New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz has been leading the charge in New York media to get schools reopened. All of her research and campaigning and networking have led her to an important question:
“Where are all the feminists when women need them?”
In a new op-ed, “Feminists are MIA as anti-science school closings brutally slam women,” Markowicz took a look at the recently posted job numbers that showed the U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in December. According to the National Women’s Law Center, Markowicz noted, “women lost 156,000 jobs while men actually gained 16,000.”
One of the leading factors in female unemployment, the writer said, is the fact that tens of millions of children are stuck at home as state and local governments buckle to teachers’ unions’ demands and refuse to reopen classrooms.
For example, in New York City, tens of thousands of middle and high school students who go to public school have not been in a classroom since November, when the district was offering part-time in-person instruction. This despite the fact that Gotham prioritized teachers for the COVID vaccine — at the behest of the unions — in order to get classrooms reopened. Yet the teachers have refused to go back full-time, and United Federation of Teachers is threatening that the schools might not even be able to reopen full-time by September.
And who is bearing the economic brunt of teachers’ recalcitrance? Markowicz asked rhetorically.
Yet feminists are nowhere to be found:
Even more female workers may have felt forced to “voluntarily” give up their jobs to be home looking after kids exiled from their school buildings at the behest of powerful teachers’ unions. Oh, and as CNN reports, the job losses hit black and Hispanic women disproportionately. Feminists are supposed to care about minorities, along with women, aren’t they?
The giant, roof-busting elephant in the room: Women have been hit especially hard by the pandemic in large part because school, in many major American cities, has all but ceased to exist. And yet that deafening sound no one hears is the tragic silence of a feminist movement that has chosen to side with teachers’ unions instead of with women throughout the country who are bearing the brunt of these school closures.
When kids have to be home, the workload of child care, meal preparation and playing Zoom Sherpa lands squarely on moms. Some kids attend schools that have been closed for in-person learning since March. Other kids, the lucky ones, attend schools operating on an extremely truncated schedule, one to three days a week.
Markowicz’s stance is backed up by more than just the recent jobs numbers. A recently published Gallup survey showed the impact school closures have had on unemployment. The report revealed that parents of students learning remotely are more than twice as likely to be either working only part-time or unemployed as the parents of students who are in the classroom full-time.
The survey found that a clear majority (57%) of women with kids in school full-time are employed full-time, while just over a third (38%) of women with kids learning remotely are employed full-time. Moms with kids stuck at home are far more likely to be employed only part-time, unemployed, or out of the labor force altogether.
Right or wrong, feminists are often characterized as shrieking whenever they detect even the slightest affront to women. So where are they now? Markowicz wants to know.
“This should be feminism’s moment,” she wrote. “Activists on behalf of women should be screaming their heads off that we must follow the science and open schools.”
But no, they’re not daring to take a stand, demonstrating once again that the feminist movement is selectively pro-woman.
“These supposed champions for women sit silently by as moms crumble in the face of all that is expected of them,” Markowicz concluded. “A real pro-woman movement would urge action. That action begins with opening our schools.”