The issue of a legislative and societal crusade against women has been a buzz across social media channels lately. For us women, the concept that women are treated less equal to our male folk has always been a daily and clearly unjust reality. As a group, women by and large get paid less for the same work; overall have different demands and expectations than men in every facet of their lives. What's fascinating to me is that no mater how much things change, how much it stays the same.
The Republican party has taken a particularly hard line against women lately via legislation and rhetoric across the nation at an alarming rate. With laws attacking reproductive rights such as "personhood legislation" it's a frightening time for women's rights. Recently, there has been quite a buzz regarding GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's wife Ann's comments on the demands from her perspective as a stay-at-home Mom. CNN political commentator Hilary Rosen said that Ann, "has actually never worked a day in her life...she's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing." Ann responded back later, "it's hard work micromanaging a full staff in multiple homes. There were several nannies to oversee, as well as a number of maids, butlers, chauffeurs, gardners, tutors and private coaches. My struggles were not easy, but neither are the struggles of other stay-at-home moms all across the nation. We need to stick together and not have other women put us down for the choices we make. Not all of us are cut out to work and tend to our children, and some of us prioritize family over a fantasy that we could one day be as successful as a man. I stand by my decision to be a stay-at-home mom." This commentary reveals MANY things- namely how incredibly out of touch Ann Romney is, as equally as her spouse.
This tactic to benefit the GOP by Romney using his wife as a trigger to spark a debate that they KNEW would be a tool to divide & conquer women is the oldest trick in the book. The hottest division tool for the #WaronWomen has always been reproductive rights & abortion. Since that has started to become a losing battle for the GOP as more of these radical"personhood" and anti-contraception bills have created more wide-spread public outcry, they have re-focused their energies on the 2nd most divisive tool for women: pitting stay-at-home moms against working moms.
As a middle-aged women with 4 children, I have lived many lives. Started as poor child, daughter of a hard-working single Mom we struggled to get by on food stamps and welfare. After putting myself through college, I got married and became a Mom myself. When my 2nd daughter came along, we made the decision for me to stay home for about 2 years after weighing my income against the cost of 2 in day care. Then, I worked part-time on weekends & nights while being girl scout leader, PTO president & school volunteer. When my youngest was 4, I went to work full-time. Then I divorced and became a single Mom, still working full-time. Now, in my 2nd marriage my hubby and I both work and manage a household with 4 children. Why have I worked since the age of 12? Why did I work with the heavy demands of raising children? Because like SO MANY Americans, we have no other choice. That is why BOTH the Romneys and so many conservatives taking a similar stance on their war on women, are so incredibly out of touch.
Too many women struggle every single day to feed, clothe and bring up their children into this world the best way possible but never have the CHOICE that Ann Romney arrogantly refers to as having an OPTION to be a stay-at-home mom. There is no war of stay-at-home moms vs. working moms unless we allow it. We women work so hard just to get paid 3/4 the wage for the exact same jobs as our male counterparts and still find inequality at home, so why should we allow the GOP to create a battle of women against women, too? This is just another distraction from the real issues and yet another chapter in the ongoing saga in the #WaronWomen.