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Feminists are MIA as anti-science school closings slam women

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Feminists are MIA as anti-science school closings slam women

Where are all the feminists when women need them?

The US jobs numbers for December were grim: 140,000 jobs were lost amid new lockdowns across the country. But the gender breakdown of the losses was stunning. As the National Women’s Law Center notes, “Although net jobs lost hit 140,000 nationwide, women lost 156,000 jobs while men actually gained 16,000.”

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. 

In New York City, middle- and high-schoolers who attend public school haven’t seen the inside of a classroom since November. 

Women are left to pick up the slack. For all the conversations over the years about the lack of child care to help women have successful careers and be good mothers, nothing has been as crippling to their careers as the, poof, disappearance of schools.

And though some outlets have lamented the crisis for women, they often pay short shrift to the chief culprit: closed schools. 

The New York Times just ran several pieces about the struggles of mothers but largely avoided the schools, paying lip service to them in a paragraph (inserted only in an update) that called for more janitors and counselors. Please: Schools don’t need more janitors to open.

The Times also blamed men for not picking up slack. But many dads do a great job of helping out. My own husband stepped up in a significant way since the pandemic began. But there’s only one “Mooooooooom” in the house, and she’s the one who has to stop working and tend to her kids. 

The feminist magazine Ms. has barely touched the topic of shuttered schools except when it was used to criticize the Donald Trump administration for daring to push for their opening. In July the magazine quoted National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, who urged parents to “under no circumstances take medical advice from Donald Trump or Betsy DeVos, especially when it comes to the health of your children.” 

In December, Ms. featured a piece that did note that school closures are “having devastating effects on gender equity.” But instead of arguing for their opening, the piece argues for the closing of businesses. 

A Morning Consult poll in December, which asked 2,200 Americans their feelings on the year 2020, found that life worsened for women on every single level. 

Their mental health suffered, their personal finances took a hit, they saw a loss of job security and a decrease in take-home pay, their physical health and personal life suffered and they felt a negative work-life balance. 

True, things weren’t great for men either. But at least they had a net positive in their personal life and work-life balance. And their negatives in other areas were minimal. 

This should be feminism’s moment. Activists on behalf of women should be screaming their heads off that we must follow the science and open schools. 

They can note that it’s only public schools in large American cities that have decided to forgo schooling: Private schools are largely open in these places, public schools are open in nearby suburbs and schools are open in cities around the world. 

Instead, these supposed champions for women sit silently by as moms crumble in the face of all that is expected of them. A real pro-woman movement would urge action. That action begins with opening our schools.

Twitter: @Karol

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Opinion

NYC district attorneys’ bogus gesture on subway safety

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NYC district attorneys' bogus gesture on subway safety

The city’s district attorneys say they’ll prosecute spitting on transit workers, but not smoking weed or urinating in the subway — which shows how clueless the prosecutors are about what makes it dangerous underground.

The DAs were showing support for a state bill to make saliva-assaults easier to prosecute. “Spitting on someone is disgusting, especially despicable during this hazardous time where it can lead to very serious health consequences,” said Bronx DA Darcel Clark said.

Clark, Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez and the others want to make spitting or other forms of aggravated harassment against transit workers punishable by up to one year behind bars, with evidence from civilian witnesses (not just cops) being sufficient. It’s an interesting position, after the DAs have done so much to make the subways more perilous.

Asked if the tougher law would bring the mentally ill and homeless into the criminal-justice system, Clark called it a “citywide problem that we need to come to grips with.” In other words, the greater good matters more.

Yet Manhattan DA Cy Vance and most others now refuse to prosecute fare-evaders, arguing that the cost of a MetroCard swipe is too low to justify wasting the resources. Hauling public urinators before a judge is out of fashion now, too.  

Problem is, small disorders beget large ones: Public chaos is an open invitation to serious criminals, and a license to act out against other citizens. As these low-level violations have increasingly gone unenforced and unpunished, commuters have seen the subways (and the streets) grow more dangerous and greater disorder in the system.

The rising number of assaults on MTA workers is just one result — and it won’t actually be fixed by the targeted law the DAs deign to support.

The Transport Workers Union should laugh at this supposed favor: A promise to prosecute one isolated set of crimes won’t reduce the growing dangers in their workplace. For that, they need a law-enforcement system that once again puts public safety first for everyone.

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Liberals are pushing us fast back to the bad, old days

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Liberals are pushing us fast back to the bad, old days

When public policies have produced disastrous results, and when alternative policies have resulted in immediate, seemingly miraculous improvement, why would anyone want to go back to the earlier policies?

The earlier policies — a pullback from active policing and certain punishment, an open-handed welfare system providing income for single mothers — were put in place in the 1960s, within living memory of some of us. The intentions were good. It was a time of high hopefulness that America’s shameful history of racial discrimination and mistreatment were over.

The public accommodations and employment sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, controversial when passed, were more successful than even their most enthusiastic advocates dared to expect. The justifiably draconian measures of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 resulted almost immediately in full enfranchisement of black Americans.

Some sought more advances. As violent crime rates rose alarmingly among the blacks who had been streaming into cities for 25 years, prison populations actually declined, and police in major cities were reined in. As national unemployment rates fell, births to unwed mothers and welfare dependency rose. In the decade from 1965 to 1975, violent crime and welfare dependency, both heavily concentrated among blacks, nearly tripled — tripled.

For two more decades, crime and welfare dependency remained at the same high levels, sometimes zooming higher. Only with the work-required welfare reform of Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin and the active policing pioneered by Rudy Giuliani in New York in the 1990s did the numbers come sharply down.         

Left behind were central-city neighborhoods with burnt-out houses and empty lots; empty and bombed-out storefronts; downtowns and entertainment districts abandoned and boarded up. 

Now it looks like we’re starting the same cycle again. The death of a suspect in Minneapolis last May led to a resurgence of Black Lives Matter “mostly peaceful” protests (“mostly peaceful” means “often violent”) and an even sharper rise in murders than after the BLM movement emerged following the 2014 Ferguson, Mo., incident.

Murders were up about 30 percent in 2020. Police departments are being defunded, effective crime-stopping procedures banned, criminal penalties reduced and low-dollar burglaries left unprosecuted.

We know where such policies led before. Is there any reason this time will be different?

Soft-on-crime policies were exacerbated by a surge in the number of children raised without fathers by mothers on welfare from 1965 to 1995. Reform, first by Thompson in Wisconsin and then by Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton in the 1996 welfare bill, required mothers to work.

Social workers’ focus was changed from handing out more checks to helping moms get and hold jobs. The results: Welfare rolls plummeted; teen births plunged; kids raised by working moms did better in school and in life. 

Liberals have tried to stealthily roll back the reforms. They’ve been joined by some cultural conservatives, worried about population decline and eager to encourage potential parents with modest educational credentials and skills.

These include Sen. Mitt Romney, who supports a child allowance that is fully refundable — which is to say that government will send a check to parents, married or unmarried, who have no income-tax liability to offset. His and other proposals have a high cutoff, so affluent parents wouldn’t get anything.

Conservative supporters worry about the nation’s birth rates, sharply down since the 2007-08 financial crisis and even lower in 2020, and point out that many young people tell pollsters they’d like more children than they end up having. The fear is that America would end up like Japan, with an elderly population, a stagnant economy and stunted innovation.

A version of this, limited to one year, has been inserted in the “COVID relief” bill of President Biden’s administration. A single parent with two kids, working or not, could qualify for $7,200 a year plus $6,400 in food stamps. Advocates argue recipients would keep working because benefits wouldn’t be reduced by wages earned.

Mickey Kaus, renegade liberal blogger, argues that that’s nonsense. A “large subset of recipients will go from one worker to zero workers.” That means “millions of kids growing up in fatherless homes, where nobody goes into the labor force, where the mainstream world of employment is a foreign country.”

Past experience says he’s right and that, as with high crime, the people most hurt will be black Americans. I can’t see any reason this time will be different, and I look ahead with dread.

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Opinion

Letters to the Editor — March 6, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — March 6, 2021

The Issue: Gov. Cuomo’s acknowledgment of sexual-harassment claims against him from three women.

In his press conference where he addressed the sexual-harassment allegations, Gov. Cuomo seems to have adopted former President Bill Clinton’s “I never had sex with that woman” approach with his equally ill-advised statement (“ ‘I never touched anyone inappropriately,’ ” March 4).

The Post’s front-page photo appears to clearly contradict that statement, as the governor has a vice-like grip on the throat of a horrified-looking Anna Ruch.

Former aide Charlotte Bennett also contradicts his statement that he was unaware that his behavior was causing discomfort, since she filed a formal complaint with top administration officials.

In retrospect, he probably should have listened to the lawyers who advised against discussing it.

Anthony Scro
Whitestone

Cuomo is a lawyer and was the state attorney general.

In addition, sexual-harassment laws and mandated training have been in place for decades.

For him to claim ignorance about his actions is unfathomable. If anything, his comments reveal that he is definitely unfit as a leader.

Jim Glaab
Elmsford

Cuomo’s “apology,” if you can call it that, was an Emmy-winning performance.

The cracking voice, the manufactured tears and the absurd claim that he didn’t realize his actions would be taken the way they were by the women who were the recipients of his disgusting behavior was nothing more than political theater.

The bigger apology needs to be made to the family members who lost their loved ones as a result of his heinous nursing-home decision. That apology should be made when he announces that he is resigning as governor.

Robert DiNardo
Farmingdale

It’s about time Cuomo gets his just deserts.

While these sexual-harassment allegations are very serious, please do not forget about the thousands of nursing-home deaths. I don’t trust the feds to investigate the “king.”

Thank you to The Post and Bernadette Hogan for keeping his feet to the fire.

Mary Harkins
Manhattan

The expression on Ruch’s face as Cuomo grabbed her head in both his hands suggests that she thought of him as something other than “a cool dude in a loose mood,” as he has described himself.

He claimed: “Sometimes I think I am being playful. I never inappropriately touched anybody, and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable.” But one look at Ruch’s reaction makes it unmistakably clear that she felt he was inappropriately touching her, in a way that definitely made her uncomfortable.

Perhaps Cuomo really believes you can fool almost all people almost all the time with Emmy-award winning fast talk.

Julia Lutch
Davis, Calif.

The front-page picture of Cuomo holding this poor girl’s neck is worth a thousand words.

For him to say: “I never touched anyone inappropriately” is just an outright lie — something he excels at lately. This consummate actor, with his phony apologies and crocodile tears, makes me sick and fools no one.

Do you want to know who really is crying? All of the families who lost loved ones last year after his mandate condemning senior citizens to horrific death.

Mike Pedano
South Farmingdale

Cuomo is in a tailspin. He has portrayed himself as hyper-sensitive to women’s issues in the past, when he suggested that then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh take a polygraph to prove his innocence.

He also apparently intervened when he perceived an inappropriate relationship between his daughter and a state trooper.

Add to this writing a book that lauded his leadership skills during the pandemic, along with receiving an Emmy for his televised daily briefings. One has to wonder what his publisher and his adoring fans are thinking now.

Phil Serpico
Queens

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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