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?

100 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.....-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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. “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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. 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?

  22. 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?

  23. 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/populati.....G2-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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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?

  26. 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?

  27. Nope, commenting system still hates me.

  28. 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?

  29. 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?

  30. 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?

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

  32. 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?

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

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

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

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

  39. Nope, not even in one. sentence. increments.

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

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

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

  43. women

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

  45. workplace

  46. Well said, roro.

  47. 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.

  48. P.S. Thanks for your persistence. :)

  49. 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. :(

  50. 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.

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