Mitt Romney in January: Mothers Should Be Required To Work Outside Home Or Lose Benefits — Women who stay at home to raise their children should be given federal assistance for child care so that they can enter the job market and “have the dignity of work,” Mitt Romney said in January, undercutting the sense of extreme umbrage he showed when Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen quipped last week that Ann Romney had not “worked a day in her life.”
“The language here was, perhaps, inartful, or perhaps America is a society that lives to fight stupid, non-consequential, meaningless controversies and this is the new one. But what she meant to say, I think, was that Ann Romney has never gotten her ass out of the house to work. No one is denying that being a mother is a tough job, I remember that I was a handful. Okay, but there is a big difference in being a mother, and that tough job, and getting your ass out of the door at 7am when it’s cold, having to deal with the boss, being in a workplace, and even if you’re unhappy you can’t show it for 8 hours, that is a different kind of tough thing.” — Bill Maher, on the Ann Romney hissy fit (see link for video)
And from The Rude Pundit (warning: language!),
Are we really doing this again? Are we really having some worthless fucking debate over how hard it is to be a stay-at-home parent? President Obama said, “There’s no tougher job than being a mom.” Really? Ask a coal miner. Ask a sweatshop worker. It’s fucking stupid. Are we just back to Hillary Clinton and the motherfucking cookies? Oh, wait, Michelle Malkin’s quoting that 1992 remark, so the Rude Pundit supposes that we are.
The Rude Pundit’s sick of bowing down at the altar of the homemaker. Sure, sure, it’s hard work raising children. Ask the people who run day care centers and preschools. It’s hard work whether you work a full-time job or not. But let’s be honest here: Choosing to be a stay-at-home parent (and that includes the increasing number of dads that do it) for the last generation or so is a bourgeois indulgence that’s primarily available to the financially privileged. Even those who “sacrifice” to stay home with the kids get to do so only because they have an amount of security that’s simply not available to the vast majority of Americans (and let’s leave out the long-term unemployed who have decided, “Well, fuck it. May as well stay home”). It’s a choice that’s available only to a select minority of the people of this country that does so little to actually help parents.
[...] But, you know, sure, raising kids is work, a lot of work, constant work. That’s something we can’t deny. Still, it’s work that parents chose to do by having children, so, you know, don’t fucking complain. And when someone says it’s not a job, suck it up. It’s not a fucking job. It’s a privilege, one that millions of parents would love to be able to have but can’t because they don’t have the means of Ann Romney.
Mitt Romney in 1994: “This is a different world than it was in the 1960s when I was growing up. When you used to be able to have mom at home and dad at work. Now mom and day both have to work.”
I guess he could have added: Well, MY children’s mom doesn’t have to work but YOURS probably does… heheh!
Jessica Valenti at The Nation agrees with Rosen,
There’s no doubt that Rosen, a CNN contributor and Democratic political consultant, made a gaffe in providing such a juicy sound bite. But her message—in context—was right on. Rosen was responding to Mitt Romney’s constant trotting out of Ann when he gets a question on women’s issues:
What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues. And when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.
Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we—why do we worry about their future?
There’s nothing there about stay-at-home moms, or the idea that that raising children isn’t work. Rosen was referring to the fact that Ann Romney—an incredibly rich and elite woman—likely does not understand the economic concerns of most American women. Again, it was unfortunate choice of words—but she wasn’t wrong.
[...] Focusing on this slip-up just brings more attention to the way in which a Romney presidency wouldn’t support mothers. Because empty platitudes about motherhood “being the hardest job in the world” doesn’t change the reality of most moms’ lives, or make their job any easier.
But it’s not just that Romney is bad for women (whether they work outside the home or not). What’s being lost in this conversation is the incredibly facile and insulting notion that just because a woman made the decision to marry Romney and occasionally talk to him about other women, that he is somehow well-informed on women’s issues. Ann Romney is not an expert on women’s issues just because she happens to be one. And she’s not an expert in what mothers need just because she has children. Believing otherwise is infantilizing and reduces women’s very important and complex concerns to beauty parlor chitchat.
Unfortunately, female conservative base voters will take their party’s empty platitudes and tell themselves to be grateful they’re given that much. Politics above all. Gay people might get married.
I said this to a commenter yesterday,
Money can’t buy health or happiness, but it can at least buy medical care and some measure of comfort for the pain and suffering. And at a certain level of wealth, naturally you’re going to get the best medical care that money can buy.
So I have difficulty understanding how Ann Romney — a breast cancer survivor and diagnosed with MS — could support her husband’s position to ‘get rid of’ Planned Parenthood clinics and do away with Obamacare, especially with its provision that insurance companies can’t reject women with pre-existing conditions, like breast cancer or Multiple Sclerosis. There are American women with little or no means who utilized PP for early breast cancer screening. There are women (and men, and children) who can’t get insured or can’t afford the premiums because of pre-existing conditions. I wonder where is Ann’s empathy for other people, who aren’t married to a vastly wealthy man, but who suffer from health issues just as serious as her own.
And THAT’S another reason why Ann Romney as no idea (nor will she ever) about the concerns of average working women. More importantly, that’s why her husband is completely clueless if Ann and her “ladies who lunch” crew are going to be Mitt’s standard for American women and what he knows about them in general.
Comedy relief: Eddie Murphy from 20 years ago in his concert film “Raw,” on the work that goes into being a wealthy stay at home mom (Warning: language!):