Back in April this year, Hilary Rosen made a few possibly disparaging comments regarding Ann Romney, quipping that “she has never worked a day in her life”. Her words were met with a firestorm from all sides– the GOP with panic-struck Dems needlessly leaping to Mrs. Romney’s defense. Needless because Rosen was absolutely correct and unfortunately a very important topic was passed over while the political machine engineered ways to spin this positively in favor of Republicans who sought to acquire and champion the female agenda. Can I get an eye-roll, please?
Ann Romney was a stay-at-home mother who raised five very handsome sons to plague us all with. Ha! I’m kidding, but come now- five little Mitt’s? God help us. Add in the fact that it is quite likely she had assistance from nannies, maids and so on. It is tiring just tidying up my apartment so to find myself able to relate to Ann’s struggles, I try to visualize myself caring for a mansion with five screaming children running about. Yeah, she had help. A millionaire husband didn’t hurt things either.
I don’t begrudge the Romney family their millions. Whether by hard work or devilish scheming, they are rich and that’s fine. So long as he keeps those tax returns hidden, we won’t know either way. What I can’t understand is why Mitt Romney felt the need to insert his wife in such a way, to present her as some sort of economic strategist who understands the issues many women, many MOTHERS, face. It was a bold move and a foolish one, using his wife as a bridge to lure women voters. He got called out for it. Simple as that.
Rosen was not insulting homemakers. She was merely pointing out that Ann, a kept housewife, could not understand the struggles of single or married mothers that have to work outside the home. Perhaps for Ann the fairy tale came true and she married her rich prince but it isn’t the reality for the majority of mothers in the United States. If I had a rich husband, I’d breed like rabbits and stay at home as well. It would be a joy, not a JOB, to take care of my own children. That’s another thing that irks me– that taking care of your home and children is somehow deserving of pay. I believe the current salary estimate is at 70k annually. Oh brother. It is mainly a defensive argument used by stay-at-home mothers who feel threatened by working-class mothers who smugly cast themselves as do-it-all superwomen. Many women believe that raising their children gives them purpose and is deserving of adulation and then there are those of us that want more. Women are powerful and do not have to be mere incubators and child care providers all their lives. They can and ARE doing it all and not always by choice. Working one or two jobs, picking the kids up from the sitter before heading home to a grumpy husband (if she even has one) to make dinner and help with homework. I don’t think Ann gets it.
Yes, taking care of children is hard work and should be taken seriously but to be lauded for it? It’s like congratulating someone for never having been to jail. You’re not supposed to go to jail. You’re supposed to raise the kids you create.
I wonder what Ann thinks about single mothers. I am sure her views aren’t far off from those of other GOP nuts. From transcripts uncovered by those at Mother Jones, Rick Santorum stated:
What we have is moms raising children in single-parent households simply breeding more criminals… We will never solve the crime problem unless we solve the welfare problem. They are deeply intertwined.
Lets try to ignore that he was singling out black mothers, pressing the falsehood that all of us are welfare queens. So we live in a society that bolsters rich, married, stay-at-home mothers while demonizing poor single moms. Well I am a single mom and I have to work. If I opted to stay at home and look after my children so that they don’t become monstrous criminals as Rick the Dick Santorum suggests, I would be called a moocher. One of those 47% Mitt callously spoke of. I will concede that its decidedly more difficult to raise children without the help of the father– no shit. I have to do it all. I’m no Bristol Palin, with rich parents to help me sweep up my mistakes while my baby-daddy (let’s call him Levi for fun) refuses to marry me, take care of his kid and goes about happily impregnating other women. Oh, I guess that sort of thing DOES happen to rich white republicans. Thank god for the Palin family.
This mommy-debate has become stale and still it persists. So to Ann Romney: Get over yourself. You had five kids. Big whoop. You did what you were supposed to. You didn’t do the world a favor by raising your children. You had help. You have money. Many women don’t have the options you do and are doing the best they can with the hand they’re dealt.
- “Women’s Work” (delong.typepad.com)