Linda Hirshman has written probably her best piece yet. This time about the fake outrage over Democratic pundit and strategist Hilary Rosen's comments about Mitt Romney's wife.
Romney, and the Republicans, are now claiming that President Obama has made the job market worse for women. Romney claims he's getting his information on the issue from his wife, who, as Rosen pointed out, has never held a job in the job market, so how, Rosen asked, could she know if President Obama has made it harder for women to get a paying job?
But never let the truth get in the way of some good ole GOP fake outrage, especially when the victim is a Democratic woman. Yes, Republicans are so concerned about protecting moms. That's why they beat the hell out of Hillary Clinton when her husband was running for president, and did the same to Michelle Obama. Because Republicans really like women... barefoot and pregnant.
Here's an excerpt of Linda's piece in the Washington Post. It's titled, "Hilary Rosen was right: Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life":
In the furor, everyone seemed to forget that unpaid mothers and household work are not what the discussion is about. Republicans are not talking about how jobs for stay-at-home moms have decreased under Obama.
They are talking about how paid work for women has suffered.
When Ann Romney’s husband, who faces a gender gap in some polls, uses her experience and insight as a megaphone for women’s concern over fewer paid jobs, he mistakenly assumes that all women are fungible. Which was, I take it, Rosen’s original point.
Although Ann Romney may be a fine spokesperson on some issues, the dirty little secret of angling for female votes is that while all women’s work, inside or outside the home, has the same worth, as Michelle Obama and Barbara Bush sweetly expressed, all women do not have the same interests. Women who work in the home do not have the same interest in the recovery of the formal job market as women who have to work for pay. Indeed, wage-earning women probably have more in common with their paycheck-dependent male co-workers on the subject of economic recovery than with household laborers such as Ann Romney.
Ann Romney could of course speak for some interests common to all women (and not common to men). All women, for example, have an interest in controlling their reproduction. They may choose to put the issue in the hands of some god, or they may choose to control it themselves, but it is an issue on which women as a group differ from men as a group. What might Ann Romney say about the interest of women in birth control?It's a much longer piece, and hard to excerpt because it's all good quotes. Go read it.
Or in breast cancer detection and research, an area where women have an interest different from all but a tiny handful of men? When the Susan G. Komen foundation announced cuts to breast-cancer-related funding for Planned Parenthood, Mitt Romney might have had his wife address that issue, in which, as a breast cancer survivor, she happens to have a real personal stake.