With women voters fleeing the Republican party after a never-ending assault on women’s rights, Mitt Romney had to do something to try and bring women voters back into the fold. But who suggested reigniting the mommy wars was the way to do it?
In case you missed it, Romney and his supporters are outraged after CNN commentator Hilary Rosen said she thought it was wrong for Mitt Romney to be using his wife as his guide to women’s economic struggles when she “had never worked a day in her life.” The Romney camp quickly responded that, in choosing to stay home and raise five boys Ann Romney did work, thankyouverymuch.
And here we are. Not discussing the fact that the presumed Republican presidential nominee can’t come out in support for the radical notion that women of equal qualification and experience should be paid the same as their male peers. Equal pay for equal work is a position too liberal for the Republican party in 2012. Let’s just be clear about that.
Nor are we discussing the fact that in arguing that women fared worse under the Obama administration Romney and his advisers dodge the central issue of wage deflation and market contraction for women that comes with an assault on the public sector workforce.
Let’s also remember that in talking about whether or not stay-at-home-mothers are of equal, lesser, or greater value to mothers who work outside the home we are no longer talking about the fact that Republican assaults on health care means that women have even fewer options to chose to stay home or to work so the idea of “choice” becomes effectively meaningless.
Instead, the argument wedges women against women, and pits† the value of work outside the home against the value of work inside, as if there is a difference. Most importantly, it means we’re no longer talking about the right’s very real assault on women’s choices and options. Rosen’s comments, which were nothing short of stupid, play right into the persecution complex of the right and gave the Romney camp the opportunity to wage a Breitbart-style campaign of distraction.
And all of that withstanding the real point that Rosen was trying to make which is, perhaps Ann Romney is not the best surrogate to speak to the economic struggles of women. Because she’s not.
So let’s remember that as the right fans the flames of the mommy wars and as too many on the left readily dive right in. Each second we spend “debating” this topic is one less spent on the very real and daily assault on women’s rights.
Photo from ECohen via flickr.
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