The War on Women Continues – No Matter What You Call It
|April 14, 2012||Posted by Adam T under Political News, Political News - U.S.|
Recently, a CNN contributor named Hilary Rosen made a comment about Ann Romney, wife of Mitt Romney, in response to a comment made by Mitt Romney. Here is the quote from Hilary Rosen, about Mitt Romney and Ann Romney:
What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, “Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues. And when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.”
Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. 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 we worry about their future.
Now, if you read that for the first time, or heard that for the first time, and you’re a reasonable person, you would realize her point was at least partly that Ann Romney did not have paid employment at the same time as raising her children. However, the conservative response was very different.
The conservatives immediately came out saying that Hilary Rosen was attacking Ann Romney unfairly by saying she didn’t “work,” even though “she raised 5 children.” The point being made by conservatives is that this is an attack on stay at home motherhood. Even Ann Romney herself said, “We need to respect women and all those choices they make.”
However, here is the problem with that argument – Republican policies and rhetoric are stacked against the concept of women having choices. All of the rhetoric and policies show a desire to attack any choice a woman might make that is contrary to being a stay at home mom. For example, Republican rhetoric is that if you are a single mother, something is wrong with you, and you should have your food stamps and other welfare taken away or reduced to the same or less than a married woman with children. If you are either single or married and choose to work while raising children, the odds are stacked against you as far as getting equal pay if a man was performing the same work. And if you choose not to have children at all? Well, you are going to have to pay for that choice – either by not being allowed a Plan B pill because the pharmacist has a religious objection, being forced to have a medically unnecessary and (depending on the state) invasive ultrasound if you seek an abortion, or by having to pay extra, outside of your existing health care plans (if you have them) for birth control (even then only if you can get to a doctor that will give you a prescription). The evidence is pretty clear that this is a divide between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans want to push all these restrictions and Democrats want to free women to actually make these choices for themselves. Republicans want to limit, restrict, or eliminate choices that are ones they find objectionable to make it more likely that people will take the path of least resistance.
See, Republicans don’t actually want women to make any other choice except to be a stay at home married mom, whether or not she can reasonably afford it and whether or not the man can afford to supply financial stability for the entire household. Out of wedlock children is unacceptable, but so is a woman who doesn’t want children or who wants children but doesn’t want to marry.
All this is why the War on Women as a concept has gained traction. Despite recent protestations from the right that the phrase itself somehow causes people to get in a tizzy, or that the use of the word “war” is somehow objectionable after multiple instances of the right using a “war on X” phrase for everything from “War on Christmas” to “War on Appalachia” when there was far less clear evidence, the phrase “War on Women” has moved forward in the political discourse.
The Romney campaign knows this is a problem now, as they are 19 points behind Obama in favorability when it comes to women according to one poll. Knowing this, they and the GOP have tried many things to try to put it behind them, thinking it’s all about the phrase. First, they tried to pretend it simply doesn’t exist or is a fiction. RNC chair Reince Priebus pretended that the media was just making it up, and poor victim that he and Republicans are of the “liberal media,” if the media claimed that the GOP had a “War on Caterpillars” that is what people would think.
Then they tried to put out other facts and statistics that paints the Obama administration as hostile to women. In one case (repeated multiple times), Mitt Romney claimed that 92% of all jobs lost under Obama were women. That cherry picked data was so dumb that even news outlets came out and said it was a lie, rather than “some Democrats say this is a lie.” The statistics are so cherry-picked that if you move the statistical window of time to include only February 2009 until now, instead of January 2009 until now (a one month change), the same statistics would say that 300% of all jobs lost were women.
Now, they create a false idea that Democrats don’t like moms.
All of this is designed to pretend that the phrase is the problem, not the actual multitude of reasons that women feel attacked by Republicans. It is also designed to try to force women (yes force them) to talk about and think about something else.
To the Democrats’ credit, they have come out against the comments made by Hilary Rosen are not acceptable, and that raising children at home is hard work. This does show that both Democrats and Republicans agree on that. But in the end the real problem is not that somehow the Democrats don’t like stay at home moms, it is that people in general do not like false platitudes about what women think from a very wealthy man pretending that a very wealthy wife somehow has her finger on the pulse of the average woman, and by extension, so does Mitt Romney.