Idaho State Rep. Charlie Shepherd said he opposed a bill (H. 226) that would have provided nearly $6 million for early childhood education programs because it might allow mothers to go to work instead of forcing them to be homeschooling housewives.
I don’t think anybody does a better job than mothers in the home, and any bill that makes it easier or more convenient for mothers to come out of the home, and let somebody else raise their child, I just don’t think that’s a good direction for us to be going in.
That bill failed yesterday on a 34-36 vote. (Though it may come up again in a different form.)
Still, the point is that Shepherd decided his faith-based, archaic, misogynistic view of women — as stay-at-home moms who have no business working if that means sending their kids to daycare or public school — should guide the state. And 35 of his Republican colleagues joined him in killing that bill.
He wasn’t the only one echoing these concerns either:
Some representatives expressed the belief that home, rather than in childcare or preschool, was the best place for young children. Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, described overhearing a group of women discussing mothers “forced to remain home” to care for their children.
“You mean mothers raising their children?” Ehardt said she asked upon hearing this. “Have we gotten to the point that it is so denigrating and such a hardship for a mother that decides to remain home with their children that we have to disparage that?”
Those Republicans don’t seem to understand that some people can’t get by on just one income — or that school and daycare can actually be beneficial for these kids in a way that can’t be duplicated at home. That’s what happens when your party is stuck in the 1950s.
Shepherd, by the way, was elected last November (in an unopposed race) after narrowly winning a Republican primary on the strength of his self-description as someone who believes in “strong Christian and traditional family values.”
In practice, that apparently means doing as little as possible to help working women send their children back to school.
(via Boing Boing)