Part 1 - Whitewashing the Housing Crisis
Part 2 - Reverse Bradley Effect Caused by Ignoring Women
Part 2 - Reverse Bradley Effect Caused by Ignoring Women
Privilege of Women's Invisibility (Part 1):
Whitewashing Anti-Feminism in the Housing Crisis
"[The Option ARMS home mortgage loan] was first created in 1970. The Emergency Home Finance Act was one answer to the growing social and racial unrest in the nation's cities: hole ownership as a means to stop angry Americans from burning down their neighborhoods."
~Richard Bove on NPR Morning Edition (8/28/2008), carefully overlooking which group was actually displaced by the Act (women).
"One expert noted that option ARMS were first created during the Emergency Home Finance Act in 1970. This act was in part drafted as a response to racial and social unrest in cities. Homes provided edgy people an incentive to mellow out their classist anger."
~Business Pundit, although which "edgy people" actually benefited from the move to the suburbs was not mentioned (the answer is white men)
NPR, in its analysis of yet another the unchecked debacle in the home mortgage crisis, actually managed to work in a little historical whitewashing while they were at it. The story glosses over the Emergency Home Finance Act of 1970 , but not without citing the "social and racial unrest" that the act was meant to quell.
Leaving the our country's financial implosion aside for the moment, is NPR suggesting that the aggressive push by the government to get Americans into suburban houses was designed to appease racial unrest?
Do they suggest that the banks, encouraged by the government, started aggressively issuing home loans to help quell the race riots? How can that be? African-American families were historically denied access to the suburbs, they were always denied access to home loans that whites could get (an infamous practice known as redlining), and white people sent death threats to to African-Americans who moved into their suburbs. Anti-discriminatory housing laws weren't even enforced until 1988.
And you don't have to be a policy wonk to cut through NPR's whitewashing; just look at the Census: the percentage of African-Americans owning homes in the US has never risen above 49%, and that 49% peak was due to predation on African-Americans by sub-prime mortgage lenders over the last decade  and not from the 1970's Home Finance Act. The Act didn't help African-Americans become homeowners, as NPR would like you to believe. Instead, minorities were blocked from home ownership while the white folks were flying out of Dodge.
But wait, if the Home Finance Act and home ownership were being pushed to quell "social unrest", and white people were the ones taking advantage of the loans, who was the government trying to prevent from organizing and rioting?
That's right! The government-backed flight to the suburbs was never meant to squelch the Civil Rights Movement, it was meant to squelch the Women's Rights Movement! The Nixon administration and congress knew exactly who the home loans would go to (white male heads-of-household) and these men knew intimately what Betty Friedan had only just put to words seven years earlier in The Feminine Mystique: that the suburbs served as a "comfortable concentration camp" to intern women, and the federal government got behind that trap as much as possible in order to stop women from contributing to the "social unrest" of the times.
For thousands of years, men have been systemically taking their wives away from their family members, friends, community, jobs, and the neighborhoods they knew and isolating them in their husband's home. Even now, centuries after the mid 1800s (when US women started gaining recognition as sentient human beings and brutalizing "property" laws were starting to be rewritten ), women are still expected to perform the mass-exodus of their lives in order to move into their husband's house (or new housing development conveniently located near their husband's job) upon marriage.
So when the ancient ritual of wife-transplanting becomes underwritten by federal housing legislation a few short years after Second Wave feminism arrived on the scene, are we to suddenly believe that suburbanization was only a race issue? Hell no!
This is yet another case of whitewashing history in an effort to deny the systemic oppression of women. The media hides an obvious anti-woman policy through a lame-ass cover story that pretends women never figured into the picture at all. For you see, it is that easy for a patriarchal society to marginalize women from history (NPR just did it without a hint of reaction from listeners) and oppression won't be recognized when women aren't even mentioned. Thus, Patriarchy can maintain the illusion that women are not oppressed, by pretending that oppressed women never existed in the first place.
[Updated by F.M. on 10/22/2008 with additional links and sources]
 The Act, signed by Richard Nixon, created the now-tanked Freddie Mac, and ultimately led to a previous housing crisis spurred by speculation and predatory lending that was quite similar to what we are going through now. Oh, and it helped to trap rebelling women in the suburbs, although you will never hear that from the MSM.
 In fact, banks actively steered qualified borrowers away from stable loans so that they could screw them with predatory sub-prime loans. And now that their scam has played itself out, African-American home ownership rates are "falling like a rock".
 Although in many savage parts of this world, women still endure legalized slavery and abuse under the ludicrous and evil pretext that a human being is no better than a dustbin when born without a penis.
Copyright June 2008 by F*ck M*sculinity