Yes, between women, not on women, and not for women. You see, we’ve been picking on each other for years in an effort to defend our own lifestyle choices.
You’d have to live in a pretty thick bubble not to catch the brilliance of Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen over the last week. She said that presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s wife Anne:
…never worked a day in her life.
Watch that she says it after agreeing with the Republican argument suggesting the current economy is of the most concern for women right now. It’s not exactly a way to win stay-at-home moms as friends, or to influence their vote for the Democratic candidate.
Rosen then proceeded to dig a very deep ditch for herself on Twitter. The media, a week later, is still helping move the dirt. Republicans say it proves the real war on women is by Democrats who judge the just-a-housewife crowd like myself. Democrats have a number of comebacks to Rosen’s statement from running away as fast as possible to “Romney hates women, too” by citing that Romney wanted welfare moms to work in Massachusetts.
My favorite article that’s cropped up during this debate is the one showing President Obama saying,
… we didn’t have the luxury for her not to work.
He was talking about his wife, Michelle. The article explains at the time they were making $316,000 a year. Obama alone was making $162,100. Can you imagine how the Democratic party is going to convince welfare voters that Mr. Hope and Change couldn’t support his family on $162,100 a year? Perhaps that’s what he has in mind for the new welfare family-of-four minimum.
But that’s really not the issue here. This is:
From what I found Rosen was born in 1958. I’m a product of the year 1962. In the 80’s when that commercial was flooding the airwaves, we’d already been instructed the women of our generation not only could do anything they wanted, they would do it all.
It was a nasty burden we’ve never resolved.
Now for the purpose of this discussion remember that Anne Romney was born in 1949. She’s about a decade older than Rosen, and a remarkably different time in America’s history for women. Anne Romney is a product of June Cleaver. Rosen and I get Enjoli. Yet, Rosen is ready to fight over the point that Romney stayed home.
Here’s my take: Rosen’s feeling a little guilty that she couldn’t do it all like she’d been promised. I figured it out early. My husband and I have basically the same mental acuity, but I stayed home while he worked. I was smart enough to understand he couldn’t have a wildly successful career if I was calling to say, “It’s your turn to pick up the sick kid from school, mister.” So yes, I sacrificed what could have been, I am certain, a very viable income of my own to be home. Had we both had his type of career commitment there wouldn’t have been any room for children, and we both wanted children. Neither one of us wanted children reared by strangers, so someone had to stay home.
But then, I’m a bit of a rebel. There are thousands of professional women out there still trying to make it all happen juggling family, career, marriage, soccer games, and home-cooked meals, because, you know, nothing is to be left out. I guess I should feel a little sorry for them, but hey, if I didn’t get to do it all like I’d been promised, why should they get to do it all without a little exhaustion attached?
We all make choices. My advice to Ms. Rosen is that she should find a way to get comfortable with hers without judging mine.
This post took a number of twists and turns to be written today. I told someone earlier I just don’t have the energy to be snarky, so you were spared. I did find some interesting numbers on women while researching this issue that you might peruse.
Women vote. There are a lot of them. Five million considered themselves stay-at-home moms in 2010. And in a poll released today women still favor Obama over Romney. So expect a lot of the idea that Anne Romney remains the Republican secret weapon. And expect Democrats to fight that weapon on their own terms, however ridiculous.