Maybe it’s the fact that we just have too many professional commentators who simply must comment on every little detail at a moment’s notice, but the comments by Fox News’ Juan Williams following Ann Romney’s speech yesterday were just not appropriate and, as a woman, I feel must not go unaddressed. I like Juan Williams as a commentator, he’s a really nice guy, but I think he got this one wrong.
Commenting on her performance, Williams said she looked, “like a corporate wife.” A corporate wife? What in the world was he talking about? What could Ann Romney have done not to look like a “corporate wife?” Would a little less make up do it? Maybe if she would have worn her hair in a pony tail? I’ve got it. Maybe she could have worn jeans and a Planned Parenthood t-shirt. Would that have done it?
No. You know why? Because there was nothing wrong with Mrs. Romney’s performance. There is something wrong with liberal prejudice against confident, successful, well-off, conservative women. Their contempt for homemakers is especially offensive.
He continued: “The stories she told about struggles — eh! It’s hard for me to believe. I mean, she’s a very rich woman, and I know that, and America knows that.” And there it is. That’s the answer. She’s got money.
The truth is that it doesn’t matter what Ann Romney has gone through, how sincere, caring, charitable, loving, hard-working, humble she may be, it will never be enough for some liberals out there. It doesn’t matter what she said or how she said it. She’s not a “real” woman. She has money.
Fox News’ Megyn Kelly also seemed to be taken back by William’s bizarre characterization, and so she asked him what he meant. Williams said she looked, “like a woman whose husband takes care of her, and she’s been very lucky and blessed in this life. She’s not speaking, I think, for the tremendous number of single women in this country or married women. She did not convince me that, ‘You know what, I understand the struggles of American women in general.’”
Now I get it. If I want to speak about the struggles of America and what we can do about them I need to be a single mother who comes from poverty. Got it.
It’s not that any criticism of Mrs. Romney is out of line. You could see she was a bit nervous at the beginning, and so you could see she was reading; but you know what that is also real. Real people get nervous on big stages with lots of people watching. That doesn’t mean she’s somehow a fake and doesn’t know “true” struggle.
That’s why his comments were so out of line. And truthfully, as is so often the case, it showed more about him than about Mrs. Romney.
Frankly, I’m a bit tired of the media labels as a whole. Women are not one monolithic group, blindly following the liberal path like the media expects. We are a diverse group, and we should all be respected and taken seriously.
I am sure, in retrospect, Mr. Williams will think through what he is about to say a little more before putting it in those terms and, perhaps, that’s the lesson we should all take from this. Instead of immediately reacting to someone else based on our own prejudices and dismissing their views because of their background, perhaps we should take the time to actually listen to the substance of their ideas and go from there.