THE SHRIVER REPORT

Maria Shriver is making the rounds in the media promoting her newly released year-long report (an exhaustive report, about 400 pages) titled "The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Changes Everything." She did the research with the help of the Center for American Progress -- a liberal think tank -- NBC, and Time magazine. Her report was meant to be released alongside the Time cover story I wrote about last week -- titled "The State of the American Woman." The report includes an epilogue from Oprah and other left-wing contributors. I have no doubt this report will fall in the President's hands -- and he and Michelle will salivate over it. Then they'll get busy changing America.

This is very important information you need to know about. Here are some blurbs from the report, written by John Podesta, former chief of staff under Bill Clinton and President of the Center for American Progress (CAP):

When we look back over the 20th century and try to understand what’s happened to workers and their families and the challenges they now face, the movement of women out of the home and into paid employment stands out as a unique and powerful transformation. Unlike the America our parents still remember and even helped to build, today:

• Moms aren’t home all day caring for younger children, waiting for the cable guy or to pick up the kids from school, yet quality child care and flexible hours at work are in short supply.

• Workplaces are no longer the domain of men. The last remnants of those days can scarcely be found at all, save on episodes of “Mad Men” or on “Leave it to Beaver” reruns. Women now comprise half the workers on employers’ payrolls. And while men and women still tend to work in different kinds of jobs, most workers under 40 have never known a workplace without women bosses and women colleagues.


• Schools still let kids out in the afternoon, long before the workday ends, and they shut their doors for three months during the summer, even though the majority of families with children are supported by a single working parent or a dual-earning couple.


• Most workers—men and women—now have family responsibilities they negotiate daily with their spouses, family members, bosses, colleagues, and employees. But it is still a rare doctor’s office that is open evenings or weekends, even though so many people work at all hours in our 24/7 economy.

Women becoming primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners changed everything. But, even though we were all witness to this phenomenon’s slow emergence over many years, these changes seem somehow to have snuck up on us. As a result, our policy landscape remains stuck in an idealized past, where the typical family was composed of a married-for-life couple with a full-time breadwinner and full-time homemaker who raised the children herself.

Government policies and laws continue to rely on an outdated model of the American family. And, despite the existence of innovative practices in corporate America, most employers fail to acknowledge or accommodate the daily juggling act their workers perform, they are oblivious to the fact that their employees are now more likely to be women, and they ignore the fact that men now share in domestic duties.


Slow, too, have been our institutions of faith in recognizing this transformation of male-female dynamics at a time when increasingly urgent lives make spiritual support more needed—and, perhaps, less available—than ever before. And the media present flawed images of the real challenges women face, embracing glamour, power, and sex while ignoring the daily struggle to raise children and pay bills. At one level, everything has changed. And yet so much more change is needed.

This report contemplates what a new America should look like after we finally embrace this important new dynamic in our lives and the changes it has caused in our homes and businesses. At CAP, our work builds upon the progressive ideals of leaders who brought needed change to our national life, people such as Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Jane Addams, and Martin Luther King. We draw from the great social movements of the 20th century, from labor rights and worker safety to civil rights and women’s suffrage.


“A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything” is work in the best tradition of those ideals. It flips a switch in our culture, sparking a collective acknowledgement of the interdependence of men and women today. With that switch we hope will come changes in the collective mindset of our government, business, faith institutions, our culture, media, and most importantly, men and women. Embracing these new dynamics and sparking new conversations is what “A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything” is all about.


There is so much that is wrong with this report that I can't possibly cover it in one blog, so I will be covering it piecemeal over the coming weeks. Each day, starting tomorrow, I will be debunking the myths of The Shriver Report -- aka The Feminist Report -- and providing details this report doesn't offer.

Until tomorrow...

2 Responses to “THE SHRIVER REPORT”:

  1. I can't wait. Going to be very interesting.

    I am a child of the 50's..Mom home, dad only breadwinner. I also married, and raised two children the same way. Wife stayed home, I was the bread winner.

    See Ya

  2. Terro says:

    I also grew up in the 50's with Dad at work and Mom at home with six kids...until I was 13. But I can never remember a time when Dad wasn't helping Mom with house cleaning (he did the bathroom), repairs, and being an active parent (if not playmate).

    I juggled work (mostly part time, sometimes in the middle of the night) with three kids and my husband, and I see my youngest daughter doing the same with her family. I remember my mother speaking of how her mother took in laundry, crocheted and sewed to supplement her father's factory salary. My dad's mother raised nine kids and maintained a greenhouse and flower business to supplement her husband's monument business.

    When were women and men not interdependent? I think that age is now with the extreme rise of single motherhood. I have had many, many young women in my community college classes who are living life without a man's presence and help. The results are disastrous for them (stress) and their kids (undisciplined). That is certainly not progressive. I think Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Jane Addams, and Martin Luther King would be appalled. The "great social movements of the 20th century," particularly of the late 20th century, have on the whole not benefited families: mothers, children, or fathers seen as an interdependent whole.