The debate has raged on ever since the first Betty Crocker stepped out of the confines of the kitchen, ditched her apron, kissed her children goodbye, and went out the door to work.
Stay-at-home moms vs Working moms.
And it has been a stupid debate ever since that mixer went silent and the stove went cold during the day.
The argument was once again dragged from the societal back burner last week when CNN contributor Hilary Rosen responded to Mitt Romney's assertion that his wife is some economic authority about the struggles faced by working moms. She quite rightly responded that Ann Romney has "never worked a day in her life."
That is true.
Ann has been privileged to be in the situation to never have to work a day in her life. The Romney family is wealthy. And with wealth comes the room to breathe, to make the choice to stay home.
So, no, I do not consider her the foremost authority on how the economy is affecting anyone.
Hilary Rosen took it up the ass for daring to point out the obvious. She wasn't demeaning mothers who stay at home, she was making a very simple point. Of course, the righteous Right lit their torches and assembled the villagers of the town of Low Effort Thinking. So she apologized. (She was also slammed for being a lesbian mother, as if that is in any way relevant to the discussion, but again, the populace of LETville aren't the most enlightened of folk.)
Quite frankly, Ann Romney should apologize for providing the gasoline that assured the torch would not go out. I'd respect her more if she came to a podium (for the love of all that is holy - will politicians stop acting like 7th graders and hiding behind their Twitter accounts?) and said, "Hilary Rosen was correct. My personal situation with Mitt has allowed me the ability to easily stay at home and raise our sons. It is a choice I thank God each day for being able to make. I know there are countless mothers AND fathers who would dearly love the option of being there for the first steps, the lost teeth, building the solar system out of styrofoam balls and coat hangers, attending every class party, kissing every skinned-knee tear away - yet their personal financial circumstances require they leave the home to do something equally important - provide for their beautiful children. I have nothing but the upmost respect for those mothers who help insure their children are fed, clothed, provided for, and loved beyond reason. While I will not apologize for our personal finances, please know I am ever mindful that without them, I, too, would have entered the work force without a moment's hesitation to insure our children were protected and cared for."
She could have said that. But what fun would there be in direct honesty when we all recognize a political opportunity when we see it.
So Hilary apologized.
I am curious as to what those same self righteous, self appointed doyens of the sanctity of motherhood are going to say about Fox News contributor Keith Ablow's statement that "working moms despise themselves."
What's that, Right Wing? You're all out of torches? Funny, I think your bigger problem is you have a surplus of hypocrisy and a tragic spine famine when it comes to calling out the bullshit on your own side.
Ablow stated that “These “anti-gender” women have it in for anyone who embraces her femininity, maternal instincts and capacity to nurture as their highest priority — postponing or passing up other laudable opportunities to work at, say, a law firm or as a marketing executive. They despise the notion that some women may indeed be drawn — instinctively and happily — toward creating special and loving environments in which to raise their children, while spending all their available time sustaining and enriching those environments and those children.
They despise the parts of themselves that may be drawn to such roles, as well. That’s why women like Hilary Rosen make such outlandish statements, to begin with. They’re essentially talking to themselves — albeit, with the rest of the world forced to listen — trying to reassure themselves that their own choices in life weren’t only equally as good as those of other women, but better. Far, far better. They feel like their choices are better because they have thrown off the shackles of roles that were once “expected” of them, leaving them not only freer than, but superior to, those women who don’t feel enslaved at home, but feel fulfilled at home.”
First of all, Keith, look down. See that earthworm sized thing in your pants? It's called a penis. That would make you a man. So STFU about mothering and the choices we both make/are faced with.
As for despising one another, worse yet, ourselves? Eat shit. Mothers love their children. Whether they are privileged to stay home with them, whether they must go do yet another shift at a fast food joint to provide for them, whether they make the choice to return to the work force - mothers love their children.
Where is your condemnation, hell, acknowledgement, that men are not there to raise their children? That they "despise" themselves? Are they not drawn "instinctively and happily" to staying home and wiping spit off the chin of their babes?
Quite frankly, I would hope working FATHERS (you know, the ones who donate to the whole procreation thing despite all the legislation being introduced by your side which makes we women appear to have sole control of our ability to become pregnant) despise being away from their children every day.
I stay at home. It has not always been an easy choice, and there have been financial sacrifices along the way, but Rudy and I jointly decided to attempt to have me stay home with our daughters. As the years have passed, while we are not even in the same monetary galaxy as the Romneys, that choice has been easier as he has enjoyed a successful climb in his industry. But I have never looked at it as anything but a PRIVILEGED CHOICE.
As for the word "despise"? Here's a news flash for Keith - you know what stay at home parents sometimes despise? STAYING HOME. AND OUR CHILDREN.
Yes, that's right. As "fulfilling" as it can be, staying at home can yank every emotional chain a parent has. And it regularly leads to what I'm sure Ablow would describe as "impure, horrific thoughts" - that we despise the job and the little people in it.
Not because we stop loving the children. Not because we don't appreciate the choice we were able to make, but because WE ARE HUMAN.
Just as courtship, contraception, and abortion are PERSONAL CHOICES - so is the decision as to what to do when a child comes along. Sometimes that choice is painfully obvious - money makes the world go round and the food stay in the fridge, so moms and dads must work each day - sometimes juggling several jobs at a time. Sometimes a choice is on the borderline and the decision is made to forego certain things in order to afford a stay at home parent (notice I say PARENT because there is no law - yet - requiring it be the mom). Sometimes it is a no-brainer. Money is plentiful and a parent wants to stay home. Sometimes the stay-at-home parent also works at home. And sometimes even with money being available, both parents choose to continue working.
None of these people love their children more or less than the other.
Parenting is work. Working outside the home AND parenting is work. And regardless of the demographic into which you fall, you are never off the clock. Hilary Rosen knows that. Ann Romney knows that. All mothers know that.
I don't despise Hilary. I don't despise Ann. You want to know what I do despise?
I despise being turned into a political football.