Controversy Over Verbal Attack on Ann Romney (UPDATED 3)

UPDATE 3: How nice: Hilary Rosen has apologized for her comments about Ann Romney and some conservatives now attack her for raising children as a lesbian. This is a classic case where a Democrat put her foot in her mouth, gave an issue to GOPers and some on the GOP side overreached and undermined an issue handed to them on a silver platter. It’s another example of how partisans and ideologues escalate verbiage — and how the side that escalates it the worst is going to lose swing voters in the general election. On the other hand, Rosen has activated the GOP’s “secret weapon” (Ann Romney), caused Barbra Bush to come to Mrs. Romney’s defense, and inspired a big debate on The View. You can’t say Rosen helped the candidate she is trying to elect.

Our original post:

Here’s more proof that partisans on both sides simply can’t control themselves when they get into attack mode. Uh, oh, here come the “false equivalency” comments, and emails and blog links. But all you have to do on this comment is change the name and it’s something that sounds like it comes right out of right wing or left wing talk radio or an ideological cable show guest on MSNBC or Fox News:’

Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen stirred controversy Wednesday evening when she criticized Ann Romney for having “never worked a day in her life.”

During a discussion on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 of the so-called war on women, Rosen said she agreed with Mitt Romney’s claim that women care more about economic issues than reproductive rights. But Romney’s use of his wife Ann’s perspective shows how poorly the former Massachusetts governor connects with voters, Rosen said.

“Guess what?” Rosen said. “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.”

Rosen continued, “There’s something much more fundamental about Mitt Romney. He seems so old-fashioned when it comes to women, and I think that comes across, and I think that that’s going to hurt him over the long term. He just doesn’t really see us as equal.”

Rosen’s comments provoked a quick response from the Romney campaign, as well as from President Barack Obama’s reelection team.

Ann Romney, who previously was not on Twitter, sent her first official tweet in response to Rosen’s comments.

“I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys,” she wrote.

“Believe me, it was hard work.”

So this suggests the only people how who can enter into this debate are women who worked at regular jobs? The others have viewpoints that don’t count?

Will we next hear that some jobs don’t qualify?

And now, suddenly, raising a large family (even with lots of money) is just a lark?

And here come those “false equivalency” charges. But a phrase aiming at discrediting a criticism doesn’t erase the validity of the criticism.

UPDATE: Washington Wire offers this little tidbit:

“You know essentially, you’ve taken on sort of the most sympathetic person in the candidate’s realm, the wife, who is taking care of the children, supporting the husband, doing everything she can because she loves him. Michelle Obama is a pretty terrific woman I have to say, and I think that attacking her is a dumb strategy on the Republican’s part.”

– Democratic strategist Hillary Rosen, quoted by the Washington Examiner, on CNN on May 19, 2008.

I used the word “d-u-m-b” in discussing this on my Twitter page.

This is yet one more — rpt more — example (I have given many over the years) of how partisans on both sides (uh, oh here come more false equivalency charges) go into outrage mode over something the other side says then say the same thing when they want to try and discredit the other side.

Which is why some independents remain and will remain independents.

UPDATE II:
Rosen won’t apologize, suggesting it’s the Romney camp trying to take attention off Romney’s record. Another politically ill advised response. In reality, her response is her trying to take attention away from her comments on Ann Romney.

Firstly, as you can see above she made comments about Michelle Obama that will allow GOPers and others to argue that she says one thing about a D woman and another about an R woman. But the bottom line is she now keeps this line open – which will be repeated and rerun on talk radio and ideological cable shows where they can easily fill time with outrage and talking heads who will beat their chests (and they say the things about the other side later when they feel it helps then politically).

You wonder when you watch politicians and those around them if they read anything on damage control. (Perhaps only when it comes to storm damage on their property.)

If this is the political smarts of team Obama then I suspect this election will be even a lot closer than some experts expect. On the other hand, I am not one who has felt that Team Obama has been the Dems best political team. They have been aimed with luck (John McCain as their opponent) and favorable circumstances for the Ds (8 years of George W. Bush). And now they face Mitt Romney who makes tofu seem exciting.

Karl Rove must be watching this and salivating.

Expect to see Rosen’s comment in some future Romney ad.

UPDATE: >Talking Points Memo notes the Obama campaigns “swift rebuke” of Rosen’s comments — but also how the Romney campaign is seeking to use it:

After stumbling badly in the first day of the general election campaign, the Mitt Romney campaign is seeking to regroup by making a mountain out of what Democrats say is a molehill: the attack on Ann Romney’s choice to stay home and raise children by a Democratic CNN contributor Wednesday night.

Welcome to Hilary Rosengate.

As part of a panel on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” Rosen questioned whether Ann Romney was qualified to be talking about women’s economic issues since she’s “never worked a day in her life.” This launched a late-night Twitter offensive by Team Romney and a swift condemnation of Rosen’s remarks from Team Obama.

The Obama campaign’s rebuke came swifter and stronger than the Romney campaign’s response to Rush Limbaugh’s attacks on Sandra Fluke. At the time, Romney didn’t join other Republicans calling on Limbaugh to apologize, opening him up to accusations that Romney was afraid to take on a powerful GOP voice.

After a day in which they were knocked off course from their message on women and the economy, the Romney campaign was eager to push back Thursday, sensing Rosen’s remarks finally gave them the upper hand on an issue polling has shown to give Democrats an enormous edge among the female electorate. The Romney campaign hopes to make Rosen “a household name.”

The bottom line is that it was mind boggling bad politics, handing GOPers a new issue (the war on stay at home mothers?) and Rosen will have to somehow explain why she it was so terrible to criticize Michelle Obama but a woman who spent time with her kids and has an R in front of her name is somehow unqualified to weigh in on a political issue and one that involves her husband.

Once again: why independents (happily) remain independents.

And, once again, if this reflects the political smarts of Team Obama they could grab defeat from the jaws of victory that had seemingly been grabbed out of Republican’s jaws. You read Rosen’s comments and think, I thought only Fox News had moles?

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  • RP

    My wife did not work outside the home. She raised three children (and myself). If I were to say she “never worked a day in her life” I would find myself so far in the dog house it would take the rest of my life to get out.

    Only a woman or an unmarried man could make this statement as one who was married knows what side his bread is buttered.

  • CStanley

    A War on Moms! Great strategy, Ms. Rosen.

  • slamfu

    Wow that was a really stupid thing to say. So basically stay at home moms don’t count. I like that. How bout 18+ kids who are still in college or freshly out. Voters who themselves haven’t really been facing their own economic decisions yet. I guess we should blow them off too. I like to ignore the rights constant blathering about how the left wants to marginalize traditional america, but then someone on the left goes ahead and actually does just that. Can’t we all agree that Mittens is out of touch without going after his wife. There is ample opportunity and evidence for that already.

  • CStanley

    Not sure whether to call this “doubling down” or “gaslighting” (maybe a bit of both:
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/12/opinion/ann-romney-hilary-rosen/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

  • Rcoutme

    The most extreme part of the stupidity is that if Rosen had simply said, “Mrs. Romney never had to worry about finances because her husband was always fabulously wealthy,” it would not have been arguable in the context of the situation.

    Meanwhile, that being said, Mrs. Romney certainly does have the right to express her opinions on the subject, and her opinions are a valid as anyone else’s unless proven wrong. I agree that Rosen was blathering out her a**. Meanwhile, is she supposed to be an official spokesperson for Obama or the Democratic Party? Just because she works for them, does not mean her views are the Party platform.

    Oh well…the silliness goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on, …

  • dduck

    Ha, tell Hillary to check out Eleanor Roosevelt, she probably never “worked” a day either, however like Mrs. Romney she raised five kids. Rosen seems intelligent, and I’m sure we can allow her a bad quote once in a while as we can allow the Reps the same (hah, gotcha).

  • DaGoat

    Can we agree that Rosen’s comments don’t represent Democrats in general any more than dumb comments from conservative individuals don’t represent most Republicans?

  • zephyr

    “She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing.”

    This is likely true. I doubt Ann Romney has ever had to struggle to make ends meet.

    As for staying home and raising kids? My own Mom raised 5 boys and 2 girls. We’re talking some hard work there Bucko. Not a smart comment by Rosen.

  • helmick2003

    I guess Obama and Romney can’t weigh in on immigration laws. They haven’t been Mexican a day in their lives.

  • dduck

    I guess Obama and Romney can’t weigh in on immigration laws. They haven’t been Mexican a day in their lives.

    True, LOL.

  • rudi

    When did Ann Mittens have time to work at home. she’d trip over the illegal aliens working for the Mittens. Plus, I doubt she ever cleaned the stable for her dressage horses.
    http://www.aberdeennews.com/farmforum/news/horses/aan-ff.03-30-12.horse.romney-20120330,0,1233377.story

    Most middle class woman now work and raise kids without a horse stable…

  • roro80

    It was a dumb thing to say, of course. The work of women in the house has always been discounted as not “real” work, and of course that’s not right.

    The point she quite inartfully made (“attack”? meh…), though, does have some merit. The economic needs of an average stay-at-home partner or caregiver, in addition to the needs of most women who want to or need to work outside of the home, are indeed quite different than those of the spouse of an extraordinarily wealthy person. When Romney says that women’s most important issue is the economy because his wife says so, it’s not that it’s an untrue statement, it’s that it comes off just as disingenuous as when he says he follows Nascar a little because his buddy owns a team (or whatever it was), or that he likes American cars and in fact has a fleet of them and elevators to move them around. The reason women care about the economy is because, just like men, we need money and jobs to feed and house ourselves and our families. These are just not the same worries experienced by the Romneys, and we all know it. If Ann Romney has never held a job outside the home, that’s not because we have an embarrassing lack of good US jobs right now, and it wasn’t because she couldn’t afford daycare for her 5 kids (two reasons many women do not work outside the home now), it’s because she always had so much money it wasn’t necessary.

  • adelinesdad

    “Which is why some independents remain and will remain independents.”

    Quite right. I will only support someone who has demonstrated that they will break from their party when their principles dictate. I don’t see that in any of the candidates on either side right now.

    Rcoutme: “Meanwhile, is she supposed to be an official spokesperson for Obama or the Democratic Party? Just because she works for them, does not mean her views are the Party platform.”

    Riffing off of Joe’s theme, I’d ask: would we make that argument if this were a Republican speaking ill of a Democratic politician’s wife? Have only positions that are officially written into the Republican platform been targets of criticism?

    roro: “The point she quite inartfully made (“attack”? meh…), though, does have some merit.”

    That’s charitable, especially considering that if it really was just inartful language, why did she resist apologizing so long? But, yes, there is a valid argument that the Romney’s wealth make them out of touch. Of course the Romneys aren’t the first wealthy political family but Mitt’s gaffes don’t help either. But the way she phrased the point, and then doubled-down, is not irrelevant. Can anyone imagine uttering the words that she said without immediately realizing their stupidity and disavowing them? The fact that she apparently didn’t reflects that maybe she is… well… out of touch, as well.

  • CStanley

    I agree that the wealth angle is at least an actual reason that Ann Romney may not be able to relate to struggles of women and families in a down economy- but on the other hand, I don’t see where the campaign has ever presented it as though Ann Romney knows about these things from personal experience. All they’ve said, from what I’ve heard, is that this is the number one concern she hears from women when she’s on the campaign trail. You don’t have to have personally experienced economic hardship to see it in the lives of others and to relate to it with empathy.

  • roro80

    ” I don’t see where the campaign has ever presented it as though Ann Romney knows about these things from personal experience”

    CStanley — Yes, that’s exactly what Mitt Romney’s trying to do. Every time someone asks a question about gender inequality or issues considered “women’s issues”, he refers to his wife, and how since he’s married to her, he must know something about women.

  • StockBoyLA

    The point Rosen is making is that Ann has a husband with so much money that she can choose to stay at home and raise kids. I bet she had lots of help with either housecleaners, maids or nannies. Something most women in this country do not have the money for.

    And I agree with Rosen that Ann Romney does not know the economic choices the vast majority of American women in this country face, having to work full time and raise a family.

    Ann can speak about issues important to parents, such as education. She can talk about her choices of reproductive rights. She can talk about other issues. However there is no way she can possibly accurately represent the majority of women in this country who are forced to work one (or more) jobs.

    I’m not trying to say that her work as a “Mom” is any less than the work of a woman who goes into the office every day. I am saying that Ann’s experiences are vastly different and more privileged, than the experiences of any women in this country who must work to put food on the table for her and her family.

    So if Ann Romney wants to represent women, she represents those who have always had so much money that they can actually choose how to live their lives, how much to work, whether to stay at home, how many housekeepers/maids/nannies to have, etc.

  • EEllis

    The point she quite inartfully made (“attack”? meh…), though, does have some merit. The economic needs of an average stay-at-home partner or caregiver, in addition to the needs of most women who want to or need to work outside of the home, are indeed quite different than those of the spouse of an extraordinarily wealthy person.

    Because of course they were always that wealthy and never had to deal with the mundain facts of life like most of us? Never lived in a $75 basement apartment with her husband, raising their first child while going to school. Putting off school because of children and having to go to night school to finish her degree. Then of course dealing with multiple sclerosis and breast cancer is no big deal as long as you have enough money. Sure They always had enough money that She was never forced to work. So? That isn’t much of a statement. She had her first kid in 1970, didn’t get a degree till 75 what job would of paid enough that she should of worked? The logic seems to be based on political expediency more than anything else. Yes she didn’t have the exact same life that others have had but that doesn’t mean her viewpoint is worthless or that she should be ridiculed.

  • EEllis

    I bet she had lots of help with either housecleaners, maids or nannies. Something most women in this country do not have the money for.

    They had their first kid in 1970 while going to BYU and lived in a $75 basement apartment. I doubt BYU provides nannies or maids to undergraduates.

  • CStanley

    Huh?

    I have noted that weird awkward way he’s referring everything related to women to Ann. My point though is that he (nor she) doesn’t seem to be holding up the Romney family as an example of having weathered economic hard times.

    Anyway- their campaign must be absolutely LOVING this. Mitt wasn’t skilled at using Ann in the campaign, and now they’ve been handed a huge opportunity on a platter to elevate her status and basically introduce her to the public. I don’t know much about her but she seems to be quite capable of handling herself so far.

  • StockBoyLA

    But I think a far more important point to make about Mitt Romney is this (which seems to have gone unnoticed) also said by Rosen, above:

    ““There’s something much more fundamental about Mitt Romney. He seems so old-fashioned when it comes to women, and I think that comes across, and I think that that’s going to hurt him over the long term. He just doesn’t really see us as equal.”

    As far as Romney not thinking women are equal… There are many Republicans out there (including many women) who believe a woman’s place is in the home. I’d like to know if this is Mitt’s belief and if he thought Ann should stay home because he didn’t want her to work outside the house. I assume the early days of the marriage Ann did not have children. Did she work then? It would be interesting to know what Romney thinks about women working in the corporate office. I also wonder if there were any women in positions of influence at Bain Capital while he was there.

  • http://kikoshouse.blogspot.com SHAUN MULLEN, TMV Columnist

    Ann Romney chose to stay at home and raise her children. That is fine with me, and everything else flows from there. Or at least should.

  • StockBoyLA

    The comparison of Ann Romney to Michelle Obama is ridiculous. Michelle worked hard at a career and raised a family. Neither she nor Barack came from money. They both had to balance work, family and Barack’s political aspirations on a limited budget.

    Mitt seems to have entered politics after he was a successful businessman and Ann seems never to have worked in the corporate world. Neither had to worry about where the next meal would come from. Neither have faced economic uncertainty.

  • CStanley

    Who was comparing Ann Romney to Michelle Obama, Stockboy? I must have missed something.

  • roro80

    adeline’s dad — I don’t think it’s “charitable”, particularly. It was a statement that could be taken in more than one way, and tries to point to the fact that working outside of the home while raising kids is different than doing the work of raising a family. I’m frankly a little tired of the untouchableness of the idea that stay-at-home moms are the most hard-working selfless group of people (any more than working mothers or stay at home dads or working dads), and it’s just not true that Ann Romney is representative of that group anyway. There is a small number of women, like Romney, who can really *choose* to stay at home, as she did. There’s nothing wrong at all with that choice. However, it should be noted that 3/4 of women with children under 15 years old work outside the home. Most do so because they have to work to make ends meet.

  • bluebelle

    Hilary Rosen was wrong to criticize Mrs. Romney. Raising 5 sons so close in age is indeed a lot of work.

  • roro80

    *must stick with personal resolution not to reply to EEllis*

  • EEllis

    They both had to balance work, family and Barack’s political aspirations on a limited budget.

    I’m not sure why you think this wasn’t true of the Romney’s? Sure both their parents had money, tho they weren’t wildly rich, but that doesn’t automatically grant the kids access to that money. My father had a good career and made a comfortable living. I still struggled to pay bills because his money wasn’t mine. Now Mitt did wait until successful to go into politics, but that hardly seem a reason to bash his wife. The Romney’s became wealthy it was not inherited wealth and they didn’t get that money until they were married for 10-15 years.

  • roro80

    “My point though is that he (nor she) doesn’t seem to be holding up the Romney family as an example of having weathered economic hard times.”

    No certainly not, I agree. He is holding up his wife as someone who knows what women think are important, in general, and that that is the economy. He’s glossing over the fact that her experience and reliance on the economy is very different than that of most women. Saying that a mother of 5 has never worked is certainly inartfully worded and incorrect. Saying that an extraordinarily wealthy woman who never had to want for money for herself or her family might not be the most representative example of the American EveryWoman’s reliance on a strong economy is entirely true, and not at all insulting to those women who do get a choice of whether they want to work or not.

  • CStanley

    Roro, what I’m saying is that they’re not making the “experience” argument, therefore a response that says that she hasn’t experienced the same things as less wealthy, working women, is pointless and comes across as petty envy.

    And if I were Ann Romney I’d turn the argument on it’s head and say that yes, her family has had the blessing and good fortune of wealth, and this is why the Romneys want to focus on economic expansion to restore more opportunities for everyone- thus giving the ore women the choice to choose to stay home if that’s what is right for their family.

  • dduck

    So we want a dirt poor candidate with a dirt poor wife (ooops partner) that has experience in immigration problems, a military background so he can be the Comm. In Chief, a lawyer so he can understand legislation and of course be articulate and free from foot in mouth disease. Wow, I forgot, foremost he must be an expert puckerer so he can kiss anybody’s ass that is a potential campaign donor. Management experience optional.

  • EEllis

    There seem to be some people who are ignoring the facts about the Romney’s actual status at the beginning of their marriage. They had their first child while they were both undergraduates at BYU. They lived in a small basement apt their and they had no nannies or maids. After completing his undergraduate work they moved when Mitt went to Harvard. Ann didn’t complete her undergraduate degree until 75 going to night school while raising her children. When Mitt graduated he was recruited by many companies and obviously had a good job waiting but didn’t become automatically wealthy. That was a process that took many years and happened 15 years after they got married.

  • dduck

    Not good enough, EE, she has to have had “work” experience. If she took in wash in that basement apartment and set up a Xmas Club account at the local bank, we could give weight to her views (the only ones a candidate listens to, btw).

  • CStanley

    Yeah actually if you do look at the timeline it seems that the Romneys and Obama’s probably aren’t much different, except that Romney’s wealth increased more rapidly and the Romneys are also older so they’re further down the path of moving in these insulated circles and having privileges like household help. And certainly both couples also are in the political bubble which removes people from the mainstream too…and both are far removed from the world of women who truly don’t have the option of staying home to raise kids.

  • roro80

    I disagree with your first paragraph, in that he’s using his wife’s experience as a woman to say that he knows what is important to women. By proxy, he’s saying that the issues that have tanked his numbers with women shouldn’t matter to women because the one he is married to says so. I know you and I differ greatly on those other issues, so maybe glossing over them is something you see as a positive in the Romney campaign.

    One can’t ignore, though, that having children is very very expensive, and women who have them young tend to make less money throughout their lives, tend to be more financially dependent, tend to get less education, are much more likely to be living in poverty, and tend to just plain have less money. He’s trying to say that the economy is important to women but that that is separate from women being able to control their own fertility. This is obviously untrue, as the number one factor in women’s financial independence over the last few decades is that they now have safe, legal, and relatively cheap tools to control their fertility. (This, by the way, is one of the reasons I think such things are so vitally important to society as a whole.)

    I do agree with your last paragraph. That would be a good way for the campaign to frame the issue. As with most of Romney’s campaign, though, it’s going to be tough for him to sell it well, because he’s just so darn good at saying stupid things. Furthermore, if you believe his plan for economic expansion is bunk and has zero chance of working anyway, well, even if you believe he’s genuinely concerned about the economic welfare of women who aren’t already rich, you’ll still think he’s out of touch and wrong.

  • CStanley

    Taking your first and second paragraphs together, yes, I do see it as a positive to pivot from contraception to the economy. I say that both in the sense of wishing him success and in the sense of believing it’s better for the country to focus on what I believe is the most pressing issue. Even in the sense of your last paragraph’s point, that many people will disagree with his economic vision- but at least I think it’s healthier for the candidates to have to present their competing plans and let people make informed decisions.

  • CStanley

    To be more blunt, roro, I guess I’d have to say that I think Obama should have to defend his economic record rather than engaging in deflection and fearmongoing over birth control, which is what I believe is what he’s done.

  • roro80

    “at least I think it’s healthier for the candidates to have to present their competing plans and let people make informed decisions”

    Absolutely, CStanley, but recall this all came up because Romney is trying to stem the bleeding on his poll numbers with women, which are dismal. He’s also trying to help his image as an out-of-touch richie-rich robot. It’s fine with me for him to use his relationship with his wife for this, but I think the point is that it’s not working well because of the surrounding issues we’ve been talking about.

    I don’t think that’s too blunt, CStanley, and I agree that Obama will definitely have to defend his economic record. That said, Obama on this issue has been pretty quiet about everything except for simply making a policy decision he thought was right, and then letting the rest of us argue about it and respond to it. He hasn’t done much deflection or fearmongering at all, in my opinion.

  • Rcoutme

    Okay, to sum up what I have read in the article and these comments I come to some ‘conclusions’.

    1. The Romney’s were married in college (undergrad BYU), as many Mormon couples are. They also had at least one child during that time. It is likely, though not guaranteed, that their families supported them during the college years (including Mitt’s time in Harvard) but not lavishly.

    2. Ann finished her degree attending classes at night.

    3. Mitt was offered multiple jobs upon graduation from Harvard. No word on whether or not his father’s political connections helped there.

    4. It took Mitt some time to become ‘very’ wealthy–no word on the Romney income in Mitt’s first 10 years of work.

    5. Most of us agree that Rosen’s words were either inaccurate or badly chosen.

    6. No one has told me whether or not Rosen is supposed to be a person who matters (I have never heard of her before this article), but I guess she is supposed to be ‘somebody’ in Democratic circles?

    7. Most of the commenters seem to believe that the Republican Party (or at least Romney’s campaign) will try (with a majority thinking succeed as well) to spin Rosen’s gaffe into some sort of Democratic attack on stay-at-home moms.

  • CStanley

    That said, Obama on this issue has been pretty quiet about everything except for simply making a policy decision he thought was right, and then letting the rest of us argue about it and respond to it. He hasn’t done much deflection or fearmongering at all, in my opinion.

    That is what Obama does on nearly every issue, roro, and when it’s this much of a pattern it becomes pretty obviously a part of the strategy IMO. I think it’s worth noting that I believe Bush did the same with campaign rhetoric though his critics often didn’t seem to notice that it was always surrogates doing the flame throwing. It’s a pretty well worn tactic, of course, but both of these guys have made a lot eof hay with it.

  • adelinesdad

    Wow, this thread really took off. I wish I had time to respond to more, but I’ll just respond to roro’s response to me.

    Roro, it can’t be taken in more than one way. That’s the charitable part. She said that Ann Romney never worked, making reference specifically to her stay-at-home mom status. After the firestorm erupted, she stood by her words, which means that they were not just inartful. They were the words that she meant. There is no ambiguity there about how she feels about stay-at-home moms, regardless of the underlying point about the Romney’s wealth. You don’t have to believe that stay-at-home moms are untouchable to see how that view is offensive and out-of-touch.

  • bluebelle

    If Obama were to get more involved in the matter he could rightfully be criticized for both acting unpresidentially and attacking a candidates’ wife. It is fitting that he remains silent. I don’t think that Hilary Rosen is working as his surrogate– at least not in this instance-especially since his campaign manager totally rejected Rosen’s comment
    Couldn’t you say that Ann Romney is acting as Mitt’s surrogate because he is so weak with this demographic?? I don’t think Rosen’s comment was justified, but Mrs. Romney IS putting herself out there on a controversial issue so its only fair to allow some response from the other side.

  • roro80

    Yes, they can, adeline’s dad. If you define “work” as “having a job that brings in money”, as is quite common, the statement is merely inartful. If you define “work” as “anything that requires dedication and expenditure of over a period of time”, as is also common, then yes, obviously the words are incorrect as said. We can all hmm and ha over which she meant, but it’s pretty obvious that she meant the former and not the latter.

    And there most certainly is ambiguity about how she “feels” about stay-at-home moms in general. Saying that Romney never had to work is different than saying anything about all stay-at-home moms, except that they share the fact that they don’t have jobs outside the home. Honestly, even most stay-at-home moms do have some outside job at some point in their lives, which Ann has not. And good on her, but let’s not pretend that the comment was meant to reflect on anyone but one individual and those in similar positions of privilege.

  • CStanley

    Bluebelle, I’m not sure if that was directed toward my earlier comment about Obama staying above the fray. My point wasn’t that he should get more involved, it was that I don’t care for the “staying above the fray while surrogates get down in the dirt” stuff when either side does it. My preference isn’t for the candidate himself/herself to do the dirty work, it’s for the campaign to avoid a lot of this stuff altogether. And in this case, it was in reference to the recent War on Women episodes, not yesterdays comments by Rosen (as far as I know there wasn’t any direct connection to the Obama campaign.

    And yeah, I do agree that Ann Romney is putting herself out there and fair game for criticisms. It’s just that this particular criticism was politically quite dumb.

  • roro80

    CStanley — Making policy decisions is a pretty far cry from fearmongering. What Bush did, making speech after speech about the axis of evil and whatnot — that’s fearmongering. Obama didn’t go out and sell his decision, and he hasn’t done much to defend it since. He just made it. You could say that it’s a strategy he’s using, and you’d probably be right, but not talking about something is usually considered mutually exclusive with using that something as a distraction.

  • CStanley

    Roro, I assume you aren’t being deliberately obtuse but you must know that a comment like that is going to offend most any stay at home mom, and if you look at what she first tweeted by way of apology to Ann Romney, it included the kind of jab that always provokes division between mothers who work outside the home and those who don’t. I don’t have the quote handy but it was something to the effect that working moms also have to work hard at raising their kids as well as doing their other job. In other words, this was about who has it harder, those who parent full time or those who split their time between parenting and a paying job. If this was only about wealth making Romney out of touch, Rosen (a professional communicator no less) wouldn’t have gone there on something so divisive to women.

    I also think that if you watch the video rather than reading the transcript, it comes across differently and seems to betray her personal feelings about the choice to stay home rather than pursuing career.

  • CStanley

    Roro- I guess I wasn’t clear about Bush- what I was specifically referring to was the rhetoric where GOP accused war protestors of being unpatriotic. That didn’t come straight from Bush, it was always surrogates as far as I could see. And when Obama is in campaign mode he doesn’t personally say things to impugn motives of opponents but his surrogates do.

  • CStanley

    Gotta go do some “work” myself now. ;-)

  • roro80

    CStanley — It’s true I haven’t watched the clip, and have only read the transcript, and you’re right that I might be missing some of the tone. I do not, though, really ever use the tactic of purposeful obtuseness, just for your future reference.

    There is a bigger issue here that you touch on — the false (or at least manufactured) division between women who work outside the home and those who do not. We’ve fought so long and so hard to get to a place where women can work outside the home; fought not just against the workplace dynamics and sexism that kept women out of the office for so long, but also against the idea that the essence of femininity is motherhood and home-based work. Those who choose to work outside the home while raising families (or not) must still deal with workplace sexism and lower pay, but also the still-engrained idea that where they really belong (and what they’re really suited to) is raising their kids (as if many aren’t doing exactly that). Those who choose to stay at home with their families instead of getting an outside job have to fight both against the fact that doing so is unpaid and undervalued “women’s work”, and the fact that some consider them “traitors” to the hard-won rights to be doing things other than homemaking. It’s still an area where women can’t really win either way, in aspects that very rarely exist for me. Once again, culturally ingrained misogyny pits women against each other.

  • roro80

    Dang it, again the commenting system ate my comment, then wouldn’t let me repost it, saying it’s a duplicate.

  • roro80

    CStanley — It’s true I haven’t watched the clip, and have only read the transcript, and you’re right that I might be missing some of the tone. I do not, though, really ever use the tactic of purposeful obtuseness, just for your future reference.

  • roro80

    There is a bigger issue here that you touch on — the false (or at least manufactured) division between women who work outside the home and those who do not. We’ve fought so long and so hard to get to a place where women can work outside the home; fought not just against the workplace dynamics and sexism that kept women out of the office for so long, but also against the idea that the essence of femininity is motherhood and home-based work. Those who choose to work outside the home while raising families (or not) must still deal with workplace sexism and lower pay, but also the still-engrained idea that where they really belong (and what they’re really suited to) is raising their kids (as if many aren’t doing exactly that). Those who choose to stay at home with their families instead of getting an outside job have to fight both against the fact that doing so is unpaid and undervalued “women’s work”, and the fact that some consider them “traitors” to the hard-won rights to be doing things other than homemaking. It’s still an area where women can’t really win either way, in aspects that very rarely exist for me. Once again, culturally ingrained misogyny pits women against each other.

  • roro80

    There is a bigger issue here that you reference — the false (or at least manufactured, imo) division between women who work outside the home and those who do not. We’ve fought so long and so hard to get to a place where women can work outside the home; fought not just against the workplace dynamics and sexism that kept women out of the office for so long, but also against the idea that the essence of femininity is motherhood and home-based work.

    Those who choose to work outside the home while raising families (or not) must still deal with workplace sexism and lower pay, but also the still-engrained idea that where they really belong (and what they’re really suited to) is raising their kids (as if many aren’t doing exactly that). Those who choose to stay at home with their families instead of getting an outside job have to fight both against the fact that doing so is unpaid and undervalued “women’s work”, and the fact that some consider them “traitors” to the hard-won rights to be doing things other than homemaking. It’s still an area where women can’t really win either way, in aspects that very rarely exist for me. Once again, culturally ingrained misogyny pits women against each other.

  • roro80

    trying again:

    There is a bigger issue here that you touch on — the false (or at least manufactured) division between women who work outside the home and those who do not. We’ve fought so long and so hard to get to a place where women can work outside the home; fought not just against the workplace dynamics and sexism that kept women out of the office for so long, but also against the idea that the essence of femininity is motherhood and home-based work. Those who choose to work outside the home while raising families (or not) must still deal with workplace sexism and lower pay, but also the still-engrained idea that where they really belong (and what they’re really suited to) is raising their kids (as if many aren’t doing exactly that). Those who choose to stay at home with their families instead of getting an outside job have to fight both against the fact that doing so is unpaid and undervalued “women’s work”, and the fact that some consider them “traitors” to the hard-won rights to be doing things other than homemaking. It’s still an area where women can’t really win either way, in aspects that very rarely exist for me. Once again, culturally ingrained misogyny pits women against each other.

  • roro80

    Anyone else having this problem with eaten comments they won’t let you post again?

  • roro80

    There is a bigger issue here that you touch on — the false (or at least manufactured) division between women who work outside the home and those who do not. We’ve fought so long and so hard to get to a place where women can work outside the home; fought not just against the workplace dynamics and sexism that kept women out of the office for so long, but also against the idea that the essence of femininity is motherhood and home-based work.

  • roro80

    There is a bigger issue here that you reference — the false (or at least manufactured) division between women who work outside the home and those who do not. We’ve fought so long and so hard to get to a place where women can work outside the home; fought not just against the workplace dynamics and sexism that kept women out of the office for so long, but also against the idea that the essence of femininity is motherhood and home-based work.

  • adelinesdad

    roro, two points:

    1) After many people from both sides of the aisle criticized her for the perceived meaning of her words, she did not clarify them to suggest your more charitable interpretation. That suggests that she did not mean it the way you think she did, or at least that there is no reason to assume so. The only reason to assume it is that the statement itself is so offensive (it’s so bad, she can’t possibly have meant it even though she didn’t clarify it). But that hardly excuses it. And Romney hasn’t been given the same consideration (Am I really supposed to believe that he enjoys firing people, or that he doesn’t care about poor people? Even after clarifying those remarks, he is not given the benefit of the doubt).

    2) The implication of the statement, even given your interpretation, is that being a stay-at-home mom is easier than working (outside the home), and therefore people only “work” if they “have to”, because being a stay-at-home mom is the easier thing to do. That assumption is reinforced by many commenters here also.

    When she argues that Ann can’t relate to the challenges that most women face because she doesn’t work outside the home, that’s the implication. Ann has it easy because she didn’t have to work (outside the home).

  • adelinesdad

    Roro,

    I’ll concede this: I was wrong to say there are not multiple ways to look at it. You are right that she might have meant “work” in the “job” sense. But, I do think it is charitable to assume that is the case, after she did not clarify what she meant when criticized. And, even given the more charitable interpretation, my point #2 above still applies.

    Maybe we can reach some common ground on that? (I won’t hold my breath, but one can hope)

  • EEllis

    2) The implication of the statement, even given your interpretation, is that being a stay-at-home mom is easier than working (outside the home), and therefore people only “work” if they “have to”, because being a stay-at-home mom is the easier thing to do. That assumption is reinforced by many commenters here also.

    Just as an aside most of the stay at home types I know would love to work. Most of them are starved for adult interaction and would love to have a job in the afternoons selling insurance or such. The reason one of my best friends doesn’t work is because with 4 kids she doesn’t think she could available enough if her kids needed her. She has started to go back to school for when the kids get older.

  • roro80

    adeline’s dad — Of course she meant “work” as in “has a job”. I’m surprised that you or anyone else might think otherwise. I’m having a horrible time getting comments through on this thread, so I’ll have to leave it at that.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney were wrong and inappropriate.

    President Obama, the First Lady and many other Democrats have expressed disapproval over the comments.

    Ann Romney was rightly offended by Rosen’s comments and gracious and civil in her response.

    On Fox News Channel this morning, Ann Romney said:

    “My career choice was to be a mother …and I think all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that women make. “

    You are so correct, Mrs. Romney. Please whisper that in your husband’s ear.

  • adelinesdad

    roro,

    I’ll concede the point. If and when you can comment, I’m interested in your response to my second point: that the comment, even under your interpretation, implies that stay-at-home moms have it easy.

    It’s a moot point now that she’s apologized. She should have done it sooner, but better late than never. But to tie up a loose end to my argument:

    It seems that the argument is that what Rosen was really referring to is that Ann Romney can’t relate to working-class women because she and her husband are rich. But, if that’s the case, the choice to frame it as stay-at-home vs. working mom is curious. Why not say:

    “Ann Romney can’t relate to most women because she drives two cadillacs”

    or, “because she has multiple houses.”

    or, “because she can afford to have maids.”

    or, why not just cut out the proxies and just say “because she’s rich.”

    But she chose to say that it’s because she doesn’t need to have a job. If it was only about that fact that she was rich, that is an odd way to phrase the issue. Yes, Ann is rich, but her not working isn’t much of a indicator of that, statistically. Plenty of non-rich women don’t work. In fact, contrary to what has been assumed by many commenters here, stay-at-home moms are actually more likely to be less educated, younger, and immigrants (all correlate with lower incomes): http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb11-ff07.html

    This makes sense when you consider that part of the choice to be a stay-at-home mom is whether you can make enough to warrant paying for child care. I’d be interested to see what the stay-at-home mom rates are per income class. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that it may be relatively flat and might actually be the reverse of what some might expect, at least for some income levels. From that perspective, Ann Romney’s choice to be a stay-at-home mom, rather than pursue a career that probably would make her much more money than the child care would have cost, reflects more how much she values the job of raising her kids more than it reflects how much money her husband makes. Especially when you consider that she made this choice before the big money started rolling in.

    Anyway, it’s been an interesting discussion. I agree with Joe that Republicans can overreach here. This was never about Obama, for me. Now that she’s apologized, I think we can move on (and I know some won’t). But, neither was she some nobody either. If other gaffes are relevant (etch-a-sketch?), so was this one. Maybe the lesson is that we shouldn’t pay attention to these talking heads, on either side, anyway.

  • StockBoyLA

    Sorry I’ve missed the lively discussion today. I’ve been out shopping, doing my part ti stimulate the economy. :)

    At any rate, CStanley- re the comparison btwn Michelle and Ann- there was a short bit about “false equivalency” in post.

    EEllis, I’m not saying Ann did not go to school, did not raise children and did not have to consider a budget. What I am saying is that Ann had choices and was able to freely stay home and raise children while many women in this country have absolutely no choice: they either earn money so they can have kids or they earn money and not have kids.

    The fact that Ann had her first kid in college… so what? She may not have had a housekeeper when she had her first children (and she may not have had any help, I don’t know). But the people I know who can afford help, hire it. And raising kids takes years. She was not in college the entire time she raised her kids until they were ready to go to college.

    My brother and his wife had children when they were in college. My mom helped them with money, and my brother worked. My brother and his wife both were in college full time. His wife went on to become a school teacher (she earned a masters) and earn a living. After ten years of working (and when my brother was earning money) she was able to quit her job, and raise her kids.

    The point is my sister-in-law and brother had to work and raise kids. They had no choice once they graduated from college. If you had a choice of asking one women who was more representative of women in American today, who would you go with? Someone who worked through college, earned a masters, went on to become a teacher and raise kids at the same time? Or someone who went to college (an extension program), who never had to look for work and stayed at home to raise kids because her husband could afford it?

  • StockBoyLA

    Anyway, I still agree with Rosen about Ann not being representative of the economic situation of women who need to work outside the home and raise money. Ann Romney simply does not know what it is like to have to look for work in order to make ends meet and raise a family (like many American women). I also think it’s smart of Rosen to apologize for making the comments and putting this past her. Even though the issue in my mind is as clear as day, as we can see people will go after Rosen’s statement and throw in side issues to make their own political points. Dangerous waters to be swimming in.

  • StockBoyLA

    “Just as an aside most of the stay at home types I know would love to work. Most of them are starved for adult interaction and would love to have a job in the afternoons selling insurance or such. The reason one of my best friends doesn’t work is because with 4 kids she doesn’t think she could available enough if her kids needed her.”

    Again this is a choice she made. Many people cannot afford to stay at home and raise kids. Many women postpone pregnancy until late 30′s so they can have a career. Many women have kids early and find they must work in order to feed the kids.

    Most women worry about earning an income to pay rent, put food on the table and also worry whether they should have kids right out of college or wait after establishing a career.

    Ann Romney never had to make these choices. She was able to have kids while in college and never had to worry about working to put food on the table or pay rent.

  • bluebelle

    C Stanley I agree with you that the Rosen stuff is just silly– the GOP is raising some good campaign cash on it as we speak by alluding to the entire Democratic party as being responsible for Rosen’s stupid comment.
    As far as the surrogate stuff– I pretty much agree.
    The GOP may have found a loophole for Ann Romney — she can apparently involve herself but is off limits for attack.
    I would rather see both candidates wives stay away from the sticky political issues so that they do not become targets. I was pleased to see the WH support Mrs. Romney instead of piling on

  • bluebelle

    Stockboy– I think that the outrage directed at Rosen came because as usual the remark was taken out of context to try to paint the left as not supporting stay-at-home moms and not considering raising 5 boys real work– which of course it is.

    I don’t think the Romneys ever went hungry but they probably did not have a fleet of nannies and maids either. Mitt’s success came about 15 years after they were married — so I have no doubt that it was a lot for Ann to handle

  • EEllis

    What I am saying is that Ann had choices and was able to freely stay home and raise children while many women in this country have absolutely no choice: they either earn money so they can have kids or they earn money and not have kids.

    Who is that? There might be a choice between being poor, or even poorer if that’s a word, and staying home, but we don’t let people starve here in the US and we do pay for housing for single mothers. The choice is over how much money you need and what it’s worth to stay home. Most women with a partner either work and have kids or decide that staying at home is more important than what they might earn. Mind you this is all arguing for the heck of it unless you think that somehow staying home is a lesser choice.

  • Jim Satterfield

    Of course all you have to do to make Rosen’s statement really offensive is to take it out of context, which it appears the Republicans think most stay at home mothers are stupid enough to fall for. Here’s the whole thing.

    “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 why do we worry about their future.”

    In spite of EEllis’s attempt to make it sound like it isn’t so, what Rosen said is true when you look at the whole thing. Because even if the Romney’s were married while still in college and lived in an inexpensive apartment, they did know full well that they had an economic fallback that the lower middle class and the poor just don’t have.

  • Jim Satterfield

    BTW, does anyone really believe that Ann Romney is having some kind of sit down talks with women who represent a wide spectrum of the population while on those campaign trips? Seriously? How many women motivated to go to an appearance of a Republican candidate’s wife are really representative of the concerns of a representative cross-section of American women?

  • EEllis

    Well she and Mitt were very involved in their church and did quite a bit of outreach. Also when you think of photo ops shelters are pretty high up on the list for the wives. But I guess they wouldn’t be any more statistically representative than any other group would it.

    Are we really trying to bash a guy for asking his wife her opinion on women’s issues? Or her for giving her opinion? How mean spirited do we really want to go?

  • adelinesdad

    Jim and others,

    First, the argument was that Rosen was referring to Ann’s wealth, not her choice to stay home, as the reason she is not qualified to speak on women’s issues. I’ve conceded that point, despite the fact that being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t seem to correlate very highly with being rich and so the statement doesn’t make much sense in that light. But, I’ve moved passed that.

    But, now that it’s pointed out that she wasn’t always very rich, the argument is now that she is not qualified to speak on women’s issues because she was not “lower middle class [or] poor”. Because she was never in danger of destitution. Are you sure that Michelle Obama meets your criteria? Or Hilary Rosen, for that matter?

  • adelinesdad

    I just found this: I don’t have time to dissect it, but it appears to show that families making 40k or below are actually more likely to have a stay-at-home mom than not. Above that, the mom is more likely to work, and the proportion of higher-income moms that stay home doesn’t seem to be much different than the proportion of middle-class moms that stay home.

    http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2007/tabFG2-all.xls

    Where am I reading this wrong? If not, can we agree that many women from many various income levels do have a choice to not work? They apparently do make that choice, so evidently they had that choice to make, unless you want to argue that the didn’t have an option to work, in which case Rosen’s argument makes even less sense.

  • DaGoat

    What is lost here is that Rosen agreed with Ann Romney that the economy is the most important issue on women’s minds, so while criticizing her qualifications to give opinions Rosen ultimately agreed with Ann Romney’s opinion. What Rosen is disagreeing with is Mitt Romney depending on his wife for some guidance on women’s issues which I think is a little dubious. Ann Romney is not Mitt’s only adviser, I’m sure he has a whole raft of them. Mitt is just bringing his wife up largely to make him seem more human, something that Obama does all the time as well.

    If you take out the phrase “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life” Rosen’s comments make a lot more sense, but unfortunately you can’t take them out. Looking at the video, her tone and attitude lead me to believe she meant the comment they way many took it – that the work of a stay-at-home mom is less valid than a woman with a job. I didn’t find Rosen’s apology very believable and it reminded me of Rush Limbaugh’s. Instead of just apologizing Rosen kept trying to argue her point.

  • roro80

    Well, we’ll see how the commenting gods are feeling about me to today.

    adeline’s dad — One thing I was trying over and over to post yesterday was a discussion about the point CStanley just touched on, and which I think has a lot to do with your second comment above. That is that this touches on a bigger issue that’s never really been resolved about women in the workplace: the sexism inherent in our society does create a false divide among women who work outside the home and those who stay home to care for their families. Even those of us cognizant of it do fall into the trap from time to time, which is what I think happened to both Rosen and Ann in this case. Women fought in this country for so long just to be able to be in the workplace, and there’s still an undercurrent in society that tells us we still don’t really belong there. Women who do work outside the home still have to deal with not only all the workplace politics that mean they get paid less and harassed more, but also fight the societal idea that femininity is defined by caring for children and being a homemaker. Women who do stay home with their children have another set of misogyny to deal with: not only do they do work that is undervalued and unappreciated as “real” work, while defining most of their day by doing expected things for others without compensation, but they also suffer the soft bigotry of low expectations — of course (goes the expectation) she’s staying at home with the kids, that’s what women are good for. In lots of ways, women still can’t win, and sometimes that means we are put in a position to defend the choices we’ve made by tacitly putting down those who make other choices (even if we had no real “choice” at all). In doing so, there’s a divide created. Does that make sense?

  • roro80

    adeline’s dad — One thing I was trying over and over to post yesterday was a discussion about the point CStanley just touched on, and which I think has a lot to do with your second comment above. That is that this touches on a bigger issue that’s never really been resolved about women in the workplace: the sexism inherent in our society does create a false divide among women who work outside the home and those who stay home to care for their families. Even those of us cognizant of it do fall into the trap from time to time, which is what I think happened to both Rosen and Ann in this case. Women fought in this country for so long just to be able to be in the workplace, and there’s still an undercurrent in society that tells us we still don’t really belong there. Women who do work outside the home still have to deal with not only all the workplace politics that mean they get paid less and harassed more, but also fight the societal idea that femininity is defined by caring for children and being a homemaker. Women who do stay home with their children have another set of misogyny to deal with: not only do they do work that is undervalued and unappreciated as “real” work, while defining most of their day by doing expected things for others without compensation, but they also suffer the soft bigotry of low expectations — of course (goes the expectation) she’s staying at home with the kids, that’s what women are good for. In lots of ways, women still can’t win, and sometimes that means we are put in a position to defend the choices we’ve made by tacitly putting down those who make other choices (even if we had no real “choice” at all). In doing so, there’s a divide created. Does that make sense?

  • roro80

    Nope, commenting system still hates me.

  • roro800

    We’ll see if a new profile will help. I’ve tried to put different versions of this comment on this thread about 10 times now.

    adeline’s dad — One thing I was trying over and over to post yesterday was a discussion about the point CStanley just touched on, and which I think has a lot to do with your second comment above. That is that this touches on a bigger issue that’s never really been resolved about women in the workplace: the sexism inherent in our society does create a false divide among women who work outside the home and those who stay home to care for their families. Even those of us cognizant of it do fall into the trap from time to time, which is what I think happened to both Rosen and Ann in this case. Women fought in this country for so long just to be able to be in the workplace, and there’s still an undercurrent in society that tells us we still don’t really belong there. Women who do work outside the home still have to deal with not only all the workplace politics that mean they get paid less and harassed more, but also fight the societal idea that femininity is defined by caring for children and being a homemaker. Women who do stay home with their children have another set of misogyny to deal with: not only do they do work that is undervalued and unappreciated as “real” work, while defining most of their day by doing expected things for others without compensation, but they also suffer the soft bigotry of low expectations — of course (goes the expectation) she’s staying at home with the kids, that’s what women are good for. In lots of ways, women still can’t win, and sometimes that means we are put in a position to defend the choices we’ve made by tacitly putting down those who make other choices (even if we had no real “choice” at all). In doing so, there’s a divide created. Does that make sense?

  • roro800

    Alright, I’ve even gone to the lengths of setting up an entirely new profile, and I still can’t get a comment in more than two lines. I’ve tried to submit a particular comment about 10 times now, and can’t do it. It just disappears. Have I been banned or something?

  • CStanley

    I feel like you’re calling to us from the bottom of a well, roro, but I don”t have a rope to haul you out. Hopefully one of the moderators will run for help. Where’ are Timmy and Lassie when we need them?

  • roro80

    Haha! Maybe the world just isn’t ready for my answer…:P

  • roro800

    adeline’s dad — One thing I was trying over and over to post yesterday was a discussion about the point CStanley just touched on, and which I think has a lot to do with your second comment above. That is that this touches on a bigger issue that’s never really been resolved about women in the workplace: the sexism inherent in our society does create a false divide among women who work outside the home and those who stay home to care for their families. Even those of us cognizant of it do fall into the trap from time to time, which is what I think happened to both Rosen and Ann in this case. Women fought in this country for so long just to be able to be in the workplace, and there’s still an undercurrent in society that tells us we still don’t really belong there. Women who do work outside the home still have to deal with not only all the workplace politics that mean they get paid less and harassed more, but also fight the societal idea that femininity is defined by caring for children and being a homemaker. Women who do stay home with their children have another set of misogyny to deal with: not only do they do work that is undervalued and unappreciated as “real” work, while defining most of their day by doing expected things for others without compensation, but they also suffer the soft bigotry of low expectations — of course (goes the expectation) she’s staying at home with the kids, that’s what women are good for. In lots of ways, women still can’t win, and sometimes that means we are put in a position to defend the choices we’ve made by tacitly putting down those who make other choices (even if we had no real “choice” at all). In doing so, there’s a divide created. Does that make sense?

  • roro800

    adeline’s dad — One thing I was trying over and over to post yesterday was a discussion about the point CStanley just touched on, and which I think has a lot to do with your second comment above. That is that this touches on a bigger issue that’s never really been resolved about women in the workplace: the sexism inherent in our society does create a false divide among women who work outside the home and those who stay home to care for their families.

  • roro800

    adeline’s dad — One thing I was trying over and over to post yesterday was a discussion about the point CStanley just touched on, and which I think has a lot to do with your second comment above.

  • roro800

    That is that this touches on a bigger issue that’s never really been resolved about women in the workplace: the sexism inherent in our society does create a false divide among women who work outside the home and those who stay home to care for their families.

  • roro800

    . That is that this touches on a bigger issue that’s never really been resolved about women in the workplace:

  • roro800

    That is that this touches on a bigger issue that’s never really been resolved about women in the workplace:

  • roro800

    This touches on a bigger issue that’s never really been resolved about women in the workplace:

  • roro800

    Nope, not even in one. sentence. increments.

  • roro800

    This is that this touches on a bigger issue that’s never really been resolved about women in the workplace:

  • roro800

    This touches on a bigger issue that’s never really been resolved about women in the workplace.

  • roro80

    That is that this touches on a bigger issue that’s never really been resolved about women in the workplace:

  • roro80

    women

  • roro80

    This touches on a bigger issue that’s never really been resolved about women in the workplace.

  • roro80

    workplace

  • CStanley

    Well said, roro.

  • adelinesdad

    Yes, I’d agree with that roro. If I understand what you are saying, you could say that women feel the need to defend their choice, and by doing so often (maybe necessarily) put down the choice of other women. That rings true to me.

    I’d say that this might be a case of that, gone to the extreme. While the tension you describe may be an undercurrent among women in general, Rosen brought it to the surface and exposed its ugliness.

  • adelinesdad

    P.S. Thanks for your persistence. :)

  • roro80

    Hi Dr E — It looks like you shook loose a bunch of earlier comments, but new ones are still not showing up on other threads. :(

  • roro80

    adelinesdad and CStanley — I appreciate the support. I wouldn’t agree though, ad, that this comment some how brought this to the surface. It’s always been there, and is remarkably common. Both sides. And it’s a “girl fight” or a “cat fight” supported by all the forces that try to invalidate women’s choices, whatever they be.