UPDATE II:

After the firestorm generated by Hilary Rosen’s remarks on stay-at-home moms (See post below), and after the deep and — and sincere — umbrage taken by Ann Romney and so many others, Mrs. Romney over the weekend said this about that:

It was my early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a mother …That was a really defining moment, and I loved it.

Now, on this one, I will just report and let you decide — jut like Fox.

But, should you wish to read additional details and more subjective opinions on this, please click here and here.

CODA: I did have to add the “satire” tag with this update.

==

UPDATE I:

Sara Mead at the Washington Monthly provides a different perspective on “Mitt Romney and the Cult of True Womanhood.” If you have had enough on this issue, it may be worth your while — when you are at the site — just to click on the link, “this video,” to see John McCain grimace and squirm while Romney gets ready to offer his “dignity of work” view.

===

Reacting to a statement by Mitt Romney that Ann Romney had conveyed to him the economic concerns of women, Hilary 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 women in this country are facing.”

All hell broke loose, here and everywhere else on the planet, accusing Rosen — and Democrats — of maligning Mrs. Romney personally and stay-at-home mothers in general.

While I do not believe that such was Rosen’s intent — OK, it was a poor choice of words (we all have them) — Mrs. Rosen and Democrats have paid the price.

But, as it turns out, Romney himself has not been so kind to stay-at-home moms — it would seem.

We read in the Washington Post today that in January of this year, Romney appeared at a town hall event in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he said:

While I was governor, 85 percent of the people on a form of welfare assistance in my state had no work requirement. I wanted to increase the work requirement. I said, for instance, that even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, “Well that’s heartless,” and I said “No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving daycare to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.’

Just as it has been reported ad nauseam that Rosen said, “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” I could write that Mitt Romney said, talking about stay-at-home moms, “I want [stay-at-home mothers] to have the dignity of work.”

Or I could quote part of the Washington Post’s piece:

Read that again: “I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.” And by “individuals,” Romney means “mothers.”

To understand this comment, you need to understand that there’s no such program as “welfare.” There’s only “TANF”: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. And the key word there is “families.” Welfare is not now, and never was, a program for poor people. It’s a program for poor mothers.

So what Mitt Romney was saying, in other words, was that he believes poor mothers should go out and get jobs rather than to stay home with their children. He believes that going out and getting a job gives mothers — and everyone else — “the dignity of work.”

As I just did.

But I do ask you, if I may, to read the entire piece at the Post in context and then decide for yourself whether Romney was insulting stay-at-home moms.

It would be nice if we all took a deep breath before enlisting in the War on the War on the War on Women — or in any other war.

Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
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dduck
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dduck
4 years 5 months ago

NO………………………

DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist
Editor

Did he make a case for “the dignity of work outside the home’ for his own wife?

dduck
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dduck
4 years 5 months ago

AR was not in the assistance program, hence the dignity of not taking a “handout” is a mute point. Some people, resist any “assistance” equating it with welfare and being a failure.

I know my mother, a single mom, would have died rather than accept a dime of “welfare”. I’m not saying that people like her are right, indeed they may be wrong, I’m saying that some have that attitude.

RP
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RP
4 years 5 months ago

“But I do ask you, if I may, to read the entire piece at the Post in context”

Nice try. Remember this the next time someone on the right makes a comment and part of it would make a wonderful soundbite for the lefts cause!!!

Hard to resist the temptation isn’t it????

CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 5 months ago

Turnabout is fair play.

dduck
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dduck
4 years 5 months ago

OK, I’m lost, what are RP/CS talking about.

cjjack
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cjjack
4 years 5 months ago
Did Romney insult stay at home moms? I think the better, and broader question is: Isn’t this whole argument insulting to women? One of the other articles today on TMV regarding this subject was by a conservative commentator who bemoaned the Democrats “true disdain for traditional roles for women.” As with the dust-up a few months ago regarding birth control, I can help but think “hey, didn’t we already have this discussion?” I don’t want to diminish the decision of the many women who choose to stay at home and raise children (my mother included), but at the same time… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 5 months ago
Dduck- i’m saying that gotchas have a way of coming back to bite you. If it was insulting to Ann to suggest that childrearing isn’t work, then it can also be said to be a similar insult to suggest that mothers who need govt aid aren’t doing meaningful work by raising their children. You pointed out another aspect to the dignity comment, and i think that’s a valid point….plus, poor women probably aren’t well served by becoming dependent on govt rather than having a path to self sufficiency. It is truly a different situation than being financially dependent on a… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 5 months ago

Cjack, why does one situation or the other have to be “ideal”? It’s not a step backward to say that each choice is equally valid and should be equally valued by society.

cjjack
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cjjack
4 years 5 months ago
“It’s not a step backward to say that each choice is equally valid and should be equally valued by society.” Yet I don’t think they’re saying that. It is worth noting that Ms. Rosen is also a mother, having adopted two children, but this is not being presented as one mother criticizing another. No, this is being presented (by the right, at least)as an attack on “traditional roles for women.” I’m all for saying each choice (including stay at home moms and non traditional families like Rosen’s) is equally valid and should be equally valued by society, but the underlying… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 5 months ago
Wile i concur that the insults to Fluke were completely uncalled for, i disagree on the rest of your comment. You are saying that liberal women value motherhood as evidenced by working mothers who value it- but that’s not the point. It’s that the specific choice of being a full time mother is rarely shown respect by those on the left and often there’s an expression of disdain. My experience isn’t that women like Rosen think motherhood is unimportant, it’s that they don’t relate to women who would choose motherhood instead of career and don’t thonk it matters much if… Read more »
DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist
Editor

I’d say millions of so-called ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives’ respect sahm because they are. The ten loudest mouths in the press from either side, dont seem to know this.

zephyr
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zephyr
4 years 5 months ago

I’ve watched a lot of politicians over the years but Mitt has more trouble formulating and sticking to a message than any I’ve seen.

“It would be nice if we all took a deep breath before enlisting in the War on the War on the War on Women”

Amen brother.

CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 5 months ago

Dorian, i’m sorry but i don’t understand your question.

dduck
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dduck
4 years 5 months ago

CS, thanks, I guess I couldn’t see the forest for the gotchas. Too me this is just a lot of hollering in a sand storm, all noise and obscured shapes.

Rcoutme
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Rcoutme
4 years 5 months ago

CS: he wants you to cite, preferably with links, specific instances where ‘liberals’ are dissing sahm’s.

CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 5 months ago
Dduck- re: forest for the trees, here’s my take on it… Both groups, liberal women and conservative women (an oversimplification since many are also in between) see “trees” representing their concerneps which are made into “forests” by politician in order to support those concerns. When we’re arguing about what kind of forest we are dealing with- whether or not the trees are of one type or another, our interests are being exploited. I say we should stop arguing and assume that other people might legitimately have concerns that differ from our own. Woody Allen had the line that “just because… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 5 months ago

Rcoutme- seriously? I guess i’ll wait for Dorian to respond because i don’t see the point of doing that. I’m mainly referring to my personal life experience and although i’m sure i could dig up a lot of writings by the leaders of the feminist movement, I’m also sure that anyone who doesn’t believe that this hostility exists or persists will find reasons to discount anything i could link to (as in…”oh, that was just the first wave feminists”, or “that’s just so-and so, no one really listens to her”, etc.)

CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 5 months ago
Gotta run soon but first i wanted to comment that i think it’s instructive that roro, who is a woman who’s much more liberal than i am, wrote in another thread a comment that indicated an understanding of the divide between mothers with careers and those who choose to stay home. Part of it involves the fact that one choice seems to invalidate the other; a working mother’s reasons for choosing career come across as a diss on full time motherhood (women should seek employment in order to be part of the real, adult world, and in order to fully… Read more »
roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago
“It’s that the specific choice of being a full time mother is rarely shown respect by those on the left and often there’s an expression of disdain.” Hi CStanley, I just wanted to say that, except for the comment above, I’m very much right there with you on everything you’ve said on this thread. The only bone to pick is that I’m not actually convinced that those on the right are any more respectful or less distainful of sahm’s. My reasoning is that the divide created between women is created by an overall mentality that women don’t really belong in… Read more »
roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago

Hey CStanley — thanks, and I agree, with some caveats (of course). I’ve got a lot to say, but despite the best efforts of the mods over the weekend, it looks like I’m still being kicked out as spam.

roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago
Let’s see if I can get something through: CStanley – People (well, men) on both sides of the aisle have a very real incentive to make us women complicit in our own oppression; and it is very often quite tempting and comfortable to give into that pressure. I know that to someone as dead-set against movement feminism as you are may, this may come off as some man-hating hoopdie-doo, but I assure you I do not hate men, and it seems like you do understand the truth here at some level. But this division between women who work outside the… Read more »
roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago

Dr E — Any chance you could try again to pull my comments out of spam?

roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago

I will of course visit you — and bring you a file to boot! :) However, they are still showing up as awaiting moderation.

roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago

Haha! Thank you so much, Dorian.

ordinarysparrow
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ordinarysparrow
4 years 5 months ago
This may be a rather cynical view on my part, but all of chest pounding on Ann Romney becoming the banner mom for this ‘stay at home mom’s’ seems a bit unsettling to me. Yes, she stayed at home, yet my cynicism asks; how typical of a ‘stay at home mom’ is Ann Romney? I would like to know how much domestic support she had in the home? In no way is that wrong, but is Ann’s Romeney’s experience representative of most lower and middle class Americans women that stay at home to care for their children…are these not Romney… Read more »
ordinarysparrow
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ordinarysparrow
4 years 5 months ago

eek what happened to the correction options, i always correct after i post… giggle

zephyr
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zephyr
4 years 5 months ago

“but is Ann’s Romeney’s experience representative of most lower and middle class Americans women that stay at home to care for their children” – OS

Nope. Not even close. And this is why she evinces so little credibility on the subject. She and her husband both are both disconnected from mainstream America to an almost ridiculous degree, and yet they want to be the deciders! (Mittens does anyway)

zephyr
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zephyr
4 years 5 months ago

(all our edits are imaginary now 😉

EEllis
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EEllis
4 years 5 months ago
“but is Ann’s Romeney’s experience representative of most lower and middle class Americans women that stay at home to care for their children” – OS Nope. Not even close. And this is why she evinces so little credibility on the subject. She and her husband both are both disconnected from mainstream America to an almost ridiculous degree, and yet they want to be the deciders! (Mittens does anyway) Is there a certain amount of money you are allowed to have before before money is the only thing you are qualified to talk about? honestly it\’s like since Mitt had the… Read more »
dduck
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dduck
4 years 5 months ago
Z, all of this still reaks of partisanship. The people who wouldn’t vote for Romney under any circumstances, are finding ways to criticize AR for the “sins” she has commited because they dislike Mitt’s creds, demeanor, positions, and policy announcements. AR, appears (so far) to be an intelligent person, who may very well have some knowledge of economics, even of the the poor working mom variety. Many of us on TMV think of ourselves as masters of all sorts of matters and certainly seem to have intelligent opinions, so why can’t a person who has never worked a day in… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 5 months ago
Roro, not surprisingly i disagree with a lot of your now disembargoed comment. There’s a lot to unpack there and i’m short on time, so i’ll focus on the core argument that men make women complicit in our own oppression. I am completely certain that you don’t mean this to imply a conspiracy (Augusta National is not an enclave for men to meet and plot how they’ll continue to keep the wimmenfolk in their place, right?) But i assume you feel that men generally have a natural inclination to try to preserve their positions of power and that this plays… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 5 months ago

Oh great…just wrote a longish reply to roro and now MY comment isn’t showing up!

CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 5 months ago

Dduck- it’s funny how often our ability to relate to rich people coincides with whether or not they are useful spokespersons for the ideas we embrace. I don’t think on the individual level that is a calculated thing, but just that the people who say they believe in the same things we do are the people we relate to, and then we find artificial ways to screen out the people whose belief system is different than ours.

EEllis
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EEllis
4 years 5 months ago
About Mitts statement. Is it an insult or hypocritical to believe in the validity of a womens choice to be a SAHM but not think that the role of SAHM is so valuable that the taxpayers be required to fund that choice? And what of the children ans society in general? Is it better for children to have a SAHM but is totally dependent on public assistance or a working mother providing for them? I think right or wrong there is a stigma to receiving public assistance and the concern of the cost to society when such assistance is so… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 5 months ago
Eelis, as i mentioned earlier too, i think there’s an issue of dependency created when the policy is to support women with children without requiring paid employment. Some would say that SAHMs are also dependent on their husbands, but the diffference is that it’s reasonable to presume that the husband in most cases doesn’t see an incentive for his wife to be economically disadvantaged (not in today’s society where institutionalized gender discrimination isn’t what it used to be.) the same isn’t true for a depency on govt…the govt doesn’t have a personal relationship with indivduals and the incentive runs the… Read more »
roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago

“just wrote a longish reply to roro and now MY comment isn’t showing up!”

The powers that be have an incentive for us not to be able to talk! If two women on far sides of the political spectrum can get together and find things in common, they’re DOOMED!!!

I’m kidding. Mostly. :)

EEllis
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EEllis
4 years 5 months ago

Some would say that SAHMs are also dependent on their husbands

In some cases I’m sure they are but I would hope, and it seems to me that the ideal would be, that a couple would be partners regardless of their roles in the household.

roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago
“The people who wouldn’t vote for Romney under any circumstances, are finding ways to criticize AR for the “sins” she has commited because they dislike Mitt’s creds, demeanor, positions, and policy announcements.” dduck, you know that this is pretty easy to fix, right? If AR has street cred on the economy, and on women, have her tell us what that is. Having Mitt pretend that Ann is the only woman in the world, and deferring everything having to do with women to her, doesn’t go too far to convince me of your theory that she could very well have all… Read more »
roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago

“that a couple would be partners regardless of their roles in the household.”

I think the implication there was that the SAHM is financially dependent on her husband. Except in the case of the woman being independently wealthy, that’s generally a pretty good assumption.

CStanley
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CStanley
4 years 5 months ago

Roro- lol on your conspiracy theory…and if Dorian doesn’t come to my request i can also posit that the powers that be here at TmV are working to silence conservative women! Your comments being trapped was just a ruse to distract attention from the real conspiracy!

dduck
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dduck
4 years 5 months ago

roro, AR doesn’t have to prove anything, except as a campaigner for her husband, like MO and every other candidate’s wife. She can stand there and count the hairs on Newt’s nose, like Calista, for all I care.

MY point, which I think you made, is that we are biased to find negatives for the people on the other team. “Having Mitt pretend that Ann is the only woman in the world, and deferring everything having to do with women to her…..” sounds a little
biased unless you have a mole in Mitt’s household.

roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago
“AR doesn’t have to prove anything” Then Mittens needs to start talking himself. He can’t say “go to her for all womany stuff”, and then have her not tell what her/his/their policies will be on issues important to women. That’s the problem here. Constituent A: Hey Mitt Romney, in what ways will your policies on women’s health be different from Obama’s? MR: Well, ask my wife. ConstA: Ok, Ann Romney, can you answer? AR: I don’t have to prove anything. See how that doesn’t work, dduck? If she’s going to be his expert on all things woman, let her talk… Read more »
roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago
Well, I seem to be having better luck now (sorry, looks like the Spaminator 3000 has you in its sights now, CStanley). So we’ll see. So first off, as you thought, I am not implying a conspiracy. While I know for certain that things like PACs or what not do talk about how to slice and dice the population and play sectors off each other in much this same way, I hold no dilusions that the entirety of the male population are in on these secret man meetings. And yes, your interpretation of my views is correct. Gonna see if… Read more »
roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago
Ok, success! Now onto the meat: “brushes aside the biologically determined gender differences. If men really are ge[n]erally more hard wired to seek power and women generally more hard wired to seek security, then the equilibrium you seek will never happen without allowing for that.” Ah, the EvoPsych arguments. First, I’m not actually looking for “equilibrium”. I’m looking for women to have the same choices and opportunities as men. Not all women will want to take advantage of them, of course. Second, nothing at all in my limited 30 years, including huge amounts of research, indicates that these natural tendencies… Read more »
roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago

Ah! Curses! Comments foiled again… my dear DDW, would you do the honors?

roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago

Oh no! Comments stuck again…

roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago

Ok, now I’m really really kicked out of the system…

roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago

Oh, just kidding, they went to the next page. *blushes*

roro80
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roro80
4 years 5 months ago

“In other words, the drive for security is extremely diminished, if not eliminated.”

To be clear, I mean that the overall group drive for security. Of course, just like men, some will seek security while some will seek adventure. But the man spread and woman spread become much more similar when you’re working with a population with access to fertility control.

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