Thursday, April 12, 2012

**UPDATED** Relatability


Hilary Rosen created quite a firestorm last night. In my view, the firestorm is more about the offense people perceived rather than the truth she put forth. Her phrasing was inarticulate, but her point was relevant.

Yes, I know the Obama administration is wanting people to back away from Rosen's comments. I understand that. But guess what? I don't always agree with the administration and in this case, I'm going to take a stance as someone a little more knowledgeable on the issue than Axelrod or President Obama.

I am a Stay-at-Home Mom -- a SAHM. But not married to a millionaire. And I think Rosen's comments were valid: the wife of a millionaire should not be revered as a "surrogate" for her husband on women's economic issues. We can share being moms and the regular concerns that go with that. But the relatability stops there. I think it's MORE than acceptable to call out Ann Romney as being out of touch with women who make the work/family choice because of economic requirements. Good for her for choosing to stay home to raise her kids. But she can't relate to moms whose choices are made for them by economic realities.

I also notice a trend lately. Seems that when women get mad and start debating, the issue we're debating is called a "distraction". Sorry folks, but talking about how women provide for their families, whether they can or want to stay home or work outside the home, how she manages to pay bills, save for college, pay for activities, etc IS AN ECONOMICALLY RELEVANT DISCUSSION!

The war isn't between SAHMs or moms who work outside the home. The war is on women who are consistently being pushed back -- in policy and discussion. Mitt Romney is SO out of touch on women's issues that he is sending his wife out to defend him and speak for him and gather information for him.

All Rosen was saying, and I agree, is that as lovely as Ann Romney may be, as wonderful of a mother as she may be, she will NEVER be able to relate to me or the millions of other women who didn't have the luxury to make the "choice" she made. That's a point we should all be ready to state again and again. It's not a personal attack. It's a reality that must matter in the debate over women and our economic role in America and the fact that the Romneys have no business speaking for the average family.


Since I posted, Ann Romney has said "my career choice was motherhood." Seems to me that is as rhetorically offensive as Hilary's implication that being a mom isn't a job. But I haven't heard anyone criticize her implication that women who don't stay home, don't choose motherhood. But that's OK. I also find it interesting that Ann Romney also said we all need to respect the "choices" mothers make. Oh, so she's pro-choice?

Also since my original post, the Catholic League Tweeted

Lesbian Dem Hilary Rosen tells Ann Romney she never worked a day in her life. Unlike Rosen, who had to adopt kids, Ann raised 5 of her own.
And I haven't heard any outrage about that.

Hilary Rosen has also since apologized.

Here's the deal, folks, Ann Romney has had struggles. Yes, MS and motherhood is hard. But PLEASE understand that we do not relate to each other based on our struggles. We relate to each other on how we can get through those. My mother-in-law had MS and eventually had to stop working as a nurse, go on Medicaid and live in adult foster care. Her resources were limited. THAT was hard on all of us. I'm not about to suggest Ann let nannies raise her kids and, let's face it, moms who work outside the house have to rely on others to help raise their kids, but the struggles Ann Romney faced or faces today are lessened by her access to help with those struggles.

We can relate about being moms. DO NOT try to relate to me on the economics of being moms.


judi M. said...

Well stated. I totally agree...the comment was the truth, in crude form. I believe the phony outrage is ridiculous. Having "been there done that' as a single mom of 4 many years ago, I think I would know amore about what ordinary women want these days that Ann Romney. Some of us HAD no choice..yet by today's standards on the RIGHT we were lousy, no good, free loading, incompetent, librul nazis sucking up entitlements (even though we were college educated working out butts off.)

And don't forget all the nasty, mean spirited things the Repubs have said about Michelle Obama...her education, her manner, her clothes, her law degrees, he kids, her eating habits.....I don't want to think about it.

It may not be fair.......but welcome to the real world Ann Romney. But Dems...don'tf orget the Big Picture...don't over do it.

NowhereMan said...

Bravo Jen!in addition let me ad your mom had to rely on medicare to help treat her MS while Ann Romney got the very best of care to treat her MS and breast cancer.So she can't relate to the common woman when it comes to getting the best quality medical treatment.
While I'm at it,the press is so pathetically stupid to be asking Jay Carney how many times Hillary Rosen has visited the WH when she doesn't work for the campaign!