Just when it seemed Democrats were winning the argument about who’s better on women’s issues, along comes Hilary Rosen. Last week, the Democratic strategist sent out a tweet criticizing Mitt Romney’s view on women by dragging Ann Romney into the fray, saying, “She has never worked a day in her life.”
Just when it seemed Democrats were winning the argument about who’s better on women’s issues, along comes Hilary Rosen.
Last week, the Democratic strategist sent out a tweet criticizing Mitt Romney’s view on women by dragging Ann Romney into the fray, saying, “She has never worked a day in her life.”
Yes, Ann Romney is rich, and no, she has never struggled to provide a meal or pay a bill the way millions of working women do. But Rosen’s shot was unfair and needlessly provocative. Wisely, she has apologized.
But it still speaks to a larger issue. In what world is running a household and raising five boys in the hopes that they don’t turn out to be another James Gang not considered “work”? If a woman — or man — chooses to be homemaker or a stay-at-home parent, whose business is it, really?
Isn’t “choice” the whole point of feminism?
It’s astonishing that some of the people who bang the drum for inclusion continue to cling to a 1950s definition of what it means to be a productive member of society.
Rosen’s pop-off only served to toss chum to social conservatives, who already harbor feelings that Democrats and liberals are anti-family and anti-tradition, even though President Barack Obama’s own family couldn’t be more camera-ready.
The blowback against Rosen — which has been bipartisan, by the way — is yet another example of the dangers of social media, the greatest of which is that it short-circuits the thinking process.
My grandma always taught me “never hand people a stick to crack you on the head.” Traditional writing requires some forethought and almost endless revision, which means you have a chance to save yourself from yourself.
When Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, repudiated Rosen’s remarks and demanded that she apologize, Rosen initially responded that the criticism was “faux outrage,” a way to change the subject from Romney’s record on women’s rights, because his policies regarding women’s concerns are sorely lacking.
She should have simply said that.
THE REAL ISSUE
Now, let’s be clear: Some of the same people who are yowling about Rosen’s tweet have been mute for four years, even as Michelle Obama was being burned at the stake. And Rosen’s blunder doesn’t negate the fact that women’s rights have come under the gun here and around the world. There are people who would like nothing better than to return us to a time when women were little more than chattel.
Women still are being challenged about the choices they make regarding their own bodies. Many still are being paid less than men for the same work. Single mothers are more likely to live in poverty than single fathers are. Women are underrepresented in the political arena and are regarded as inferior beings in far too many places around the world, including among some of our so-called allies.
This latest episode only proves that we may have come a long way but not nearly far enough.