANTS THEM TO HAVE TO MAKE.
9. Better preschools, family leave, better childcare policies, and better pay for women make the economy stronger.
There is no evidence or statement that says Obama does not want stay-at-home mothers to have to make the choice to stay at home – as if that even makes sense as a statement to make in a speech!
If you heard anything other than that stay-at-home mothers should earn better pay, have better choices for child care and education, and be treated fairly and respectfully in the workplace, then you were hoodwinked. Evaluate your biases. Look for the truth and do not accept FaceBook and Twitter links as truth. A 30 second sound bite is a dangerous thing in the hands of the prejudiced and hate-filled. Let’s be better citizens. Let’s no longer perpetuate hate of one man or set of ideas because it seems popular. We should exercise stronger faith. Furthermore, let’s end time-wasting gossip and pursue truth and better policies to honor our neighbor as we would ourselves.