Even though she quickly retracted her absurd remark that Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life,” Democratic strategist, Hilary Rosen, showed what leftwing women really think about mothers who choose to work in the home. In fact, one of the favorite books of the Hilary Rosens of the world is titled, “Get to Work…and Get a Life Before It’s Too Late.” In apologizing, Rosen claimed that her remarks “were poorly chosen.” This insincere apology was nothing more than political double talk for “If I had known my words would cause such a backlash, I wouldn’t have said them, although I really meant what I said.” Do not for a minute think that Rosen’s apology was sincere. It was nothing more than political back-peddling.
The unifying mantra of leftwing women is choice. But apparently, the only choices Hilary Rosen and her liberal counterparts really believe women should have are those that comport with leftist orthodoxy, choices such as abortion. Let a woman choose to be conservative or to be a stay-at-home mother and for some reason a woman’s right to choose goes out the window. Liberals such as Rosen do not really believe in choice. Rather, they believe that “enlightened” liberal elites, aided and abetted by the government, should be able to dictate the choices made—not just by women—but by all Americans.
There is something scary, even intimidating, to liberal women such as Hilary Rosen about mothers who choose to devote their lives to home and family. Consequently, as liberals often do, the Hilary Rosens of the world respond to their insecurities by attacking and belittling the object of their insecurity. I have always wondered about this tendency of liberals to devalue people whose choices in life differ from theirs. If a woman should have the right to choose—as liberals insist they should—where is the problem? If a woman chooses to pursue a career outside the home, we should all wish her success. On the other hand, if a woman chooses to pursue a career in the home we should wish that woman success too. Why do the Hilary Rosens of the world find the concept of the two-way street so difficult to grasp?
There is an important person missing from the debate over career versus motherhood, one that the Hilary Rosens of the world do not like to talk about. That person is the mother who would like to stay home and raise her children but must work out of economic necessity. Some of these women are married, but many are single mothers. I was raised by a single mother who would have given anything to stay home and raise her three boys, but had to hold down two and sometimes three jobs just to eke out the barest of livings. Apparently, my mother was not alone.
According to a survey undertaken by the Pew organization, 70 percent of working women with children at home would prefer to work only part time or to be stay-at-home mothers. What is interesting about this survey is that the number of women who prefer to be stay-at-home mothers is growing. What is sad about this survey result is that the economy under the Obama administration is forcing just the opposite to occur. More women, even those who have been stay-at-home mothers in the past, are being forced by economic necessity to enter the workforce just to help make ends meet.
I will end this column by providing a perspective that is typically missing from the debate, that of the children. Having grown up in a single-parent household with a mother who out of necessity spent more time at work than at home, I can attest to the emptiness and even fear that young children often feel when there is no parent in the home much of the time. The best baby sitter, daycare center, and after-school program in the world cannot compete with or replace the attention of a loving, caring mother. Take it from a former kid who knows.