“At least there’s gonna be less rape now.”
That was the best “silving lining” that a friend of mine who has devoted her life to fighting for victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse gave me about the COVID-19 crisis this week.
But she quickly undercut it by pointing to escalating domestic violence and a ticking time bomb of revenge porn, given online dating is all the dating there is right now.
There are a lot of twists and turns of irony and fortune in a time like this that is upending everything, but it’s generally making life even worse for the underrepresented in society. The coronavirus itself hits men harder than it hits women. And yet, the efforts to contain it are definitely hitting women harder, as most of us feared.
Previously in this space, I’ve written about the test that the coronavirus would pose for all those men who claim to be part of the #NotAllMen bucket and claim to do 50% of the domestic duties at home. “The good guys.”
As also reported in this weekly newsletter, early data rapidly showed that just 8% of men were stepping up to share new and increased domestic duties, and that was with the extraordinary privileged group of corporate working mothers.
Then, I wrote about optimism taking root among some women in the Chairman Mom community that maybe—just maybe—once their bosses had been required by law to give workers flexibility and work from home options, they’d realize that performative face-time work isn’t mandatory for people getting their work done.
Maybe, now that we’ve all seen each others’ homes and pets and kids, women won’t be required to keep those things confined to scant off-work hours. Or worse, given advice to lie about even having kids to begin with, as Care.com Founder Sheila Marcelo was told to do early in her career.
I even wrote a data-based argument for why women—in particular mothers—should not be the first targets as companies look to reduce forces or scale down to the very bare minimum of employees. I tried to appeal not to anyone’s sense of goodness, but to greed. You know: Greed? The thing that is outstripping fear right now and gaslighting the economy into a re-opening that a full three-quarters of Americans in red and blue states do not want.
OH WELL. So much for allllll that. Beyond “less rape,” the silving linings are hard to find for women right now.
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:
- Tips for surviving relationships in quarantine?
- Which virtual summer camps have you enrolled your kids into?