What War on Women? (Guest Voice)

What War on Women?
by Kathleen McKinley

Ann Romney had a very good two days. It all started with Hilary Rosen, Democrat strategist, saying Ann Romney couldn’t comment on economic issues because “she has never worked a day in her life.” Oh boy, for a PR girl, that was incredibly stupid. You don’t diss Moms. Any mother, working or not, will tell you how difficult it is to stay home with small children. Not only that, as a stay at home Mom of four kids myself, I know that like me, most stay at home Moms make most of the economic decisions for our families. Ann Romney promptly got on twitter, which was exploding with outraged Moms and their defenders, first tweeting, “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.” She has only tweeted twice, and she was followed by almost 32,000 almost immediately.

In full out damage control even First Lady Michelle Obama quickly tweeted, “Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected.” Other Democrat advisors from David Alexrod to Hilary herself tried to quell the fire on twitter, but the outrage grew. Rosen finally apologized in part with this statement: “. . . I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended. Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.”

Phony war? You mean like the phony war on women from the GOP on birth control? Which was completely invented and phony? That didn’t work out so well because American women knew very well they had access to inexpensive birth control at any Walgreens or Walmart. It was a joke. In this case, one can argue this is overblown, but it’s always been clear that the Democrats have a true disdain for traditional roles for women. NOW President couldn’t help herself.

TERRY O’NEILL: What would we be saying if Hillary Clinton had said this: that Ann Romney has never, has not worked for pay outside the home a day in her life? That’s my understanding that’s an accurate statement, and that raises the exact issue that Hilary Rosen was trying to get to, which is do Mr. & Mrs. Romney have the kind of life experience and if not, the imagination, to really understand what most American families are going through right now? I think that that was what Hilary was getting out, and so she left out the words “for pay outside the home.”

I hate to break it to Ms. O’Neill and Ms. Rosen, but stay at home moms have plenty of “life experience” and “imagination.” In my time raising my kids I volunteered for Health and Human Services babysitting for poor women having surgery. I was PTA President of their school. I took my kids with me to deliver Meals On Wheels to the elderly poor. I volunteered at a pregnancy crisis center helping young women through the most difficult time of their lives. I volunteered at their school for everything from reading to Kindergartners to helping with field trips, holiday parties, and end of year field days. All these things took organization, lots of WORK, and lots of life experience and imagination. We stay at home moms don’t just sit at home with our kids, but how would people like O’Neill and Rosen know that? They never pay attention to women like us unless they are dismissing us.

When I think back on the vile sexist attacks on women and Moms like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Michelle Malkin, and many other conservative women in the new media, I noticed that women like O’Neill and Rosen never came to their defense. So, this is really not about women to them. It’s only about their political agenda.

If there ever was a war on women it came from those who stick their noses up at women who choose, sometimes at great financial sacrifice, to stay home with their children. All of women in America who have raised kids, working or not working, know that we advance nothing for ourselves when we trash each other for our choices. No one knows each of our lives. Each woman does what she has to do. That’s what Moms do. We need to raise each other up, not tear each other down. And we should never listen to those who dismiss any of our life choices in choosing (or having) to work and raising children.

Kathleen McKinley is a a conservative activist. She blogs at The Houston Chronicle, RightWingNews, Newsbusters, and her own site. She co-hosts SmartGirlNation on FTRadio for SmartGirlPolitics, an organization of conservative women to promote issues that are important to them. This is cross posted from her Houston Chronicle blog.

TMV Managing Editor’s Note: Thoughtful and civil comments always welcome. If you are new to TMV, before you comment, please read the Commenters’ Rules at the top of the Home page.

Author: Guest Voice

15 Comments

  1. I read over the part about the birth control..gave the author the benefit of the doubt because she had a valid point in the beginning…and then she went here…

    “but it’s always been clear that the Democrats have a true disdain for traditional roles for women”

    which is where I stopped reading.

  2. I have to agree with ShannonLeee concerning birth control, but differ in my disagreement with the author. The author says concerning the GOP’s phony war on birth control and access to birth control:

    “That didn’t work out so well because American women knew very well they had access to inexpensive birth control at any Walgreens or Walmart.”

    Yes inexpensive birth control may be available, but there are a huge number of men and women in this country that do not research subjects and try to find the truth. They believe the media, politicians, sound bites and political messages. That is why negative ads work. So there are a large number of American men and women voters that believe the “phony war” the GOP is accused of and that can make a difference between an Obama victory or loss.

    And that is sad where so much depends on the outcome of Presidential elections that people do not understand the real issues and only believe 1/2 truths and lies they hear on TV and radio.

  3. “When I think back on the vile sexist attacks on women and Moms like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Michelle Malkin, and many other conservative women in the new media, I noticed that women like O’Neill and Rosen never came to their defense. So, this is really not about women to them. It’s only about their political agenda.”

    I may have missed it, but where was the article from this author speaking out against Rush Limbaugh after his vile, sexist attack on Sandra Fluke? Apparently she only gets her feathers ruffled when the remarks are directed at her fellow conservatives, and not women generally.

    The author actually answers her own question, though. Rosen and O’Neill aside, Democratic women from the First Lady on down quickly came to the defense of Ann Romney and stay at home moms everywhere. The response was swift and clear: Rosen’s remarks were unacceptable.

    Where was the rush (pun intended) from the right to defend Sandra Fluke?

    There wasn’t one, and in my opinion the author gives the reason why in this statement:

    “…it’s always been clear that the Democrats have a true disdain for traditional roles for women.”

    Fluke was fair game because she was not fulfilling a “traditional role.” She was not married, didn’t have kids, and was actually arguing in favor of a relatively uncontroversial proposition…that oral contraception should be covered by insurance.

    Yet because she wasn’t fulfilling a “traditional role,” she was publicly degraded by the de facto mouthpiece for the right wing, and not the author of this piece, nor Michelle Malkin, nor Sarah Palin, nor Michelle Bachmann, nor Ann Romney came to her defense.

    Rosen’s attack on Ann Romney was wrong. Limbaugh’s attack on Sandra Fluke was wrong. Yet the reason so many people think there is a conservative “war on women” is because because both liberals and conservatives rallied around the former, while only liberals rallied around the latter.

  4. Very pertinent and correct comments, cjjack.

    Furthermore, they have an indirect bearing on the debate presently going on in the thread for “The War on the War on Women Woman,” where the current (side-) topic is the Conservative resentment for attacks on Mrs. Romney while giving a pass to similar (and at times much worse) attacks on the First Lady.

  5. Excellent observation, cjjack. If I recall correctly, when there were attacks on Palin’s family during the 2008 election Barack stepped up and said that families should be off limits.

    Also (a little off topic, but pertinent to cjjack’s point), as we all recall, during the 2008 campaign many people in the McCain and Palin rallies were calling Obama a terrorist. Neither McCain nor Palin did anything to stop them until it became a big issue in the press. However when Obama’s supporters would boo and hiss at the mention of McCain’s or Palin’s name, Barack would calm them down and say “There’s no need for that. All you need to do is vote.” And he had the crowds under control.

    I’m so glad that there’s one party in this country with a fantastic leader who respects the members of the opposite party.

  6. “Kathleen McKinley is a a conservative activist.”

    Gee, da’ya think? ;-) I recommend Kathleen McKinley read the excellent articles Dr. Estes has posted here at TMV on this very subject. It would be an opportunity for her to widen (and improve) her vision a bit.

  7. “Also (a little off topic, but pertinent to cjjack’s point), as we all recall, during the 2008 campaign many people in the McCain and Palin rallies were calling Obama a terrorist. Neither McCain nor Palin did anything to stop them …”

    Have we forgotten, Sarah Palin accusing Obama of “palling around with terrorists who would target their own country…”

  8. Palin was a VP candidate, she was fair game anyway. The attacks on her husband were out of line.

    and I am commenting off of other comments because I refuse to read any further :)

  9. DDW, I am not sure what the woman said, but McCain did, indeed, stop one woman from dissing Obama. He apparently had had enough of the nonsense. So it is only fair to give him credit for that.

  10. Hi RC,

    While I only commented on “Sarah Palin accusing Obama of ‘palling around with terrorists who would target their own country…’” I do remember the incident where a woman started to call Obama an Arab and McCain cute her off and corrected her. That was gracious of McCain and –you are right — he should be given credit for it.

    On a related issue, while I have been highly critical of McCain’s views and policies –especially he Iraq war — I have always recognized and thanked him for his military service, especially his POW experience.

    Thanks

  11. “That didn’t work out so well because American women knew very well they had access to inexpensive birth control at any Walgreens or Walmart. It was a joke.”

    Pffft. American women with insurance have that birth control access for whatever their pharmacuetical copay was. For me, it was indeed inexpensive. Women without had it for ~$80/month. That might be chump change to Ms McKinley. Not so for many other women.

    Article overall is way offbase.

  12. The GOP is the party of “your with us or against us”. If you even propose an alternative to what they want to do, then you are attacking what they want to do. I.e. – if you allow gay marriages, then you are attacking straight marriages. If you support women working outside the home, then you are attacking women who stay at home to raise a family. If you propose actual sex education then you are attacking abstinence education. See the pattern?

    Conservatives are not happy with being allowed to do things their way. They are only happy if everyone else is forced to do it their way too. Anything short of that is somehow an attack on them. Its not enough to say that if you want to teach creationism and that abortion is a sin, feel free to do so at home and in Sunday school and raise your kids with those beliefs. But no, they have to inject it into the law for everyone, or into the classrooms of everyone. That is the difference between liberals and conservatives and so I laugh when I hear GOP folks talk about how intrusive the govt is when its their policies they want to intrude in everyone else’s lives.

  13. “I am not sure what the woman said, but McCain did, indeed, stop one woman from dissing Obama. He apparently had had enough of the nonsense. So it is only fair to give him credit for that.”

    McCain only did so when their was an outcry in the media about such things going on at the McCain / Palin rallies.

  14. “That is the difference between liberals and conservatives and so I laugh when I hear GOP folks talk about how intrusive the govt is when its their policies they want to intrude in everyone else’s lives.”

    Absolutely right. Liberals are about people being able to make choices and pursing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Conservatives are about having the state tell you what you can and cannot do.

    And the conservatives take it even further. They manufacture lies about liberals taking away rights. For instance the gun-loving conservatives I know all adamantly felt that (this was during the 2008 election season) that if Obama won, he would take away everyone’s guns. I told them that was wrong. No Democrat was even talking about such legislation. The conservatives tell people that if gay marriage happens then their own marriages are threatened.

    The only reason I can think of why conservative politicians don’t support education is to keep people from developing the analytical skills necessary to think for themselves.

    Dems have been working on legislation to expand healthcare for all, education for all, jobs programs (which did create jobs, until the Republicans cut-off funding), and other legislation meant to help citizens. All the conservatives do is block, block, block and engage in culture wars.

    in the 2010 mid-terms conservatives claimed their number one priority was to create jobs. If that is the case, then why are conservatives working on so much legislation intended to open up the culture wars…. and where are all those fantastic jobs bills and more importantly, where are all those fantastic jobs?

Submit a Comment