A new report from Measure of America (by way of The Washington Post) came out today claiming that Washington, D.C. is the number one city for the "well-being" of women. As women who live in this city, we debate that point.
More Jobs, Less Pressure to Be Stylish, and Lots of Drinking: Who Could Ask for Anything More?
There are many awful things about Washington, D.C., but if we're talking about the well being of women compared to other women in other cities, it makes sense to this D.C. woman that D.C. wins.
- There are lots of jobs here with lots of women in those jobs. For women in the workforce, Washington, D.C. wins, according to this data from The Atlantic's resident demographic data man Richard Florida. Of the five states in which ladies have the majority of the jobs, D.C. has the highest percentage with 52.6 percent of the District's jobs held by people with ovaries -- er whatever it is that define women in these stats. Not only do we have a lot of the jobs, we get paid more for those jobs here, with the nation's capital having average women’s wages of $53,450, more than $10,000 more than Maryland ($42,164), which is ranked second. Booyah! After all his indexing and calculating, Florida declares: "The clear winner is the District of Columbia." Jobs are important for well-being, even—especially— as a lady.
- As my colleague, and fellow Woman of The Atlantic Wire notes, the woman of this city look to Ann Taylor, a not too adventurous, somewhat dowdy, mom-store, as their fashion muse. There's little beauty in this city. (Another ranking placed D.C. as the 6th ugliest in the country.) But, as far as well being goes, this is a plus. Unlike women who live in image obsessed cities, like New York or Los Angeles, D.C. women don't have to try as hard to stand out in the clothing and beauty department. There's no endless (expensive!) competition for the latest fashions or the "hottest" (a.k.a most emaciated) figures. From a well-being standpoint, D.C. ugly wins. [All of this applies to "cool," too.]
- D.C. is clean. As the nation's capital, they keep it like that to impress the world. That means less dog crap on the ground and less garbage on the streets. That means fewer ruined pairs of shoes, but it also means there's just a general overall less icky-ness.
- The social life is apparently fun and boozy, says another science survey, which found D.C. as the drunkest for singles. But the bars close early enough to ensure a "fun girl" doesn't blow her entire paycheck in one night. And that 2:30/3:00 a.m. curfew also ensures everyone's either getting laid or getting sleep -- both important things for well being.