Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Sunday, April 15, 2012

RANT WARNING! C: SAHM vs. “Working Woman”

Well, for once it is not the liberal women up in arms, but the stay-at-home-moms!  Have you heard Hilary Rosen’s comment about Ann Romney?  (Who the H is Hilary anyway?  Wikipedia says she’s a “lobbyist and Democrat pundit.)

Here’s what she said:

And here is what I have to say:

I grew up in the sixties.  I married in 1970 at the ripe old age of 18, but I proudly wore a t-shirt that said “A woman fish bicycle without a man is like fish without a bicycle.”  Yes, I was/am a feminist in many senses of the word.

I am a big believer in traditional marriage, so please do not misunderstand me on that score.  But I do believe that a woman can have a very fulfilling life without a man.  I’m doing it now.

No woman should ever rely on a man in order to become who she wants to be/ who she should become.  In fact, as a divorce lawyer, I can tell you that it is absolutely a disastrous decision to rely on your husband totally for any aspect of life: emotional or financial.  “Grow your own wings” is my constant advice to women.  Following that advice will serve them in their marriages and, in the unfortunate case of divorce, it will serve even more.

Okay, now we’re clear on my philosophy (right?).  I find it so amazing that this Democrat pundit can so openly dis’ homemakers.  I have worked most of my adult life in a tough, male-dominated profession.  I did, however, take off time to raise my son while he was young.  I have been in both shoes.

I remember when I was  pregnant.  I had a trialbon-bons-adj scheduled on the very day that my son was born—didn’t make it, but you can see that I was working hard right up to delivery date. 

As I anticipated my time off with Son, I remember thinking: “I am sooooooo going to enjoy lying around the house, relaxing, loving on the baby, puttering, etc., etc., etc.”  I had fallen into the trap of  thinking that eating bon-bons was a favorite pastime of stay-at-home-moms.  Boy was I wrong!  Baby came, and I have never been so fatigued in all my born days.  Mothering is no walk in the park.

I learned that moms may turn to eating Bon-Bons, okay, but it’s likely to be some sort of coping mechanism rather than relaxed munching.

harried and frantic with mother and child in kitchenLong ago I learned not to ask women,”Do you work?” but rather the more accurate: “Do you work outside the home?”

Now, why is this pundit’s quip so offensive to me?  Well, for one thing, she is a self-styled liberal.  You will never hear her disrespecting someone because of their race (as well she should not).  Can you even imagine her saying, “What does he know?  He’s a plumber!”  Of course not.  It’s only the traditionally-woman homemaker that she disparages in this way.

There are so many politically-correct boundaries nowadays, especially for persons of the liberal persuasion.  But we women are fair game, aren’t we?  We have been for centuries.  We are blessed to live in an era and society of unprecedented opportunity for women.  But we’re still devalued.  In my work I hear (day after day) that

  • She’s never worked the last ten years of our marriage.”
  • “It’s my money” he says. “She never earned a dime of it.”

The attitude is devaluing and wrong.  All the time I see even women’s pastimes demeaned.  Hunting or golf seems important.  More traditional feminine hobbies are seen by husbands (often voiced to me) as trivial and unworthy of the same share of the family budget as are their big-ticket avocations.

What do I have to say about Ann Romney:Romneys Wife Georgia

  • She is, first and foremost, an American citizen.  She is entitled to her opinions, just as anyone else is.  If she happens to have the ear of her husband, a presidential candidate, well, it’s her right to speak it there, too.
  • She may not be an “expert” in some things, but she can still opine.  I opine all the time about what to do about Iran.  I will admit to you, however, that I don’t have a clue about diplomacy or how the military really works.  But I have an opinion, I express it.  If it is expressed in the presence of a policymaker, I would expect him/her to listen respectfully and weigh it properly.  I rely on those who know and are charged with those tasks to weigh my opinion in accordance with my expertise or ignorance on the subject, should they hear that opinion.  Same with Ann Romney’s opinion. 
  • And here is my final and most important point: If Ann Romney is going to be accused of not speaking on the economy in ignorance  (as a candidate’s wife, she probably knows more about it than I do), let’s pinpoint the reason why one would say this about her.  Is it true that a woman who has chosen mothering and homemaking cannot really know anything of value about the economy? I have moms in my office all the time who amaze me with their ability to squirrel away savings and manage a decent lifestyle on an income that I cannot imagine living on.  If they don’t know economics at the grassroots level, then I don’t know who does. 

It may be that Ann Romney doesn’t know about the  economy, but I don’t think it’s because she is a full-time wife/mother/homemaker necessarily.  And, if we’re going to hold her wealth against her opinion, then shouldn’t we do the same with wealthy men?  Should Donald Trump be discounted on his economic view just because he is wealthy and born to wealth? Ridiculous, isn’t it?

In short, the comment was demeaning to women, and Hilary should be ashamed of herself.  Especially since she is a woman—turncoat!traitor

So, Hilary, you are entitled to your opinion on the economy. You are entitled to decide to whom to turn for leadership on the subject. But don’t hold our stay-at-home moms in such disdain based on their chosen occupation. As my dad’s cousin “Dub” used to say: “T’ain’t right; ‘sides, it’s wrong.”

Here’s to who the moms I know as “managers” of our society.  I believe their role tells us much about how our society at its innermost cogs works—their experience can inform even the loftiest politician or policy-maker.  Moms are the ones squeezing out pennies in order to save for daughter’s prom dress when deadbeat dad has abandoned his duty.  Moms know how gasoline prices affect families.  Moms are the ones who know, firsthand, the cost of milk in dollars and cents and the cost ofcalm managing a family in terms of emotional distress.

And, when the going gets really tough, many of them react  with the common-sense-female wisdom of:


ps: told you ranting was coming.


Vee said...

I very much agree with you. And I'd also add that, in my opinion, it is even bigger and uglier than this. This is how many liberal people think. They believe deep in their heart of hearts that anyone who thinks differently from them is wrong because they hold their own opinions in such high regard. I think that they are among the truly ignorant. Do you still moderate comments? You may wish to moderate this one.

Vee said...


Thistle Cove Farm said...

AMEN and AMEN! BTW, did you hear Hillary's "apology"? "I'm sorry IF I offended you."
Well, I don't know about Mrs. R. but I AM OFFENDED. It was in being Dave's wife that I found my identity; why? Because he was a strong man who built me up! He took a strong woman, me, and made me stronger in all areas of life; bless his memory!
You're right...turncoat, turncoat, turncoat! What?! If I don't agree with the liberal agenda I've lost my worth as a women? NOT!
I say: shut your mouth, Hillary; you only speak for yourself and not very well at that!

Pondside said...

It's great to see you back!
I've been following the goings on - and having been a stay-at-home mum for 15 years before heading out to save the world, I was pretty miffed at that terrible comment. I don't think anyone or any one party has ownership of ignorance or meanness. There's plenty of it floating around your country and mine. Political leaders need to start taking responsibility for choosing the people that speak for them....and people who are insulting need to learn that an apology does not use the words 'if' or 'might'.

tracybell said...

I just love every bit of this "rant." On your "policy" in finding our own identity: Stephen and I firmly believe to be a good partner in marriage, you must "stay in your own yard." My emotions are mine, his are his, we are not responsible for the others ect... We have our own interests. You must be whole before you can be a good teammate. Jerry Maguire perpetuated a terminally enmeshed family portrait that tends to end with sick confused individuals and children. We hate seeing the "unity candle" at a wedding. I have to restrain myself from yelling "DONT BLOW YOUR CANDLE OUT!" Thank you for supporting working and sahm's. I am an in-between and often dont feel that I fit in either group. I have to defend my choice to work to my SAHM friends and my desire to not be full time (although sometimes it feels full time) to my working friends. I will never understand our gender's desire to criticize and attack one another. It leaves us appearing weak and disjointed, the very thing our sisters in history fought against.

kath001 said...

Ignorance knows no party distinction. Who do the elitists think get all the work done that they are too good for? Who volunteers at your kids' schools? Who has time to carpool or give your child an after-school play date? Who volunteers at a hospice center caring for your dying parents? A lot of times they are stay-at-home moms who don't have what you define as 'important' work.

For that matter, who fixes your car? Who picks up your trash? Who works at your dry cleaners? Who repairs your appliances? Who mows your yard? Who does all the things that you are too busy with your 'important' work to do? Where the hell would you be without them? How about giving them a little respect?

kath001 said...

And just to clarify, when I say 'you' and 'your' I am not addressing either of the Stickhorse Cowgirls or their readers. I'm ranting at Ms. Rosen and her ilk. Sorry I got a little carried away and didn't pay closer attention to my wording.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Do I EVER have strong feelings about this subject! I stayed home for years and then spent 7 years working at my kid's school so I could afford it. I NEVER got a paycheck I could keep! I've often wondered if it was worth it--not accruing any retirement or savings for myself. I love what you say about "growing your own wings". I don't think I did that. My advice to my younger daughter is so different than what I told my eldest. I've worked AND stayed home and staying home is the best for me--Only then do I have ANY time to read a book, pursue creative interests, help ill family members. I guess I'm just not that adept as a multitasker! Women ARE exhausted these days. I watch youngest daughter trying to get a two year old dressed and fed before she goes to do her "real" job. My advice to her is to get the best education she can, planning to work part-time or from home. I do think women need to keep their foot in the door at some level--even if they are professionals because life is just too unpredictable. I can't wait til I can stay home again, but I will probably work from home doing something I love!
Cowgirl V

Vivianne said...

Being a SAHM doesn't necessarily mean ignorance; look at Sarah Palin - works outside the home and it's scarey how ignorant she is. Perhaps we should look rather to see how many politicians are ignorant ;-)

Mamma has spoken said...

The sad thing about her remark is that it took a tole on the SAHM vs the working mothers cause. Thanks to my career, I work 9 months out of the year and was able to be on the same school schedule that my sons were on. I will be the first to admit that I wish I could have been a full time SAHM during those days and yes, I have some jealousy for those who can/could. Could we have made it on my hubby's salary? Only if we wanted to live in a way that neither one of us were accustom to.
As I sit here typing this I am listening to the Romney's talk and the word envy keeps coming up. Do I envy their life style? I would be lying if I didn't say somewhat. However, it's not the cards I was dealt. I will make the most of my life as it is now and remember that envy and jealousy doesn't get you anywhere. I think that Hilary needed to remember that.

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