That Pesky War on Women (and Civility)

In the past few days, the Left has made much of the “war on women” meme being bandied about online. They’ve accused the Right of “inventing” it as a way to tar the Left, decrying any use of the phrase as right-wing smears. (Oh, except poor Joe Biden, who apparently didn’t get the memo.)

The latest salvo in this non-existant war on women came after Hilary Rosen commented about candidate Mitt Romney’s wife Ann that she had never worked a day in her life… For a women who raised a family of five boys, this would come as something of an eyebrow raiser. Mrs. Romney responded with simplicity and grace by remarking on Twitter:

After all sorts of backspinning by Rosen, the President, the First Lady, and a great many other Dem operatives, you might think that this would have died down.

You would be wrong. You ignore the great unwashed masses of venom-spewing hate mongers at your peril. They saw the subtle but unmistakable inference that Mrs. Romney is now fair game, and they are running with it for all they are worth. Twitchy has the story, in concepts of 140 characters or less. Since this is a family-safe blog, I won’t be posting any of the filth, but if you have a mind, click on over and see what the Romneys will now have to endure.

In retrospect, Sarah Palin caught a break. They didn’t start eviscerating her until July of 2008.

It’s not a war on women per se. It is, as it always has been, a war on conservative women.

Stoutcat

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15 Responses to That Pesky War on Women (and Civility)

  1. DT says:

    Stoutcat

    I’m not sure how old you are, but I just want to make a statement that there was a time when one (1) income supported and sustained a Middle Class Family household. Back in that time, MOST women were “stay-at-home” mothers who were there when the kids came home from school, prepared meals and maintained the Home. Now, I have NOTHING against a woman working, so please don’t get the wrong impression that I’m in any way “chauvinistic” or a person who is so “Old Fashion” that I don’t understand today’s world. Believe me, I’m not “stuck” in the 1950’s or 1960’s. I just want to engage you and make some observations.

    In the light of the comment made about Ann Romney – that she had never worked a day in her life – some things need to be pointed out here as to the “why” this comment was even made in the first place. What exactly was Hilary Rosen referring to when she said that? Was her “point of reference” a 1950’s or 1960’s Middle Class Family Model where women were largely stay-at-home mothers, who were there when the kids came home from school, prepared meals and maintained the Home? Or was the “point of reference” all about money because the Romney Family is wealthy and can afford for Ann to stay-at-home and raise her family? This certainly begs a series of questions about our Society today that I don’t think the “average” person would even ponder.

    WHY-WHAT-WHO

    1.) WHY is it that in today’s world, the average Middle Class Family NEEDS two (2) incomes to support and sustain a family household? It seems that only the “Wealthy” or “Well-Off” Families can afford to have a parent who stays-at-home to raise a family and maintain the Home.

    2.) WHAT “happened” to make this a “necessity” for Middle Class Families? (Think about it)

    3.) And WHO is “responsible” for this and WHY did they do it? (Also, think about it)

    I look forward to your response.

    • Stoutcat says:

      DT, I grew up in a middle-class family in the midwest. My father was a newspaperman and my mother stayed home and kept house and raised the kids. So I understand the concept pretty well.

      Clearly Rosen was making some assumptions about how the Romneys raised their family: nevertheless, raising five boys to be good men and contributing members of society — which by all accounts they are — is no small feat, and I dare say that regardless of family income, it was damned hard work, mostly on Mrs. Romney’s part. Aside from that, she also has done charity work all her adult life; and if you’ve ever known a woman who was a member of the Junior League, she will tell you that it’s not all tea and crumpets. These ladies work incredibly hard to benefit their chosen charities. Why then is this not accounted as work as well?

      Also, why is it unacceptable to be a stay-at-home mom if you are better off financially? As Malkin said, conservative women are damned if they do (Romney) and damned if they don’t (Palin).

      As to your WHY WHAT WHO questions, I think you make assumptions, as well. I’ll answer all three of your questions here: It really depends on whether the middle-class family is willing to trade (the WHY) the big-screen TV, Friday pizza nights, cell phones for everyone, not to mention day care, missing out on baseball games and dance recitals, etc. (which they lose having two parents working) for having one parent home raising the kids, perhaps homeschooling, doing the carpool thing, going to the games, being the Girl Scout leader, etc. The rise over the past 50 years of rampant materialism makes decisions like these very difficult for some (there’s your WHAT).

      In short, each family decides what they need (there’s your WHO). Many think they “need” things that they don’t really need. Only too late do some realize that it might have been a far more joyous life (if a bit lacking in vacations to the Cape), had the family decided that the material things weren’t worth as much as many think they are.

      • DT says:

        Stoutcat and Steve Spontak

        You both missed the point of my questions. Again, as I wrote to Steve, this is not of criticism of either one of you. Perhaps I worded the questions wrong, so I’ll take the blame, lol. I can see that both of you are intelligent people by the way you write and what you are sharing about yourself, your families and even what you say about Ann Romney and working women (and I’m not patronizing). I’m in agreement with “almost” everything you both have to say.

        However, my questions were objective in nature – designed to make us all think about what most of us DON’T think about. Why do I say this? Because most of us are so busy with our daily lives that we don’t really realize what is being done to each of us economically. We’re all too busy. And that seems to be true by what each of you have shared.

        I want you both to try to “step-away” from that for a time and try to imagine yourselves on the outside-looking-in. In other words, neither of you are personally effected by what is happening all around us. Imagine yourselves as Aliens (LOL) who have stumbled upon Planet Earth and you have chosen to pick a Country to study it’s History – and that Country is the Good Ole’ USA. And so that you both know, I’m not trying to deviate away from Stoutcat’s Topic. – I only would like us to look at it from a different angle as an excersize. And this DOES have EVERYTHING to do with Ann Romney’s situation and Families “with ot without” working women throughout this Country.

        OK. I’ll rephase the questions:

        1.) What has changed “economically” (not materially) whereby it has become “necessary” for most (not all) “average” Middle Class Families to have 2 incomes to support and sustain a family household, when it used to take only 1 income back in the 1950’s and 1960’s?

        2.) Why has it changed?

        3.) Who is responsible for the change?

        Clues – Inflation, Taxes, Prices

      • Steve Spontak says:

        OK DT; I’ll bite.

        You seem to make the point that because of higher “inflation, taxes, prices” that most families require 2 breadwinners. If I miss your point, disregard the rest of my reply and forgive my inability to see your point. However, if I have your point correct, I think you are wrong. This is starting to get away from Mrs. Romney, but here goes: most (not all) families have 2 bread winners because they have a unrealistic view of what lifestyle they need to have, and the role of what I call basics and extras. In some ways, they sacrifice the good of the children so they can (as I alluded to) drive the BMW’s, visit Starbucks several times a week/day, wear designer clothes. We have been sold a view of how life should be by Hollywood (not a very right-wing place), and people put their self worth more in what their lifestyle is, and less in how well they care for their kids. I may be a bit harsh in this, and it is not to say people do not care for their kids. It is to say that our relative importance on “affluence” is much too high. We are one of the only nations that has poor people who are fat, have cell phones, flat screen TVs, and more than one car. I would argue when there is enough money for these things, one is not truly poor. If they do not have enough to eat, they are spending money on the wrong things-they do not have priorities straight. If our priorities were to first and formost care for kids as best we could, then much lower on priority list (only after other priorities fulfilled) we could (if able) opt for expinsive car, lattes every day, designer clothes, iphone/ipad, I think we would be a much better society. As we are now, many in our society (I sometimes find myself guilty of this) put these “extras” in the “needs” column. Thus the need for many to have 2 incomes.

        This is not an indictment of all 2 breadwinner families. Some families truly need 2 incomes to cover basics; some households due to death, divorce, or unwed pregnancies require the sole parent to work. However, I do think it is a good reflection of why there are so many 2 breadwinner faimilies. Not “inflation, taxes and prices,” but too high a value on the extras; the basics still need to be taken care of. If we took care of basics first, then only had extras when we could afford them, I think there would be many fewer mothers who felt they had to work.

        Again, if I miss your point. I am sorry.

      • DT says:

        Steve Spontak

        You’re getting warmer. Perhaps this may help. It’s incredibly IMPORTANT to project into the future using the Mathematical Exponential Function to see what lies ahead. (second link below explains it well – if you have the time to watch it) With that said, we can also “look back” and see the causes for why things happen.

        Question: Have Prices gone up on things we’ve used back in the 1950’s and today? Or is our money worth less from the 1950’s? Either way, what will be the “breaking point” whereby 3 – 4 incomes are needed to supply and sustain 1 family household? In the 1950’s – 1970’s, it was one. In the 1980’s till 2008, it’s 2. Now, in 2012, we’re on the precipice of 3, whereby ONLY the wealthy and well-off can afford to have one parent stay home.

        This first link describes Money and Inflation in the 1950’s

        http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1950s.html

        The greatest shortcoming of the human race is to understand the Exponential Function.

      • DT says:

        Stoutcat and Steve Spontak

        As so you both know. I’m 53 years old. I’m a single dad who raised 5 children by myself for 17 years. My children are all grown – but not all have “gone”. Ha! And I’m not wealthy by any means.

      • DT says:

        Steve Spontak

        I re-read your post, which is written very well BTW. In your post, your present quite an economic conundrum.

        Suppose that people are brought to a point where they can just afford to buy/purchase/consume ONLY the necessities of life. What happens to all the JOBS at Starbucks, the designer clothes manufacturers and the BMW plants if they stop their purchasing? Won’t these companies go out of business?

        You also stated that people are sold a view of how life should be by Hollywood (not a very right-wing place), and people put their self worth more in what their lifestyle is, and less in how well they care for their kids. Economically speaking, this is where I disagree with you. I would contend that Hollywood (not a very right-wing place) isn’t the culprit, but rather, you’re actually making the argument that Capitalism is the culprit when you think about it. If anything, Hollywood is being “used” by Capitalists to play upon people’s wants and desires so that they purchase the products they’re promoting. It isn’t a “Leftist” thing to be Capitalist, is it? Besides, I don’t “buy into” this right/left paradigm. In my view, there’s something much more sinister at work.

        Keep going. There is an “End Game” to all this madness, lol.

      • Stoutcat says:

        Steve and DT: thank you both for carrying on this discussion. DT, I’ve got one year on you, and I congratulate you for your success in raising quite the passel of kiddos! Had my husband and I been blessed with children, we would have done everything within our powers to provide our (hypothetical) children with a stay-at-home parent. Since we’re by no means well off, it may have been beyond our finances to do this, but we certainly would have made the attempt.

        And DT, I think I understand your point, but I’m still leaning toward what Steve said–and what I was saying earlier: that the extremely materialistic outlook of today’s society marginalizes frugality, simplicity, and yes, even virtue. Due to our disastrous economy, that pendulum may be swinging back a tiny bit in the other direction, but not by much.

        And maybe that gets down to the essence of what’s in my mind on this subject: virtue. No, not that being a stay-at-home parent is of necessity a virtue and being a working parent is not… (Bear with me, I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but I’ll get there eventually…) but perhaps that given the near absolute commercialization of society today, there’s little room left for concepts like virtue, like putting what’s best for the children first, above successful careers, even. And I posit that in most cases, one parent raising the children while the other works outside the home is what works best for raising a family successfully.

        Some would attempt to make a virtue of the perceived necessity for a two-income household, especially when raising a bunch of children, but (as Steve pointed out upthread) how much do we spend on lunch out and coffee and an afternoon candy bar and drinks with the girls and Friday night pizza dinner out with the kids and gazillion-channel cable with a tv and a computer and a cell phone for each kid and two or three cars and the list goes on and on of what constitutes “necessities” these days.

        In many places, it is possible to have one income and to raise a family. But nobody ever said it would be easy. The virtue may lie in doing it anyway.

      • DT says:

        Stoutcat

        Hi. I read the article but it leaves out a lot; especially anything which discusses inflation, price increases and taxes – then and now – and more importantly what our children will be facing with these factors in the future.

        I understand where you are coming from with all the commericalization and materialism in society, however, whether we like it or not, all that commericalization and materialism is “beneficial” to our fragile economy. We’re definitely in a pickle.

        Have either one of you seen the Zeitgeist Video on the Federal Reserve? I was wondering what you thought about it in relation to our Economy – and maybe to discover “why” our Nation continues to have all these Exponential Functions happening all over the spectrum.

  2. Steve Spontak says:

    I will address the why and what of DT’s post; to some extent the who as well.

    I have to echo much of what Stoutcat has said. Our society has an inflated concept of what a lifestyle should be. I know several families that have forgone expensive trips, BMW’s for both parrents, occasionally buying (gasp!) used cars, daily starbucks double mocha skim milk lattes, top shelf beer and liquor, and designer clothing so that they can have mom at home. This is not always the case, but very often is (at least in my neck of the woods). Of course, kids born out of wedlock, poor decisions early in adulthood, etc may lead to less than economically productive careers and may necessitate both parents working (or mom working if single mom-this can also tragicallly happen if the breadwinner dies or in cases of divorce).

    I posit that most women working outside of the family do so because they want to; partly (mainly?) because the “left” has told them that their worth as a woman is less if they do NOT have a career. I know this to be true because my wife (stay at home mom) and I have heard wormen say as much. My wife also says that deciding to be a stay at home mom is a “sacrifice” to a woman who does have a career that she was trained and educated for.

    As has been said elsewhere, look at the “fruits” of stay at home motherhood. In general, how do kids turn out in families where the mom (or one of the parents) stays home to raise kids? I would argue that the kids are more likely to grow up productive, moral and ethical. This is because motherhood is not a part time job if it is done well. If both parents work, motherhood must be a part time job.

    I do not mean to denigrate women with kids who choose to work; some truly have to. Some have a career that they truly help people. If this is their choice and calling-great. I am sure they love their children no less, and do their very best to be as good a mom as they can.

    However, a stay at home mom is clearly one of the hardest jobs a women can do, It is also one of the most important jobs a woman can do. They sacrifice carrer, extra money, professional fulfillment and to some extent adult interaction to do this important work. Stay at home moms deserve our admiration, not marginalization.

    Further, to say that they should have no opinion (or a less regarded opinion) on economic matters, especially economic matters as related to the family, is absurd. And, in relation to Ms Rosen’s comment, the tone of her comment was one of disdain and insult. I know this because, as referenced above, my wife and I have both been on the receiving end of these comments. Perhaps Mrs. Romney did not have all the struggles of many single or working moms (although she had many of her own!), but she can fully identify with their struggles and how economic issues weigh in on families. Ms. Rosen’s comment was clearly to marginalize Mrs. Romney, as she appears to be a large positive for Mr. Romney’s campaign.

    • DT says:

      Steve Spontak

      I agree with “almost” everything you said – and I enjoyed your story and I commend what you and your wife are doing for the sake of your family – however, you missed the “entire” point of my questions to stoutcat. This is not a criticism of you as a man/father/husband. I would like you to think just a little deeper; especially as to the “why-what-who” of my questions.

      I’m going to read stoutcat’s response now and perhaps address both of you in the same post. i have a feeling from reading your post that you may be just “echoing” stoutcat, rather than answering my questions.

  3. Stoutcat says:

    DT and Steve (and our other readers): Althouse and her commenters are have this very same discussion, with some very interesting ideas shared. Click here to read.

  4. DT says:

    I watched the youtube Video of Mitt Romney introducing his wife, Ann at the beginning of his NRA Speech. I must say. The Romney Campaign is playing this up for everything it’s worth. LOL

    Howvever, the trouble I have with the Romney Campaign is his Financial Contributors. This is also true for the Obama Campaign. Because of this, I can not vote for either one. While other folks look at what a Candidate “says” during a Campaign or what “positions” a Candidate “claims” to stand for – I look at “who” the Candidate will be beholden to when the Election is all over – since we, the Electorate, will have ABSOLUTELY NO SAY until the next Election Cycle.

    With that said, we know that the Money Manipulators (The FED and the Banks), in collusion with “corrupt” Government Officials in Congress (on the “take”) – both Democrat and Republican – are continuing to manipulate the Economy which they have “decimated” through Greed. The FED continues to “Print” and “Pump” $100 BILLION a MONTH into our Economy, so that the Government can continue to pay it’s Bills. Thus, the FED is putting an “artificial floor” under an “artificial” Economy – propping it up and then selling it to the American People that the Economy is Recovering. It’s so sad. For when the House-of-Cards all come crashing down again – and the People are ill-prepared, there will be much suffering, poverty and crime.

    If the People ONLY KNEW how Banks “create” Money Out-of-Thin-Air.

    *The 1st video “stalls” at the 1 minute mark, but then it plays through just fine.

  5. Steve says:

    DT:

    Ron Paul supporter, no?

    I see where you are going with this. Qute frankly, I still feel my and stoutcat’s original points are valid and true, namely that many 2 breadwinner families are so because they have a false idea of what are “needs” and “wants” and how to order priorities.

    You seem to be making the Ron Paul argument against the Federal Reserve; must say I do not know as much as you about this, but I do not disagree with your points. I do not think this is the main reason that there are so many 2 breadwinner families. Perhaps, if your views are true, this will be the case in the future.

    It seems your points are appropriate for an entirely different discussion.

    Next time, let’s save time, forget the “socratic method” and just get to the point. I am no longer in college, and I appreciate “to the point” discussions. Mea Culpa for not asking you to get to your point 3 or 4 posts ago.

    Steve

    • DT says:

      Steve

      Is this really about Ron Paul? Or, as you have said, that people don’t fully understand the FED and it’s role?

      I do apologize for the “socratic method” to engage you in a discussion and to get your views on the FED. However, the correlation between money, inflation and taxes – and the “necessity” for a 2 Income Family, I believe, is the PRIME CAUSE for the deterioration of the Family Unit. And I do believe that an argument can be made that this is all by “Design”. Yes. Materialism and Morality (or lack thereof) are important factors which contribute to the DECAY in our Society, but none is more “crucial” than MONEY and “Who” controls it – for we all need to make money to live. It’s an Important Institution to look at it in light of all the problems we’re facing.

      So, yes. I do think that the FED’s “Role” on Money, Inflation and Taxes, coupled with Government Spending on Entitlements, “under minds” the Democratic and Capitalistic Fabric of our Society. What the FED and the Government are essentially doing is slowly replacing Capitalism with the “mechanics” for a Socialistic Society or a “Redistribute the Wealth” End Game. Think about it. if the real “objective” is to “Crush” Capitalism (for Socialism and Capitalism cannot co-exist in a Society), WHY are we not noticing it? – and WHY aren’t we standing against it to protect ourselves and our children? WHY? Because WE don’t know enough about the “System” and what they’re doing with it. They didn’t “teach” us this in school. So, it’s all about Educating oneself.

      This, then, raises some important questions. WHO is doing it? – WHY are they doing it? Is MORE “Revenue” (through Taxation) being Generated on 2 incomes within a Family than just 1 income? Is this their “Motive”? Are these “Taxes” then being used to “fund” the “Socialism” which is slowly replacing our Capitalism? It would seem so.

      Steve. When we look at certain things within our Society which we take for Granted – such as Birth Certificates and Social Security (or Social Insurance) – we really don’t “bat an eyelash”. But what do they REALLY mean? And, more importantly, how do they effect the Family Unit? (1 income vs. 2 incomes) We already know that 2 incomes will enable a family to purchase “more things”. And without a parent at “Home”, we know our children and families do suffer. It’s a Dilemma, for sure.

      I would contend that in order to begin a “Socratic” quest for Truth on a Matter – NONE of the EVIDENCE should be “filtered”, because we may find it “personally” repugnant and/or even find it to go against our Political Belief System. Is Ron Paul talking about this? Yes. Are the other Candidates? Maybe not now, but they sure will be. Will it be too late? Who knows? But one thing is FOR SURE. It will all come to an End someday soon – perhaps during our life time or our children’s life time! What do we do about it now – before it happens?

      So, are we just “Puppets” – and could the FED be the “Cruel Puppet Master” orchestrating “We-the-Puppets” to fight one another over “stuff” OTHER THAN what they ULTIMATELY Control? And “can and will” the Puppets rebel in time? And, perhaps, did Birth Certificates and Social Security start this whole “Snowball of Control” rolling? These are questions we need to ask ourselves.

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