June 20, 2011
F & F”s Glenn Sacks debated the new dad-bashing ‘Married Single Moms” survey on MSNBC Live on Friday, June 17. The survey’s promoters, ForbesWoman.com and TheBump.com, claim in their highly-publicized press release that many mothers feel their husbands do so little that, though married, they’re really like single mothers who have to do all the work. To watch the debate, click here. In the show’s opening we’re told that 92% of mothers feel “overwhelmed” and 70% resent their husbands. Alison Bernstein, Senior Editor of TheBump.com, then explained that “even working moms feel like they’re taking the majority of work on their shoulders.” Sacks replied with three points:
1) Studies have repeatedly shown that when both work in the home and work in the job market are counted, men contribute at least as much work to their homes as women do. Sacks has detailed this research in the past in columns in the Chicago Tribune here, World Net Daily here, and others.
2) Re: Bernstein’s complaint “even working mom feel like they’re taking the majority of work on their shoulders,” even comparing men and women who both work fulltime, men still work an average of eight hours a week more than women do.
3) In the social science field the kind of survey MSNBC is promoting is known as a “SLOP’–a Self-selected Listener Opinion Poll. SLOPs are a widely discredited methodology, because generally the people who take the time to fill out the survey are those who have a reason to be angry–exactly the response the “Married Single Moms’ survey promoters claim its survey revealed. This data cannot be credibly applied to the average mother or family.
In response, Bernstein changed her position, stating that the survey isn’t about “pitting moms and dads against each other.” This is a far cry from her organization’s press release, which announced in all caps that “Both working and stay-at-home moms feel like a ‘married single mom’,” and that mothers’ “feelings of resentment dominate.” Sacks later noted:
One thing that’s missing in all this regarding the stay-at-home moms who feel like “married single moms” is gratitude that they had the chance when their kids were young to spend that time with their kids. I’m one of the few men who actually had that chance. For the first couple years of my daughter’s life I had a chance to stay home with my baby daughter and my son. It was the greatest experience of my life.
I have my whole life to work but I only had a couple years to be with my kids when they were young. Yes, there’s stress being a stay at home parent, I had it too, but there’s also a hell of a lot of good there.
Bernstein responded that “women are absolutely grateful, we heard from our audience who are completely grateful…” This again is quite a change–there is no hint of this alleged “gratitude” in their press release nor in her statement in the beginning of the segment. To watch the MSNBC Live video, click here.