Monday, May 7, 2012

A SAHM's Point of View

Last week's 'All in Perspective Column' for the Hill Country News and Jarrell Star Ledger.

“Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life.”
-Hillary Rosen on Mitt and Ann Romney

I'm sure Democratic strategist and Obama adviser Hilary Rosen rues the day she uttered those words. She was quickly denounced across party-lines, even by the President. Although Rosen offered an apology of sorts, her comments struck a nerve and launched a new front in the so-called Mommy Wars.

In this latest skirmish, the debate is over whether SAHM's (Stay-At-Home-Moms,) actually 'work,' whether Ann Romney is a 'real' SAHM, and whether SAHM's can actually understand economic issues. While most pundits were quick to assert that SAHM's do indeed 'work,' many leftist feminists were eager to defend Rosen.

National Organization of Women President Terry O'Neill even doubled-down on Rosen's gaffe by claiming that what Rosen should have said was “Ann Romney has never worked for pay outside the home a day in her life.” O'Neill went on to say that Ann Romney lacked the “life experience” and “imagination” to really understand the issues.

O'Neill's statement is even more indicative of the intolerance many ultra-feminists have for women who choose to stay at home with children. But don't believe that the denigration of SAHM's is limited to the National Organization for Women or the halls of the Democrat Party. Over the past decade American attitudes have become increasingly disparaging of women who choose to stay home with children.

For the past 12 years I have been a mom who does not “work for pay outside of the home,” but with two spirited boys I promise you, I do work hard. Unfortunately, there are those who believe that my occupation makes me ineligible to participate in local politics. Back in 2010 I testified before the Williamson County Commissioners Court in opposition to property tax increases. Proponents of those tax increases denounced me as “Holly the Homemaker Hack Job;” implying that since I did not 'work outside of the home for pay,' my opinion was invalid.

Stay at home mothers seem to be inherently discriminated against in politics. Here in Williamson County, two very capable women ran for the Round Rock School Board in 2010: one a working Mom, one a SAHM. The SAHM, Jennifer Shockley-Daniels, had children in RRISD schools, volunteered with the school district and PTA, chaired the Cultural Arts Committee, and served on several boundary committees. The other candidate was a female attorney from Austin. While acknowledging that both women were “good choices,” the Austin American Statesman endorsed the latter because in their own words, she was “a lawyer.” Apparently Shockley-Daniels' life experience and imagination were not sufficient for a seat on the school board. The lawyer won by 7 votes.

The subtle and not-so-subtle bias of the political Left is that Stay-at-home-Mom's are uneducated, incapable, and uniformed. But SAHM's do work and we are often hyper-aware of economic issues. We don't need the Consumer Price Index to tell us that we are paying more for groceries and that gas prices have increased 99% since President Obama's inauguration. Like most Americans, we have seen our incomes drop and our costs increase. It isn't just theory for us; we live the U.S. economy on a daily basis.

Democrats claim ownership of the 'women's vote' because Republicans are supposedly anti-woman. Meanwhile, the political Left is only supportive of women who agree with liberal-progressive policies and who have rejected the invaluable experience of full-time parenting. Whether they work-outside of the home or care for children full-time, Republican women are smart enough to look beyond promises of 'free' birth-control and abortions. What we really want is for our government to stop inhibiting our ability to provide for our own families and parent our children.

As Ann Romney stated, “Guess what women are talking about? They're talking about jobs, and they're talking about the legacy of debt that we're leaving our children.” Amen, sister.

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