when i was in college i turned up my nose at Woolf's A Room of Their Own. i thought it was classist, elitist and bourgeois.
ah, youth. now i reread it and, yes, it's still so very British Public School, but the main point of Woolf's essay is still important: women require economic autonomy and fiscal stability to have the lives they want (and need) in order to support themselves, as well as those who depend on them.
when poverty strikes (and, these days, it's striking more and more often) women are particularly vulnerable. as the traditional caretakers within communities, we juggle children, jobs, healthcare, and education needs; poverty makes it more difficult to shoulder those responsibilities. poor women, in essence, need to be superhuman just to make a few frayed ends meet. but this isn't a situation that just affects poor women, or women making below $15k/year. this is now a reality for middle class women. wages are flat, industries are shrinking and working mothers and women still aren't being paid what men in our same positions are making. basically, if you're a woman, economic instability is a very real possibility.
in this primary season, the conversation around economic issues has been presented as a white, male, middle class issue - or a white, male, blue collar issue.
where are women in this issue? what are our economic concerns? what are our needs? what are our burdens?
well, now you have a chance to share what those concerns are.
the AFL-CIO and Working America has launched the 2008 Ask a Working Woman Survey; they are looking for women to take this survey. you can check it out on the ALF-CIO news blog here or take the survey directly here.
i think survey results will be available next month so go do it!