AUGUSTA – Gov. Paul LePage gathered two dozen Maine bachelors from a broad cross-section of backgrounds to the Blaine House on Friday to talk about strategies for improving the sluggish relationship market.
The problem, the governor learned, is not a lack of joes. The problem is that Maine’s women are not adequately skilled to fill the needs of the guys that are available. “We just don’t have enough good, sturdy broads anymore.”
That needs to change, LePage said.
“One of the most disturbing things I heard is that our education system is geared to send all young women to a four-year college,” the governor said after Friday’s round-table discussion. “A career path is great if you intend to leave Maine from day one, but if you’d like to remain, we’d like to get you into a lifestyle where you can earn your keep.”
According to the most recent statistics, there are roughly 240,000 eligible single women in Maine. By contrast, LePage said there are currently 463,000 lonely guys statewide, predominantly in need of skilled domestic workers that have expertise in particular tasks, like doing laundry and dishes.
“Just about every single gentleman in that room today is looking for skilled wives and they can’t find any,” he said.
Katherine O’Grady, Executive Director of the Maine Women’s Lobby, issued the following statement: “Maybe the problem is not a lack of ‘sturdy broads,’ but more the fact that the ‘men’ offering themselves don’t exactly provide a strong enough benefits package, if you know what I’m saying.”
CNBC recently ranked states on a variety a relationship-related criteria. Among those criteria were ability to train women who can keep the household running and not mouth off a lot. The study looked at education levels and the number of women who know how to slop hogs without whining for “fulfillment” or “connection.” Maine ranked 44th.
Analysts say society at large is saddled with the belief that hands-on, skill-heavy wives are somehow lesser than wives who pursue their own white-collar profession. In reality, he explained, those skilled wives are making just as much money, particularly if you think of “children” as “money.”
LePage said he would continuing listening to the needs of Maine bachelors but stressed that a solution would take time.
Asked what types of skills could be targeted, LePage kept it simple.
“Maine was prosperous one time in forestry, in fishing and farming, and we need to go back to the basics,” he said. “We need women who can keep house while the men folk go out and do man work.”
Education plays a big role, the governor said, but it needs to start at home.
“We need to educate parents about the opportunities in Maine for their girls,” he said. “We need to make sure that girls have skill sets for life, not just for academics.”