Is it still a “war” when it’s just two sides getting fucked by a third that’s never depicted?
Karen Mangiacotti, Huff and Puff Post:
Stay-at-home Working Mothers
- Because I’m a Stay at Home Mom who totally has no ill feelings or resentments about being stuck at home, Ann Romney having the maid raise her kids is the epitome of hard work. Also working mothers spend their days eating bon bons like the lucky bastards they are. I don’t count in this population, because I don’t drive a car to work.
Hey, just because the right-wing is our most faithful mango producers, doesn’t mean we should neglect the supposedly liberal sources of complete and utter fail. And so today, we turn to the Huffington Post which has been ever tacking away from any pretense at moderate liberalism back into the swamp it was destined to drown in.
And as a bonus treat, this particular mango is a reigniting of the Mommy Wars. Don’t know what the Mommy Wars were? Well, then, you were a lucky sonuvabitch. I say were, because it’s time for backstory.
See, back in the 80s when white middle class feminists were trying to do things about the glass ceiling and being treated as equals in the workplace, the right-wing realized that the best way to get women to sabotage themselves and thus fail to pass things like the ERA was to pit stay-at-home moms against working moms.
And so they began preying on the natural loneliness, despair, and feelings of disregard and neglect SAHM were feeling from their husbands and society in general and claiming those originated entirely from a narrow subset of rich white women working dream jobs who presumably left their kids to be raised by wolves in the wild so they could be paid 6 figures just by having expensive spa treatments all day.
Now, this might seem stupid, but it proved wildly successful. A lot of housewives feeling the effects of the Feminine Mystique and regretting missed dreams were all too willing to find a point of blame for their situation which wasn’t their own partners or societal sexism. Something easy that would also let them air their envy of women they saw as having it better than them in courage, opportunity, or fortune.
This is not to say that all SAHM fell for this bullshit or that feminists at the time didn’t screw things up as well by focusing so much of their attention on the problems facing middle class white women.
But still, it sunk the ERA and has helped keep the word feminist a dirty word to this day. And now thanks to Hillary Rosen pointing out the obvious, we get to experience it in real time.
Let’s dive in.
Oh no she DI’INT!
And we start with inappropriate usage of black slang. I don’t even need to scroll up to tell this writer is so white, she needs to use sunscreen just to get the mail.
“What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, ‘Well, you know my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues and when I listen to my wife that’s what I’m hearing.’ Guess what? His wife 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 in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and why do we worry about their future.”
- Hilary Rosen, April 11 2012
My word, after reading this, it truly is impossible not to see why she’s worth 20 Hitlers…
Or at least, that might be the case if people would stop quoting the offending remark verbatim and thus revealing that there’s not actually anything, you know, wrong about the comment.
Mitt Romney really did claim that owning himself one of those new wife models meant that he didn’t have to know about silly little things like the economic realities of working women. That his dilettante layabout of a wife could easily be extrapolated to every woman everywhere.
And noting that no, she hasn’t ever worked a day in her life, shouldn’t have been anything more than a “no shit” moment. Bitching at the help to do a better job cleaning your house and raising your children is so far removed from the notion of “work” by any interpretation of the word that… Well, frankly, I have to believe that brain-sucking parasites is the only reason that anyone is taking it halfway serious.
Oh, yes, she did.
Sorry, Karen, still too white. And no, getting a salon tan doesn’t count as being colored.
Strategist and CNN political analyst Hilary Rosen said Presidential first-wife hopeful Ann Romney, homemaker and mother of five boys, was out of touch with the economic issues a majority of women face
Yes, someone with five homes, an army of staff, and a multimillion dollar household income with zero working adults is a little out of touch with the economic issues a majority of women face. And gamma radiation is a little bad for your body.
E.g.? We need examples for “economic issues, a majority of women face”? Hmm, might make a good illustration of the issue and provide some strong context for-
Good start, a lot of working mothers do have to stress about how they will make enough to feed their children and hopefully themselves as well. Indeed outrage about this is one of the big reason that the Ann Romney shit is such a sour pill to swal-
sending them to school
Sending them to school is an economic issue…?
No seriously, how the fuck is sending one’s kids to school an economic issue? The school bus arrives, you throw them on, maybe you drive them to school, or let ‘em walk and it’s kinda taken care of. Not exactly the grim concern on the minds of working women. Usually concerns more like “how will I keep a roof over my head” or “how do I keep from snapping like a twig with my obscene work load” kinda trump.
Important Addendum at **
But who knows, maybe in Karen’s neighborhood, you need to bribe the bus driver to take your kid to school. Well, hey, it’s just one weird answer, surely the next is much be-
and worrying about their future)
Okay, fuck Ann Romney, you’ve successfully convinced me that you are out of touch with the “economic issues a majority of women face”.
Seriously, how do you only stumble on 1 out of 3 even remotely related answers when trying to give unsolicited examples of economic issues women face. It shouldn’t be too hard. Paying the bills, keeping a roof overhead, putting food on the table, keeping them in clean clothes, balancing child care with working hours, lack of child care services at workplaces, pay inequities for the same work, inflexible corporate policies to family emergencies, etc… I don’t even have kids and I could probably rattle off another 10 easy.
I can see why you are taking the slam against Ann Romney so very personally though if you have so few economic concerns that you can’t even guess what they might be.
Seriously, “worry about their future” isn’t even a good “mom” worry. It’s one of those stock phrases that are used in advertisements by middle aged balding men guessing what the “mom” demographic is looking for in life insurance companies.
because she “never worked a day in her life.”
No, she has never worked a job in her life. If you have an issue with how that word is the same for work in general, then please direct your complaint to the English language for being an imprecise mess that mostly relies on context.
This is like asking an overweight woman when she is due, or informing a Mom or Dad that their child appears to have been hit repeatedly with the ugly stick
Yes, noting that an overprivileged wife of a multimillionaire who literally has staff to handle every single aspect of her life might not understand the desperate flailing struggle to stay economically afloat that most people are going through right now is exactly the same as being a rude asshole.
Cause, truly, establishing a false equivalence between a parent so disconnected from her family that she can’t comprehend why torturing the family dog was a bad idea and people who starve themselves while working 3 jobs just so their kids can fill their bodies would be the only fair and not rude thing to do.
– you just don’t do it no matter how loud the screaming in your head is.
You…uh…need to actually fight with yourself to not be rude in the most shallowly obvious of ways?
Um, I think most people in the real world don’t find it all that difficult to refrain from sitcom cliches.
…Is your only reference point for the world bad television? Cause, that might explain the other issues with this post.
You never, ever, suggest a stay-at-home mom is not “really working”.
And if Hillary Rosen said “stay-at-home moms are lazy layabouts who sit on their fat asses eating bon-bons” then you might have a legitimate point.
But seeing as how she was pointing out that Ann Romney as a rich pampered housewife who is so much in the lap of luxury that she doesn’t even have to lower herself to raising the kids or cleaning the house might not understand work…?
Well, yeah, a little harder to ignore that the real issue of the remark might not be so much the actual quote, but rather the internalized voices screaming in your head on a daily basis.
It is inflammatory, infuriating and just plain wrong. Ann Romney raised five boys — not for the faint of heart, I tell you.
Uh, she may have excreted them out of her vaginal cavity (well employed a non-robot to do that for her, but you get the gist), but “raised” is an entirely different question.
And I don’t care if the woman had 50 nannies and a housekeeper.
Sorry, but no.
Having 50 nannies, an army of housekeepers, gardeners, au pairs, and so on does change the game quite a bit.
Like a lot of a bit. Like a metric butt-ton of a bit. Like, not having a fucking clue what work on any level is bit.
In fact, this comment should be bronzed and put in a museum so we can explain to future generations why apologists for the 1% were first against the wall when the revolution came.
The job of holding all of those lives in your heart is huge and definitely full-time.
Oh yes, that’s sure… work… nope, I know you’re trying to induct Ann Romney into your “tribe” against the perceived enemies that have only existed in your own head, but nope. It’s not working. Go back to the drawing board and start again.
The person who says homemakers have it easy is the person who has never been a homemaker. In fact, homemaker in itself is a valid and noble occupation — adding kids into the mix makes you a working mother.
Yeah, you don’t believe this for a fucking second.
If you did you wouldn’t be going on a death crusade trying to relate Mitt Romney’s wife to your personal self-esteem as a homemaker. Next, I’m sure, you’d say it was “your choice” even though your bio page for your job at the Huffington Post is all about how much you miss the days when you were just an aspiring writer and comedian.
We are all working mothers, we are all women who love our families and spend all of our time and energy loving and caring for them. Just assume this to be true before you speculate about how easy someone else has it.
(Look behind me) Yes, I’ll be sure to do that, random lady I’ve never thought that about. I’m sure this has nothing to do with you chafing under the utter disregard and neglect society and your husband as for you or your work and is all about mean people like Hillary Rosen trying to knock all stay-at-home mothers as do-nothing slackers.
I have been a stay-at-home mom for 14 years and I am suffering from a severe case of working-mother-envy.
You envy doing what you do now, but now on a shorter time frame, with less physical and emotional energy?
Um, then do it.
Seriously, there’s nothing stopping you (other than the crippling self-doubt and depression that can be bred simply by the situation). Being a stay-at-home mother is a function of economic security, a luxury only afforded to those who can, as it were, afford it.
Hence why it’s been really hard to sustain the whole cultural pressure that women “should” stay-at-home now that a stable middle class in this country’s largely a thing of the past.
But luckily you’re not saying something stupid like-
I daydream about coffee breaks and two hour meetings with adults.
I lie in bed at night imagining all the smart, hip outfits I would wear to my job.
I check out Monster.com and think “Yeah, I could do that.” I know the reality of the situation is that I would get a job and a new wardrobe and sit down at my desk with my cup of coffee and have no idea what to do with myself without at least 3 people vying for my attention at any given moment, and that I would be reduced to tears the first time I had to miss an assembly at my kid’s school.
Um, okay, this seems to crop up a lot in indignant SAHM opuses about those mean old working mothers looking down on them… Well, not always so overtly… the fuck… but still.
This notion that working mothers just don’t understand the demands of being a stay at home mom and that working a job is some sort of vacation filled with coffee breaks, stimulating social activity, and cute outfits.
Yeah, it might not seem that way to people who’ve been out of the workforce for a couple of decades, but pretty much every job out there these days is a long, hard slog. Even the “physically easy” office jobs tend to be understaffed and filled with non-stop projects with tight deadlines and all the stress that comes with them.
Additionally, there is this strange cutting out of the entire other half of a working mother’s life. Not only do they have all the stress of a job, but have to do all the duties of a SAHM when they get home, cleaning the house, raising the kids, making sure the lunches and dinners are prepared, the kids get attention, etc…
But really, the sad thing is, this odd tangent is perfectly understandable.
In fact, it’s so understandable that someone wrote a book about it way back in 1963, you know, called, the FEMININE MYSTIQUE.
When someone is stuck at home doing a shit-ton of labor for no pay, little social or personal acclaim or accolade, and little change in surroundings, one feels insignificant, under attack, disconnected, and otherwise envious of work, any work that receives some sort of concrete acknowledgment of worth.
And one doesn’t even need to be a SAHM to feel its effects. When I was just a Stay-at-home Nothing thanks to being an extended victim of our modern economy I felt every ounce of the worthlessness, and social disregard for my station and complete despair. And I was just throwing in applications and cleaning the house, not working myself ragged rangling kids all day so my husband could work his job without distractions and praise himself as the “main breadwinner”.
But hey, wouldn’t be a problem if people were actually noting that hey, it might have a bit more to do with our society’s punitive view of people who fall through the cracks and non-monetary labor in general rather than turning it into bizarre fetishization of those worse off. Not to mention turning into enemies the only people trying to help and call attention to their plight.
The grass is not always greener on the other side — it is burnt and brown on both sides. There is no way to have it all. Being a mom or dad is hard because we are so invested in these little young lives that depend on us, so overwhelmed by the importance. No matter what we do, it will never be enough. If we work, we are forever torn about not spending time with our young ones. If we stay home we yearn to contribute more, we strive to always set good examples for our kids
Oh hey, look, actual awareness of the double-bind of societal sexism. Perhaps this will propel her to a greater understanding of the issue and why Hillary Rosen, despite being scum in other aspects in her life, was stirred to such ire-
and we worry that unthinking political analysts will dismiss us because we don’t work, and therefore we don’t matter.
Oh… never mind.
But I’m here to tell you, stay-at-home moms and dads: we do matter.
Yeah, stay-at-home parents do matter. Just because there is no monetary value given for their labor and the general labor of raising kids, doesn’t make it any less valuable and it is a shame that such work becomes simply “expected” of women.
Course, not sure what you have to do with that population seeing as how “works from home” is slightly different than “stay-at-home” mother in common usage, but hey, it’s not like a strong grasp of the English language and its nuances is something you would have needed as a writer.
There is no right or wrong answer in the “Working Mommy Wars” — but there are people who raise their children confidently and make no apologies for it, and it seems Ann Romney is one of those people. And I think that’s good. Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing something because it meets their definition of success.
Yes, yelling at the au pair that she needs to keep a grip on those kids and teach them some discipline, is definitely…
Still a stretch and a half.
Sorry, but try as you might to rationalize a perceived tribe member, Ann Romney is not like you. And I don’t just mean because she’s a robotic approximation of a human being designed to be the possession of a sociopath. Fuck, she’s not like most moms. Stay-at-home or working, most of the 99% still have to physically raise the kids, expending the physical and emotional effort, dealing with the messes, the breakdowns, the emo crises, the wrangling, and so on.
Ann Romney has professional staff. A lot of it. She’s never had to scrub the toilets clean of shit, go an entire day smelling of baby vomit and sweat, and I doubt that she’s changed a double-digit number of diapers with her own two hands.
While being able to stay-at-home might be an economic luxury that too few women are able to afford, Ann Romney is on a whole different level.
Ann Romney has legitimate honest-to-Bob leisure. She has staff to round off all the sharp edges and handle all the unpleasant tasks. She lives the life that sometimes gets unfairly attributed to housewives by unfunny newspaper comics written by octogenarians.
And it really doesn’t help when you try and claim kinship to her and wish to raise her as the model of SAHMs.
If Mitt Romney is elected, Ann will be the only First Lady born this century to not have worked outside the home. It’s likely she’ll receive criticism for this and people may immediately dismiss her as being out-of-touch
Cause she is.
Cause she’s never had to struggle for anything in her whole fucking life or deal with want, with the painful stress of trying to make ends meet and deal with the huge expense of child care. If it weren’t for the biological process of pregnancy, one wouldn’t be entirely sure she noticed the impact at all.
, but I say let’s judge people on the content of their opinions and not the status of their resume. The woman is on the front lines of family life in America; we could listen to what she has to say.
Okay, she thinks that her tortured dog enjoyed being strapped to the roof of the car. And thinks that the only economic issue facing women is not enough tax cuts for “consulting positions” at their husbands’ slash and burn companies.
Oh sorry… You meant that we should only rhetorically talk about listening to her as we use her as a cipher for misplaced grievances, didn’t you…? I make that mistake a lot.
Maybe, and I am just throwing this out there, political analysts should analyze politics and withhold opinions on how people should raise their families.
Yeah, they should analyze politics like, what a presidential nominee says about issues affecting say women and how said answer is a non-sensical and out-of-touch comment that insults the issues facing the majority of the country.
Maybe, just maybe, the qualifications you have as an analyst do not apply to criticizing choices women make. And maybe — now this is a radical one — if we are really interested in making this world better for women, we will trust in their wisdom to make personal choices and not belittle them for it (this actually applies to many current issues, but we will stick to parenting here).
There is so much projection of inner demons here, that I’m reasonably convinced that I’m watching a Polanski film right now.
Believe me, the image people have of stay-at-home moms sitting around eating bonbons and watching their soap operas is as ridiculous as my fantasy of working in an office where we all just sit around eating a co-worker’s birthday cake and talking about Kim Kardashian’s highlights.
Bam! We have bonbon and soap operas!
And I love how one accurate comment about a single overprivileged multimillionare trophy wife has turned into a never ending set of every single cultural disregard for stay-at-home mothers in general.
It’s almost like this post, and pretty much every post like it, is nothing but a mess of projection based on how the Feminine Mystique of being a housewife does a number on one’s self-esteem and feelings of personal worth. Like said destruction leaves one aching for something, anything to blame for it, because accepting it as social and cultural rot seems so much scarier than it being all the fault of those meanie head working mothers who don’t understand what it’s like to change diapers and scrub toilets.
And really, it would be sad, if she wasn’t trying to claim an overprivileged automaton as a kindred spirit at the same fucking time.
Dismissing a stay-at-home parent’s opinion because he or she does not work limits options in the same way that saying “women should not be allowed in the workforce” does.
Wow, let’s just count the wrong in this sentence.
So we got legitimate critique equals dismissing all of her opinions past, present and future, insulting false equivalence with the hard fought battle to allow women into the non-sex-industry workforce, insulting attempt to argue that someone’s trying to force stay-at-home parents to work a job, trying to claim Ann Romney as representative of all stay-at-home mothers everywhere (which admittedly is still less offensive than the Mitt Romney comment that started all this where she was equated to working mothers everywhere).
You’d really think there’d be a point where cognitive dissonance would break in and go, “um, brain, what do you think you’re doing”. but apparently, no.
Empowerment is all about expanding options, and that’s where we need to be.
See, this is the problem when your writing style is cliches and your post is nothing but projection.
You end up having really unfortunate concluding remarks like this.
Yes, empowerment is about lots of options, which is why it was perfectly fine to equate Ann Romney’s privileged state with the desperate hand-to-mouth existence of most parents. And why this woman’s despair and loneliness of feeling like she was pushed from her preferred career to being an under-appreciated “mother” is the fault of all those young bitches having to balance work and childcare out of necessity.
Honestly, it makes sense that she would find kinship with a right-wing cipher. The right-wing has always been willing to feed and stroke the embers of resentment and misdirection, setting victims against the rescuers as they find common cause with the people who gladly seek to hold them under the waters.
Perhaps, it would have been less pathetic if she wasn’t an employed writer with a regular column, thus making her one of the fucking working women being shat on by her post and Mitt Romney.
Perhaps, but for us, we’ll never know.
‘Shorter’ concept created by Daniel Davies and perfected by Elton Beard. Fanning the flames of the BS “Mommy Wars” is perfected by me. We are aware of all Internet traditions.™
*The picture that accompanies this post heavily borrows iconography for over-worked working outside-the-home mothers to illustrate its bitch fest about how working mothers don’t know how much harder stay-at-home mothers work than them. Frankly, irony’s next-of-kin would have sent us a sternly worded letter, if we didn’t note that little fact.
**ADDENDUM: Okay, yes, it is a little bit of an economic issue. Getting schedules that allow you to work with bus or driving schedules that don’t have you dropping off the kids 2 hours early, the extra time and expense in morning commutes, and all the effort draining that productivity just physically getting kids to go to something they don’t always want to go to at what is to them too damn early in the morning.
That said, it’s still a half an example at best, because it’s not really one of the biggest economic impacts. In fact, it often pales behind the flipside problem (how to handle the end of the school day). The latchkey problem as the school day ends long before one can get off work if one is lucky to have a schedule stable enough to trust. The inability to pick up kids if a crisis crops up without risking one’s job. And so on. So, yes, not unaware of that and how this issue can impact, but still, this is a damn odd list of examples.