Dolby’s Time Capsule »« Asking for His Rights

How Ann Romney Should Support Moms’ Choices

So, in the wake of Republicans trying to force every woman who has sex during her fertile years into motherhood, through denial of access to both birth control and abortion, a kerfuffle started yesterday after Mitt Romney said that his wife “reports to” him on women’s concerns over the economy. The context was the economic gap between men and women.

Despite that, when liberal political strategist Hilary Rosen said Ann Romney wasn’t the best choice for representing these concerns, as she’s “never worked a day in her life”, Romney shot back on Twitter:

Sure, I believe her. Raising five kids without an involved father is hard. Nobody said it wasn’t. What Rosen did say was that she wasn’t an appropriate representative for concerns about economic gaps between the sexes–particularly concerns about job availability and fair pay. Your kids aren’t going to evaporate in an economic downturn. They’re not going to pay you less than they pay Dad. And if they do, you haven’t spent the last year or so watching your legal remedies being systematically disassembled.

In other words, your background doesn’t actually help you establish your bona fides for representing women’s economic concerns. Especially not after this:

Dressage horses and multi-day getaways are not among the “needs” of the average mother and voter. But let’s assume that Ann Romney really has been listening and really does want to represent the economic concerns of at least mothers. What does she need to be reporting to Mitt?

  • Employment is still a huge issue. Given that small businesses account for 65% of job creation in the U.S. and that the bulk of these jobs come from new companies, it’s time to shift government support from existing corporations to start-ups. That means supporting affordable health care for people outside huge group policies. It also means careful attention to the patent process so that small innovators aren’t differentially disadvantaged.
  • Pay is no small problem. If Romney wants mothers to have the same choice she did, we have a long way to go to make that affordable. Minimum wage is not a livable wage. Families with children are four times as likely to be classed among the working poor, and the percentage of these families in the working poor is nearly half again what it was in 2000. The education that would help families crawl out of poverty is much more expensive than it was when the Romneys went to school–due in large part to government policies. That all needs to change to make Ann Romney’s choice widely available.
  • Equitable pay also affects the ability of families to make real choices. If women are not able to make the same amount of pay for the same productivity, then their “choice” to stay home is less of a choice. If men are not able to take time for parenting without being penalized more than women who do the same thing, there is not a fully valid choice for men to stay home with their children.
  • Supporting choice also means supporting parents who do work. This means making quality professional child care affordable. It requires making a commitment to all of those very basic policies that make education work. It means supporting workers so that, say, those parents who have to juggle the needs of medically fragile or disabled children can’t be fired without cause.

There are plenty of things Ann Romney can do to represent the economic concerns of women, even just those women who want make a choice to have a parent in the home. So far, however, she doesn’t seem to be doing it.

Comments

  1. 'Tis Himself says

    Romney has a poor household. His wife and children are poor, the butler is poor, the chef is poor, the gardener is poor, the chauffeur is poor, the stable hand is poor. the maids are poor, and the pool attendant is poor.

  2. d cwilson says

    Poor Ann Romney. It must have been exhausting raising kids with only a maid to do the cleaning, a cook to do the cooking, a gardener to hire illegal immigrants to do the yard work, and a nanny to wipe the kids’ noses.

    I’ll bet there were days when she was so exhausted, she could barely muster the energy to help Mitt put the dog up on the roof of the car.

  3. andrea says

    I wonder how many household staff the Romney’s have had. if this woman is all that Romney hears from on women’s issues, no wonder he’s such an ill-informed liar.

  4. D. C. Sessions says

    It’s a good thing that MR has Ann to explain to him what it’s like trying to balance a job where you don’t make enough money to support your kids with taking care of those kids when you can’t afford health care if they get sick. Or you do. Or if you lose your job because of another pregnancy.

  5. julian says

    Poor Ann Romney having to raise a half dozen kids on the few measly millions her husband provides. She works hard, people!

    Yeah, no.

    You don’t work, Mrs. Romney. You’re rich through no virtue or talent of your own and have more resources, funds and help at your fingertips than even your average well off mother.

  6. smrnda says

    Even as a stay at home mom, with all that money I doubt that Ann Romney can even pretend to know what most women go through. I’m sure all those women brainwashed into the quiverfull movement do more work in a half hour than she likely does all year.

    Some conservatives seem to present their own ignorance as a badge of honor, but Mittens and now his wife genuinely don’t seem to be able to see how out or step they are with the lifestyles of most people. This might be the result of being privileged, rather than talented. They don’t even understand how money is really acquired since they were born into it.

    Overall, what dunce thinks that 1 woman can ‘represent’ or keep him informed on women’s issues? I mean, women are half the population, and are hardly a monolithic demographic. To know what would benefit women, women from all walks of life should be consulted.

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