April 16 2012
So many people seem not to have gotten the White House memo to the effect that Hilary Rosen, who became a household name after saying that Ann Romney has “never worked a day in her life,” has officially been thrown under the bus.
The White House knew instantly that Rosen had awakened the moms of America, but that didn’t stop million dollar Obama supporter Bill Maher from making comments that deserve to be repeated:
What Rosen meant to say, according to Maher, "was that Ann Romney has never gotten her a-- out of the house to work."
Maher said on "Real Time," his HBO talk show. Maher added during his HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday, that while being a mother is "a tough job," there is "a big difference between being a mother and getting getting your a-- out of the door at 7 a.m. when it’s cold, having to deal with the boss, being in a workplace, where even if you're unhappy you can’t show it for 8 hours, that is kind of a different kind of tough thing."
Anti-mom author Linda Hirschman also didn’t get the White House memo. She wrote an amazing piece in the Washington Post that every mother in America should read. Mothers: Linda Hirschman is not your friend. First, Ms. Hirschman sneered:
And surely, taking care of a family is hard work. In Ann Romney’s case, managing the very elaborate Romney establishment — five children,three or four houses and two Cadillacs — probably takes as much labor as most jobs in the market economy.
Then she got down to her message:
Women who work in the home do not have the same interest in the recovery of the formal job market as women who have to work for pay. Indeed, wage-earning women probably have more in common with their paycheck-dependent male co-workers on the subject of economic recovery than with household laborers such as Ann Romney….
Unemployment is not the only issue on which women in the formal workplace split from their informally occupied sisters. Equal pay is another. And that is more complicated for Mitt Romney, given his support of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who led the charge to repeal his state’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act, which protected women against pay discrimination. Recently, a Romney aide was unable to say whether the candidate supported the latest addition to federal equal-pay law, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which guarantees equal pay for equal work.
Women whose work consists of caring for their households and children don’t need to worry about being paid less than their male counterparts. First, they aren’t paid at all, in any formal sense, and second, unless their husbands take a male spouse alongside them — an unlikely social development — they won’t confront sex discrimination at their workplace. Actually, Romney himself, a proud member of the capitalist economy and of a religious minority with a history of discrimination, has more in common with female workers than his wife does in discouraging arbitrary workplace discrimination. Ann Romney huffily reminded her husband’s detractors that some of his best employees have been women. But they were his employees; why is he using his wife to get that message out?
You’ve got to love “their informally occupied sisters.” My sister, who taught school before becoming a stay at home mother, and I were talking about the Hilary Rosen dustup over the weekend. Julia certainly didn’t consider herself “informally occupied” when she was taking care of three small children all day. It was hard work. She couldn't show when she was unhappy or worried for considerably more than eight hours, Mr. Maher. The sneering attitude makes it clear that neither Ms. Hirschman nor Maher is capable of understanding a family as a team. Also, you’ve got to love the way Hirschman drags in Romney’s religion, irrelevant in this context.
There has been something of a chorus developing that says the GOP should stop talking about the “phony” issue raised by Rosengate. I couldn’t disagree more. Rosen raised a real issue, one with policy implications, and she showed the contempt on the part of a significant percentage of Democratic women for women who don’t make the choices they have mad.
Ridicule is also something not to be scoffed at in the public arena, especially when, in the case of Hilary Rosen, the target has brought it on herself. The GOP war on women, promoted by the Democrats, was always a phony war. Laughing at it is the best way to show that.
It will be easier to make the point that the Lily Ledbetter law is about lawsuits and not equal pay, or that the wage gap disappears when women’s choices are factored in now that the left is rapidly revealing the true nature of its advocacy for women: it is an advocacy only for women who have made approved choices.
This Just In: Don't miss Kathryn Jean Lopez's excellent piece on Ann Romney as Everywoman. What do women want? Freedom, says Kathryn.