Hillary Rosen, a Democratic strategist and TV pundit, who, by the way, is not affiliated with the White House, made an offhand remark a couple of days ago about Ann Romney that was awkwardly phrased. She said Ann Romney can’t speak for working women because she never held a real job in her life. Republicans, eager to deflect attention from their ongoing war on women’s rights, seized on the remark to declare this as “proof” Democrats were waging a war on mothers.
Republicans are outraged that anyone would suggest a stay at home mom doesn’t do real work. Well, of course they’re right about that. Being a full time mother is one of the hardest and undervalued jobs in our society. But Republicans only believe that about rich mothers. If a mother wants, or has no choice but, to be a stay at home mom and is poor, and thus requires some small public assistance, they treat her as a criminally lazy freeloader.
It was only in this past January, when Mitt Romney had this to say about poor moms.
“I wanted to increase the work requirement,” said Romney. “I said, for instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless.’ And I said, ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.”
So if you’re a mother who’s lucky enough marry a rich guy who can pay for nannies and housemaids and dressage horses, so you can go riding to get away from the kids when it all gets too much, then choosing to be a stay at home mom is a totally valuable and valid choice. It’s real work.
But if you’re so poor, you couldn’t afford a decent education and the only minimum wage job you could get wouldn’t even pay for some crummy daycare joint, so your only choice is take public assistance that barely pays the bills, much less affords a healthy diet, the choice to be a stay at home mom isn’t at all valuable, or valid, and you need to be forced to work at some crummy minimum wage job outside of the home. Heck, maybe if you’re lucky, you can get a job as a housemaid in one of the Romney’s luxurious homes.
And to add insult to injury, Republicans want to defund the only source of affordable family planning you might have access to, forbid the schools to teach you about responsible choices for sexual activity, prevent you from receiving contraceptive care so you can avoid becoming pregnant and if you do get pregnant, force you to give birth to a child you can’t afford. Because it’s your own damn fault if you were born into poverty.
And rich folks do need their maids, nannies and gardeners, you know. Got to come from somewhere.