Let’s get to the point quickly, Hilary Rosen SHOULD NOT have said that Ann Romney “had never worked a day in her life.” It was a poor choice of words. Rosen herself realized this and apologized the next day. But let’s get a couple of things cleared up right away as well: Hilary Rosen was not attacking Ann Romney and Hilary Rosen was not attacking stay-at-home moms.
If you watch the actual exchange with Anderson Cooper, Rosen’s points are that Romney is depending too much on his wife’s feedback regarding the issues that most concern women instead of connecting directly with them and, more importantly, that Ann Romney has not had to struggle with the economic issues that the average American housewife deals with: putting food on the table, paying for education, ensuring a bright future for her children.
On both counts, she’s right.
Now, I don’t blame the Republicans for jumping at Rosen’s statement— and believe me, I blame them for a lot of things. They are playing the usual political games during campaign season. Furthermore, considering Romney and the GOP’s standing with women, they desperately need to show that they’re not waging a war on women. How do they plan to do this? By claiming that it’s the Democrats who are waging the war.
However, if they really want to show that they are not against women, the way to do it is to seriously examine why women feel attacked by the Republican party today. I don’t know but maybe it has something to do with the fact that:
1. Virginia’s Republican Governor Bob McDonnell wanted to force a probe up a woman’s vagina, take a picture of her fetus and then show it to her before she could undergo an abortion. The final bill that he signed into law, and that will take effect on July 1st, eliminated the transvaginal probe, but women will still be forced to look at a photo of their fetus taken with a regular ultrasound.
2. Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut for 3 days after she testified that birth control pills should be covered by an employer’s health plan, but neither he nor any other Republican has ever questioned why health plans usually cover Viagra.
3. Pro-Life Republicans believe that the life of a fetus is more important that the life of the woman who carries it. Rick Santorum is so pro-life that he told Piers Morgan that rape victims who become pregnant should “make the best of a bad situation,” and should accept their “horrible gift from God.”
4. Mitt Romney declared that if he becomes President he will get rid of Planned Parenthood. Later on, a spokesperson clarified that Romney only meant that federal funding would be eliminated and not the organization itself. This surely reassured the millions of women who depend on Planned Parenthood for cancer screening, preventive care and birth control.
5. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker repealed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 in his state. It also took Mitt Romney’s campaign two hours to answer a reporter’s question on whether Romney would do the same, if he becomes President.
Or maybe it has to do with the fact that Republicans act like they are living in a Mad-Men-1960’s alternate reality where women were, well, you’ve seen the show, right? Except that this is real life and Mad Men are no longer in vogue. Instead, there’s a whole bunch of mad women furiously waiting for November 6th, 2012.