I am sure you have heard or read about the recent kerfuffle over a comment made by a Democratic party lobbyist and strategist Hilary Rosen on Anderson Cooper. She opined, very validly, in my opinion, that Ann Romney may not be the best person for Mitt Romney to be consulting about the plight of the typical American woman. This is covered well here. Hilary Rosen was, I think, obviously referring to Ann Romney being way too privileged to understand what economic issues most American women care about. But, when she said Ann Romney has “never worked a day in her life”, that got seized as being anti-stay at home mom. My Facebook got cluttered with many people who already ideologically agree with the Romneys using this as a relished opportunity to say “Look! Something right about Romney and women!! Something about Democrats hating moms!!”
I do think Hilary Rosen did need to apologize and clarify what she meant. She did provide context to her statement immediately, when she said “She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we — why do we worry about their future?” She could have been more precise, and said she has never worked at a paying job outside the home. This can be a very sensitive topic. However, she was pretty clear with her follow up explanation. And, she does not work for Obama, and does not represent the Democratic party. She is one working mother who was discussing a very sensitive topic with some imprecise language that was hardly the worst I have ever heard.
I think all motherhood is work. The Romneys had to claim five housekeepers on their 2010 tax return. I think some moms work harder than others. I respect mothers who stay at home. I was happy to get to work from home with my second son, and wish I had more time at home with my first. I was lucky to get to take him with me to work. I happen to find work outside the home very fulfilling, and those two scenarios may have been the best of all possible worlds for me. Financially, my family could not have afforded my taking any more unpaid leave than than the six weeks I took after my older son, and the four weeks I took after my second son. Both of my maternity leaves were completely unpaid.
I also think Mitt Romney should explain why women with two year old children need to know the “dignity” of going to work, but only if they are below a certain income.
Anyway, as this is being discussed in many, many arenas, I think it is a good time to post a link to my New Improved Mommy Wars Bingo. Feel free to play along when this is being discussed on the news, twitter, Facebook, blogosphere, etc. I’ve already managed to fill in quite a few squares.