“A moment of silence, please, for a talking point that was taken too soon. The ‘war on women’ began its life in a February 2011 House speech about abortion. After a short life as a Democratic hobby horse, it died during the second week of April 2012. The cause of death: Rosengate, the latest and least explicable battle in the Umbrage Wars…
“As Romney and the RNC fought back, Democrats started to choke. In her fateful CNN appearance, right before she evaluated Ann Romney’s economics cred, Hilary Rosen begged the media to ‘just get rid of this word, ‘war on women.” After all, ‘the Obama campaign does not use it, President Obama does not use it — this is something that the Republicans are accusing people of using.’
“On Thursday, as the Rosen saga unfolded, DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse echoed her plea for peace. ‘I’m not a fan of the term,’ he said in an interview. ‘I mean, I’m sure I’ve probably used it. We all fall into these easy vernaculars … but we in the DNC have not been running a campaign based on the term ‘war on Women.’ That’s a myth cooked up by Republicans.'”
“Let’s be clear: Raising children full time is work. Being the spouse who runs the household full time is work. And it’s work that society often doesn’t value or treat with respect. In addition to running their homes and supporting their husband’s endeavors, stay-at-home moms are often the people who keep the school board running, do the volunteering for community activities, and even support the women in their neighborhood who work outside the home. When I was a child, and my archaeologist mother had to work late, guess who watched me? Yep, the stay-at-home mom next door.
“The idea that ‘women’s work’ is indeed valuable to society has long been a contention of feminists, so it’s strange to see a prominent Democrat lash out a stay-at-home mother and wife in this fashion. Feminists have agitated for as long as I can remember for society to value and respect the ‘unpaid work’ that women do in the home and society. The fact that Ann Romney doesn’t struggle financially doesn’t make what she does any less valuable. I suspect there is a lot about how she has contributed to her community that we don’t know.”
“Growing up in Michigan, Mrs. Romney pitched in at her father’s company, Jered Industries in Troy, as she has recalled on the campaign trail in February. The firm manufactured heavy machinery for the maritime industry.
“As an adult, Mrs. Romney turned her talents as a chef into something of a small business in Massachusetts. She and a friend held cooking classes for local foodies, according to her son Josh, who described the sessions in a 2007 interview with The New York Times.
“Beyond that, Mrs. Romney has held a number of posts with Boston-area charities and advocacy groups. She was, for example, a director at Best Friends, an organization focused on inner-city girls, and a volunteer instructor at the Mother Caroline Academy, a multicultural middle school in Boston.”
“The data, though, don’t support the impression that staying at home is a luxury. A detailed 2010 study by two Census Bureau sociologist, in fact, found the opposite: While stay-at-home motherhood has become less common over time, the women who stay at home are increasingly those whose low education means they can’t earn enough money to making working outside the home worthwhile.
“‘The main effect showed that compared with 1969, women with less than a high school degres were more likely o be a state-at-home mother than women with a high school degree,’ the study’s authors, Rose Kreider and Diana Elliott, wrote, a trend that ‘accentuated in later decades.’…
“‘People think stay-at-home moms are the rich folks,’ Romney supporter Penny Nancy said on a conference call with reporters today. The Romney campaign is betting that perception is wrong, and the statistics back them up.”
“‘I think the war on women is real,’ Biden said in an interview he sat for with MSNBC’s Ed Schultz as part of a campaign trip to New Hampshire to talk up the Buffett rule. ‘And, look, I tell you where it’s going to intensify: the next president of the United States is going to get to name one and possibly two or more members of the Supreme Court.'”