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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Anatomy of a Kerfuffle

First Ann Romney said something pretty ridiculous:

Ann Romney said on Thursday that she could sympathize with working women because she knows "what it's like to struggle."

So then a person with a tangential relation to the president said something which seems pretty true about Ann Romney.

Guess what: his wife has never really worked a day in her life. She's never really dealt with the kind 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 why do we worry about their future.'

So of course, of course the phony outrage mill gets thrown into high gear and truckloads of well-I-never's and how-dare-you's get express delivery to the dudgeon factory, and we start seeing ridiculous pearl-clutching about how basically the entire Obama administration and all of the Democratic party has just spit in the face of everyone's mom or something. For example:

And of course, the GOP turned the whole thing into a fundraising opportunity.

@ $15.00 ea.

Then Ann Romney responded:

Ann Romney: 'We need to respect choices that women make'

 "My career choice was to be a mother," Ann Romney told Fox News host Martha MacCallum. "And I think that all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that women make. Other women make other choices

Yeah, it's not that people don't respect your choice, there Mrs. Romney. Your "career" choice, to marry a rich guy and become a baby factory, the only factory your husband had that he couldn't shut down and move to China? No one's begrudging you that. I would probably have made the same choice, had that been an option for me. I would love it if my wife made so much money that I could stay home all day riding my horses, but she selfishly refuses to go to medical school!

Anyway, it's not that people don't respect your choice. What people object to is you pretending that you have similar struggles to average working parents. Because you don't. You have had struggles, no doubt. I know you've had some serious health problems, but you have no idea what it is like to worry about whether you'll b able to pay that month's rent or buy new shoes for your kids. Those are the sort of things most working parents have to worry about, an they resent you pretending that you can empathize because you have also struggled.

And yes, stay-at-home moms do work. Most of them. But the ones who have a squadron of nannies and domestic "help?" maybe not so much. And yes, cooking, cleaning and rearing children is definitely hard work, but you know what? Working mothers do all those jobs, too. In addition to their salary-earning jobs, so maybe let's knock off the martyr act?

But anyway, can we maybe stop pretending that Ms Rosen insulted motherhood, or mothers in general, or stay-at-home mothers, or whatever? Hr comments were directed at one specific woman, Ann Romney, and they were pretty accurate. Does anyone really think that Ann Romney has ever worked a day in her life?

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