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Unjust Coverage of Janna Ryan and Ann Romney Will Not Deter Conservative Women

(getty images) Ann Romney (L), wife of US Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and Janna Ryan (R),

From looks to livelihood, the Left never seems to miss an opportunity to criticize conservative women — especially elected officials or their wives. As we’ve witnessed with Ann Romney, the Left is launching a campaign of petty criticisms on Janna Ryan, wife of GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, for her professional decisions.  I came across a commentary piece in New York Magazine yesterday that absolutely floored me in its description of and attacks on Janna Ryan and Ann Romney.

The article, “The Art of the Political Wife,” discusses the heightened problem the GOP faces with women and why the candidates’ wives perfectly illustrate their oppressive 1950’s platform.  Author Jill Miller utterly discredits Mrs. Ryan for being described as “quiet, gracious” and “so supportive” of her husband’s political career.  In a meanspirited attempt to increase readership, the author labels Mrs. Ryan and Mrs. Romney as too “blond” and too “glossy” to be taken seriously in public office.

Janna Ryan is one smart woman, fully qualified for the role of Second Lady of the United States. Mrs. Ryan is a graduate of Wellesley College and George Washington School of Law, and she enjoyed a successful career as a tax attorney in Washington, D.C., before sacrificing her career to care full-time for her small children. From experience, I can tell you there is no better profession than motherhood to prepare a woman for a high-pressure career.

This is certainly not the first time the media has attempted to demean Mrs. Ryan and Mrs. Romney with ridiculous, offensive criticism. This summer, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell mocked Ann Romney’s horse riding as therapy for multiple sclerosis. Stylist, a publication connected to the Huffington Post, questioned Mrs. Ryan’s decision to shop at Kohl’s department store, while simultaneously condemning Ann Romney’s expensive price tags. How can either woman make the media happy? I’m sick of the double standards. We didn’t hear a whisper from the liberal media after First Lady Michelle Obama donned a $6,800 blouse at the 2012 Olympic ceremonies.

We’ve seen this unjust mud slinging against wives of Republican politicians and conservative women in the past. Last fall, Newsweek published an unflattering picture of Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, labeling her “The Queen of Rage.” Newsweek would never publish a cover of Michelle Obama or Hilary Clinton as anything but classy, powerful women. Months ago, when Bill Maher called former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin the “c word,” the media brushed off his misogynistic comments as funny. Meanwhile, they show no hesitation to vilify and prolong criticisms of conservative commentators like Rush Limbaugh for controversial comments he made about liberal women.

There are no excuses for the media’s double standards and offensive attacks. All women deserve better than to be criticized for their decisions to support their husbands and care for their families.

Exactly what is the liberal media’s modus operardi? If they are trying to intimidate conservative women out of government affairs, they are wasting their time; in fact, they’re merely igniting the flames. I just returned from Concerned Women for America’s national get-out-the-vote project, “She Votes 2012,” bus tour and can assure you that conservative women are fired up. The conservative movement among women is alive and well, carefully and patiently waiting to voice their concerns at the polls in November.

Thankfully, Janna Ryan, Ann Romney, and their husbands continue, unnerved by the media’s petty attacks.  Like most Americans, they are more concerned with issues of real importance — economic growth, individual responsibility, and religious freedom. Mrs. Ryan and Mrs. Romney are resilient, thick-skinned problem-solvers. Both are clearly up to the task.

Penny Young Nance is the CEO and President of Concerned Women Political Action Committee (CWPAC).

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