Here’s a compelling reason to prioritize infrastructure spending: Bitches be shoppin’.
In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Republican Senator Bill Cassidy was prompted to explain how he would sell a Biden-backed infrastructure spending bill to skeptical Republicans. The Louisiana lawmaker said that the key is listening to constituents who are tired of spending three hours stuck in traffic every day. Every minute spent commuting through towns that could use a new bridge or tunnel is time spent away from the family.
He’s not wrong, and he wasn’t wrong when he emphasized that hurricanes and “coastlines... melting away” should also prompt urgency on the infrastructure front (interesting, considering his recent move to help save the Keystone XL pipeline, an environmental disaster in waiting). But Cassidy is certain that one gender will especially benefit from improved highways and roadworks.
“My wife says that roads and bridges are a woman’s problem, if you will,” Cassidy said. “Because oftentimes it is the woman—aside from commuting to work—who’s also taking children to schools or doing the shopping. The more time she spends on that road, the less time she spends doing things of higher value.”
What “higher value” activities did Cassidy have in mind? Cleaning the house? Picking up after the children on top of taking them to school, working an eight-hour day, and then getting the groceries because her husband refuses to remember where to find the goddamn parsley?
Women certainly do bear the brunt of childrearing and other household tasks, which is a problem in itself. There’s perhaps a way to acknowledge this without using such an uneven setup as a rationale for overdue infrastructure overhauls across the United States. But that’s probably a step too far for Cassidy, a man who is eager to outlaw abortion and, along with his fellow Republicans, blocked a bill that would help close the gender pay gap earlier this month.
How often does Cassidy do the shopping, I wonder.