Hilary Rosen: I invite you to do my job

Mitt and Ann Romney

Last Thursday, Democratic strategist, Hillary Rosen commented that Republican Presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, was not someone “regular” women could relate to because she’d “never worked a day in her life”.  Just to put it out there, I’m not a huge Romney fan, and there’s no love lost between us. However, when I heard these comments I couldn’t believe my friggin’ ears! Has feminism really strayed so far?

Back when I was in college, minoring in Women’s Studies, the idea of being a stay at home mother frightened me. My own mother was a stay at home mom, although back then they called her a housewife, who deftly balanced the duties of raising three children alongside cleaning house, doing laundry, and producing the kind of home cooked meals that has made her a legend in our extended family. As someone who has never been a fan of cleaning, who would rather be lounging on the couch with a book than potty training a toddler, the whole concept wasn’t so much foreign as it was daunting. The discussion amongst my academic peers, however, was a fierce one. Was a woman who chose to stay home a traitor to the feminists who blazed the trails which opened the White House doors to women like Condlisa Rice and Hillary Clinton? Was a woman selling herself short by staying home? To add to the debate, there has been a huge trend of college educated,Ivy League, women choosing to to stay home with their children. Are these women abandoning their educations to eat bon-bons and throw cocktail luncheons?

The answer, in my bizzaro opinion, is absolutely NO! In fact, the problem is that we think staying at home is a luxury reserved for the rich, when the truth is that often times the incredibly high cost of child care prohibits at least one parent from working outside the home. Since Little G has been born I’ve done the math, and discovered that I would have to make at least $70,000 a year to bring home a profit. Day care costs, commuting costs (either gas, or public transportation, and the cost of maintaining a vehicle), and the very basic wardrobe I would need to look professional in the workplace would cost most of my weekly salary. Then add onto it the tasks Big G and I would have to share, like cleaning, cooking, and delivering our child to and from daycare, there would be 3 full time jobs between the two of us. This doesn’t include taking the time to educate our child, because let’s be honest, our public school system doesn’t teach kids to read until they are 7 or 8, and the history books they use are less than fair to any other culture than the dominant one. And let’s be honest, I can’t command that kind of salary just now.

What baffles me is that we live in an extremely child centered society, where parents who do not send their children to a train schedule’s worth of daily activities are seen as neglectful. In my eyes, two parents working 80 hour weeks need a nanny, and nannies, my dear Hillary Rosen, are reserved for the rich.

What’s with this mentality that Stay at Home Moms are watchingGeneral Hospital all day long while popping truffled chocolates into their mouths? What housewifeactually does this? Between laundry, dishes, grocery shopping and Little G, I’m lucky if I get enough time to scribble in my blog. Maybe Ann Romney didn’t have to clip coupons, spend hours taking swagbucks surveys, or take on work from home jobs just to have spending money, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t worked her booty off. Let’s not discount the fact that she has had to play second string to a man in politics, soothing a bruised ego when a primary didn’t go his way, making appointments with Mitt’s personal assistant just to spend time with him, or raise her children with a man who was very likely in state less than 50% off the time. The fact that she’s done this job, and has had to LOOK GOOD while doing it, makes her a super hero in my eyes.

As for the feminists who think that stay at home parents are traitors to their gender, let me remind you that birth control wasn’t implemented so that you could stop breeding altogether (despite Betty Freidan), but to help you choose when you were going to start your family, or decide that you didn’t want children at all! Our foremothers didn’t sacrifice, or blaze trails so that we would HAVE TO work. They did it so we could have the choice to be breadwinners, instead of being forced to align ourselves with a man for our own livelihoods.We are fortunate enough, as a society, to live in a place where there can be a discussion about which parent should stay home, because we stay at home moms believe that having a parent at home, to nurse boo-boos, watch first steps, and EDUCATE our children is a more valuable way to spend our time then as a cog in the machine of capitalism.

Hilary Rosen, you should be ashamed of yourself for your words. Ann Romney, just like you, exercised her right to choose to work from home. You decided you’d rather have a stranger raise your kids, and that’s your decision. Perhaps you think that because Mrs. Romney doesn’t get paid for her efforts that she is not working. I would direct you to generations of slaves who would beg to differ. You would have been better off suggesting that she has never “earned a wage” in her life, because for all the strenuous, self-sacrificing, poopy diapers, baby food sneezes, skinned knee mending, and guidance she has never been paid a red cent. You should be saluting this woman instead of condemning her. I suggest you hit the internet and research how much a person would earn were they to do engage in a career of raising children, being a personal chef, chauffeur, teacher, and mentor, combine all of those salaries and see exactly what the job of being a stay at home mother is really worth! Shame on Hillary Rosen, and all of those who supported her sentiments.

I extend the invitation to you, Ms. Rosen, to come to my home for a month and do MY job. Let’s see how much you think the “regular” American woman would be able to relate to YOU then.

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