Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Hilary Rosen/Ann Romney battle diminishes real concern over women surviving in bad economy

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“Guess what — his wife has actually never worked a day in her life.”

As we’ve learned in politics, the difference of opinion often comes down to literal translation vs. concepts in context. Religious differences often mirror this, but usually in those areas that also involve politics.

If you somehow missed the context or translation of the above quote, this came from Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen in response to Mitt Romney saying that his wife was his resource on women in the economy.

In that context, the context in question, Rosen noted that Ann Romney had never worked outside the home. This is a true statement.

If you take the quote literally AND out of context, your literal translation would be “parenting isn’t work.”

Guess which way the media took it?

Men fight each other in the ring, ice rink, baseball diamond, football field, basketball court, whatever the UFC does, where people pay money to watch. Oh sure, on a Saturday night, somewhere in a bar, a man is hitting another man for, uh, what was the reason again?

Outside of a catfight, women fight by tearing each other down. Single? The married woman is your enemy. Childless? Those with offspring become objects of scorn.

I love women, and I like women, but I just don’t get that.

The GOP and media team up to try and equate this with the actual “war on women” that the Republicans are fighting. Never mind that Rosen has no connection with the Obama campaign, or that Rosen apologized for his poor choice of words, or that even the worse translation doesn’t equal transvaginal ultrasound probes.

While Rosen’s words could/should have been better, her overall point — context — is noteworthy: in an environment where Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a law repealing Wisconsin’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act and transvaginal ultrasound probes and abortion policies that treat women as children, understanding women and the economy should involve a woman who works in the economy.

Of course, this point will be lost because the MSM considers this the fair way to “balance” the argument.

The other “brilliant” context is the Romney charge that women have accounted for most of the jobs loss under President Barack Obama. Romney is borrowing a GOP talking point, but you get the impression that he doesn’t even know if it’s true. The Washington Post fact checker ruled it “true but false.” The irony is that women dominate government-related positions (this includes public school teachers), and that conservatives want to sharply reduce government payrolls. Of course, the fact that Obama fought hard in what stimulus could get passed to ensure that state government workers, including teachers, kept their jobs.

Romney’s party has been fighting to cut those jobs that are dominated by women. Not that gender is the reason, but the direct result suits their purposes.

What women (and men who support them) fought for 40-50 years ago was for the right to choose whether a woman stayed home to raise the kids or went to work. Some women, due to economics, don’t have a choice but have to do both unless, of course, they don’t want to have children.

This is why the GOP war on birth control and abortion is so much more horrible than meets the eye. Economics often factor into whether a woman can/should have a child. When economic times are better, fewer women have abortions.

And while the Democratic Party has too often nodded along with Republicans in spreading the wage gap, the GOP gets the credit for creating a world where economic realities are a lot more difficult unless you fall within the 1% clan: e.g., Ann Romney.

The division among women often comes from women. Guys, even conservative rich white guys, aren’t nearly as concerned as women are over the categories of stay-at-home vs. working mothers.

Women who do stand up and fight for women who are drowning in this economy often get drowned out by fear of attacks on stay-at-home women. The main point of those women who are suffering has been lost in this fake political fight.

The frustration of women tearing down other women came to fruition, admittedly on a different level, from the recent rebuttal from actress Ashley Judd on whispers of her having had “work done” on her “puffy face.”

Judd explained that her “puffy face” was the result of steroids, medicine for battling sinus and flu, but the whispers of plastic surgery had become so loud that Judd felt it necessary to respond.

While Judd focuses on the issue of female body image, her essay in the Daily Beast has reflections that pertain to the “battle” between working moms and stay-at-home moms.

“It affects each and every one of us, in multiple and nefarious ways: our self-image, how we show up in our relationships and at work, our sense of our worth, value, and potential as human beings.”

Guys, let’s be honest. We see women reading those celebrity magazines. This actress lost 10 pounds. That actress gained 6 pounds. Is this model/actress pregnant? Sadly, there is an audience that deeply cares about this world.

Even though women are 51% of the population, they are treated as mere political pawns. If you are a stay-at-home mom, would you really vote for Mitt Romney because his wife stays at home? Some pundits might cynically think so.

Ann Romney is right. We shouldn’t attack mothers who stay at home. Hilary Rosen is right. No one attacked mothers who stay at home. Women suffer disproportionately in the workplace and at home. The most logical way is to fix that by women working together instead of tearing each other apart.

“I ask especially how we can leverage strong female-to-female alliances to confront and change that there is no winning here as women,” said Judd.


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