Can't we all just get along?
Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen has reignited a "moms-vs-moms" war when she responded to Mitt Romney's comment that he depends on "his wife" (what's her name Mitt?), to alert him to the economic concerns of women around the country. Her statement that Ann (see Mitt? your wife does have a name!), who raised five now-grown sons, basically has no idea about the economical concerns of the average woman because Ann Romney had "never worked a day in her life" added fuel to a firestorm pitting woman against woman yet once again.
Retro to Hillary Rodham Clinton's 1992 remark that made stay-at-home moms everywhere see red. Defending her stance as a woman who enjoyed using her education she said that instead of working as a lawyer, she "could have stayed home and baked cookies." I have to say her remark resonated with this writer in a positive way; when questioned by anyone why I was choosing to be a working woman and not a "homemaker" my stock answer was always, "I'm not a cookie-baker." The fact that I can’t actually bake anything has nothing to do with it.
In all seriousness though, we have to understand the truth of Rosen’s remark. While Ann Romney may very well have raised five sons and, it is conceded that the task is a tremendous amount of work, the statement was truly taken out of context or simply perverted by certain groups as a comment against the American tradition of “Mom and apple pie.” It isn’t that Ann Romney didn’t work; it’s the fact that she never had to support or help support a family that included one, two, or five sons or daughters, by actually working for money. She was never at the check-out counter of her local grocery store worrying about whether she had enough money for the essentials in her cart. Ann Romney never came home from a full-time job outside the home to a second full-time job of keeping a home and raising children. The lady never had to suffer the complete exhaustion many moms face by being both a full-time mom and a woman who has to please her boss to keep her job. She never went to work ill and feeling miserable, not daring to take a day off, because she needed to save her sick days in case one of her children got sick.
The hard facts are that Ann Romney is as out of touch with the cold reality of what the average woman sees economically as a cloistered nun is about sexual pleasures. She may be, and I’m sure she is, a wonderful woman and mother but please be realistic; Ann Romney is not the average American woman. Let’s not forget for one moment that she is now, and has been for over 40 years, married to wealth. She is not counting pennies here nor is she looking for paid work to augment the family income. Her economic life is safe and secure; her children have trust funds. The average woman? Absolutely not.
To bring another fact into play here, there are women like Secretary Rodham Clinton and me who want to work outside the home. Not everyone wants to be a stay-at-home mom and some women choose not to be mothers at all. Does Ann Romney relate to them or they to her? Hardly.
The point here is that Hilary Rosen made a statement that is pitting women against each other and that shouldn’t be. Can’t we all see that we’re individuals and that no one woman represents every single one of us? We have various role models and our choices, if not the same, should be respected.
I find no fault with Hilary Rosen’s statement. There’s enough to worry about in this election year without a new moms vs moms war starting up. The economy, healthcare, women’s rights, human rights, etc. Let’s join together and make serious, positive changes for all. Not all Romans liked each other but hey, they built an empire.
As a little side note though, I might want to ask Mr. Romney to stop referring to Ann as “my wife.” She deserves her identity and name. Whenever a man introduces his wife to my husband and me as simply, “This is my wife,” my guy always says with a smile, “Does she have a name? My wife’s name is Kristen.”
© 2012 Kristen Houghton all rights reserved
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Kristen Houghton is the author of the following top-selling books:
No Woman Diets Alone - There's Always a Man Behind Her Eating a Doughnut
And Then I'll Be Happy! Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness and Put Your Own Life First available in both paperbook and e-book.
Her new book, Nourishing Thoughts: The Little Book of Sayings for a Healthy, Happy Life will be launched on May 1, 2012