You’ve seen a lot about the controversy stirred up by Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen who suggested stay-at-home mom Ann Romney lacks necessary insight on economic issues important to women. But what presumably qualifies Rosen to know any more than Romney?
At the Daily Beast, Kirsten Powers weighs in:
Rosen explained in a Huffington Post piece that her point was that Ann Romney should not be a person who Mitt Romney looks to for advice about the economic conditions of women, because, “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 why do we worry about their future.”
Of course, if this is the standard, then most women who work in politics—including Rosen—should not be able to offer advice on the economic plight of the average American woman, since with few exceptions they are hypereducated upper-income yuppies. Really, according to this line of reasoning, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Edwards should never have been able to talk about women’s issues as the spouse of candidate since they never had to worry about how to feed their kids.
In the same piece, Rosen said she had “no judgments about women who work outside the home vs. women who work in the home raising a family.” Au contraire. When one says dismissively that Ann Romney has “never worked a day in her life,” that does not suggest an abiding respect for her contribution to her family and society.
Let’s be clear: Raising children full time is work. Being the spouse who runs the household full time is work. And it’s work that society often doesn’t value or treat with respect. …
Rosen undoubtedly did not intend to devalue women with her comments. It’s a sad fact of our society that contempt for women and their incredible, unpaid, and unheralded contributions to society has been unconsciously absorbed even by liberal women who support women’s rights.