The reaction of the Republicans has been swift and strong to the statement of Hillary Rosen regarding Mrs. Romney’s lack of work experience outside the home. They quickly took up the cause of every woman’s right to decide whether they should work outside or inside the home and the validity of either choice.
This from the same folks who have brought you the battle over a women’s right to contraception. This from the same folks who brought you and continue to bring you the battle over abortion. This from the same folks who fought legislation to provide equal pay for equal work for women. This from the folks who support a budget that will significantly scale back financial support for women’s health care, child care and education. This from a candidate who recently promised that if elected he will make it a priority to defund Planned Parenthood.
While the words chosen by Hillary Rosen were not the best, the truth is that Mrs. Romney has not had to confront the kinds of personal conflict every woman who leaves her children to go to work experiences. Most of these women have no choice about going to work. They need to earn the money to house, feed, clothe and care for those children. Mrs. Romney most assuredly had nannies to care for her children, giving her the freedom to go and come as she chose. Few stay at home moms have such luxury. Let’s not be silly about this. Mrs. Romney has had a life of luxury filled with the advantages of the wealthy. While we should not begrudge her that life, we should not hold it up in comparison to the average stay at home mom.
Certainly we can’t blame the Romney campaign for jumping on an opportunity to try to show themselves as the supporter of women’s rights. What I can blame them for, however, is their dishonesty and hypocrisy. If you are going to jump, jump all the way and truly support women’s rights in all aspects. To not do so is clearly a transparently cynical political move to try to close the gender gap. Another fine example of the grand march of Republican hypocrisy.