Washington Area Women's Foundation

Dear WaPo: There are more challenging things than "squeaking by on $300,000."

The good news is that the Washington Post yesterday discovered the plight of women-headed families struggling in the recession and this economy.

The bad news is the Post focused on a woman-headed family that was, in the words of the headline, “squeaking by on $300,000” and in New York, no less.

The nicest thing I can say about the article is that it represents a serious failure in news judgment and demonstrates a poor sense of reality about the many woman-headed families, including in our region, working to get by on one-tenth of that or less.

Meanwhile, median income for women-headed families in the U.S. was $33,370 in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Meanwhile, more than 65,000 women-headed families with incomes of less than $40,000 live in our region, according to data collected by the Urban Institute for The Women’s Foundation.

I challenge Post editors and writers to “squeak by” on that, and I challenge the Post to pay attention to that.

I would be happy to help connect Post writers and editors with these women and their families, to whom our Grantee Partners are providing job training, financial literacy/wealth creation and early care and education services through our Stepping Stones initiative.

Washington Post, if you’re listening: Please call me.

Gwen Rubinstein is a Program Officer at The Women’s Foundation.

  • Sara S.

    Amen to that! I cannot believe the Post publishing such an irresponsible article in times like these. It is a shame that they could not focus on someone with “real” needs in this recession. Thank you for commenting on this article, it really made me angry when I read it this weekend. I hope that if people are disturbed by it, like I am, they would look into ways to help those who are truly in need.

  • You go girl!!!!!!

  • I’m afraid that most newsrooms these days are markedly out of touch with the plight of the masses. Many reporters typically limit their sources to their immediate circle of associates and colleagues. Not many reporter are pulling in six-figures, but I sincerely doubt that they’re building relationships with lower income families in their communities.

  • Elena

    I believe that this was written and published to be deliberately provoking – to cause a buzz, to have the blogosphere all in a dither. I don’t think they are out of touch at all – they want to be the center of attention. Who knew the Post could act out like a misbehaving five year old? Yet another reason to get serious news elsewhere.

  • Evan Miller

    Cry me a f***ing river, desperate housewives of Westchester County. Write about women who are really in economic distress. There are plenty of them out there.

  • Thank you all so much for your comments – you know we will keep on this issue! ~Gwen

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