In the past few days I’ve found myself in several discussions about what it means to be a woman in the United States.
Evidently some conservative women now believe that us liberal feminists (neither of which are bad words unless they escape the lips of a conservative) are down on stay-at-home-moms and are somehow marginalizing the job of being a wife and mother all because some women rolled their eyes at Mitt Romney’s wife running around the country speaking to issues of “working mothers”.
The argument of some women, and understandably so, is that Mrs. Romney is not coming from the same place as your average working mother or your average working woman. After all, most working mothers actually work outside the home, have to do their own grocery shopping, their own house cleaning, and don’t have nannies, maids, or personal assistants available as needed. Most working (outside the home) moms are also not wealthy and many working (outside the home) moms work for far less than $20 an hour unless they were fortunate enough to get a good education and start their career before they had kids.
This of course, in the minds of some conservative women, translated to, “Liberal women are starting a war on women who choose to be stay-at-home mothers!”
Bullshit. We’re just asking you to not compare clocks to sausages. One is not the other. A wealthy stay-at-home mom does NOT come from the same place as a lower-middle-class stay-at-h0me-mom whose husband might be lucky enough to pull down 50K a year (before taxes).
First, let me say that if you are a stay-at-home mom and you had that choice – bravo and good for you. I agree that being a mom and housewife is definitely work. Also let me say there is nothing I would have loved more than if I’d had the choice to stay at home and be a mom. That would have been SO cool. But here’s the thing — not everyone has that choice (or luxury as some of us would call it). The fact of the matter is that it’s harder to be a mom who has to work a 40+ hour a week day job on top of her already huge responsibility of raising her children and keeping her house.
Don’t try to pretend it isn’t more work. You know it is (and you know who you are!)
The reality is that a lot of women have NO CHOICE but to work outside the home because it takes both she and her husband’s income to maintain the household and keep the children fed and clothed. I know a few women that, if they had a choice, they would most certainly have stayed home with their kids. I’ve also met women who said if they had to stay home with their kids 24/7 – they’d go bat-shit crazy. So it really depends on the woman. Some women are naturally more domesticated, others are not. Some women CHOOSE to not have kids at all – or to not get married because they have no desire to.
And that there, ladies, is the foundation of every argument concerning women as of late. Choice.
It seems some Conservatives want to take away women’s rights because they don’t think women are intelligent enough to make choices.
Most women just want to be able to make their own choices about their own bodies and their own futures and their own lives. Some of them may not want to depend on a man for anything. Others may want to at least have a good education and make sure that if they needed to be independent (or step up to help support the family) they could – just in case they ended up divorced, widowed, or their husband ends up out of work for any duration.
That’s a woman’s personal choice. Sometimes life takes those choices away from us as the case with infertility or the fact that it really does take two incomes to raise a family in this country unless you don’t mind living in poverty.
On further dissection and discussion I was basically told by my conservative friends that women who worked outside the home, who didn’t have kids and/or who weren’t married were feminists and going against nature — and that they had no worth in our culture. So basically, these women really believe their sole function in life is to bear children and raise them and if you’re a woman of non-child bearing years or you suffer infertility, or you’re just not maternal and don’t want kids, and if you don’t have a man in your life (or want a man in your life) — that you have no worth.
Yes. You heard me.
Evidently those of us who are forced to work outside the home or who choose not to have herds of children, or who can’t have children or who are without men in our lives are worthless to mankind. I was also told that women who don’t do their duty and have children are selfish.
If you are sufficiently pissed off by now – you should be, because many of these same women really do believe a woman should not be educated and each woman should be subservient to her husband and her only function in life should be pushing out babies and making dinner because that’s what she is biologically made to do (i.e. it’s Gods will). If she’s not doing what God created her to do, well, I don’t know – maybe we can just grind her up for food?
Look – I don’t have a problem with women who CHOOSE this path for their own life. If you want to be a housewife and mother and you have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom and you love it — go for it. More power to you! But don’t try to force your chosen lifestyle on the rest of us.
Don’t try to vilify working moms who may not have a choice in the matter if they don’t have the kind of money you have. Not everyone can afford to be a stay-at-home-mom and not everyone wants to be.
Don’t vilify women who can’t have kids or who have chosen not to have them.
And finally – don’t vilify women who want to have both a family and a career. Some women do aspire to more than just being a mom. That aspiration is not an attack on those who are content with their role as wife and mother, it simply means that women are individuals and they all have different aspirations and things in life that make them happy.
I didn’t hear anyone saying that being a mother was easy or that being a stay-at-home mom wasn’t work. It most certainly is.
We’re just saying that when it really comes down to it – Mrs. Romney is not coming from the same place as working (outside the home) mothers in working class America. That’s all.
Mrs. Romney trying to tell all of you what your concerns are is like me, the infertile woman, telling you — the actual mothers — what your concerns are in raising your kids. You wouldn’t stand for that bullshit from someone like me. Why would you stand for that from a politicians wife? Makes sense to me.
***Funny side-note – I’m not a Democrat but most conservatives always insist that I’m a liberal anyway. LOL! Basically – if you’re a woman and don’t agree with them – you’re still a socialist liberal feminist (or Femi-Nazi depending who you talk to) even if you’re a moderate or an old-school fiscal conservative. However – I will proudly wear the mantel of liberal feminist. After all – I’m an infertile married women who does believe in choice, and forgive me for saying this, but being a stay-at-home mom sucks far less than having to work outside the home. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe that’s the last 26 brutal, sucky years in the work-force talking. Maybe I’m jealous that I can’t have kids or couldn’t afford not to work (especially if I had kids) because our house payment actually depends partly on my income. Maybe I’m jealous that women who get to stay-at-h0me and not have to have a day job (outside raising the kids and keeping the house) don’t have that kind of pressure on them to be able to bring enough home to make the house payment. Whatever it is, ladies, I really do think you have it good. You should feel blessed and thankful for your situation and maybe understand that if there is animosity toward you, it’s because you condemn others to make yourself feel good about what you do and maybe some of us are jealous that we don’t get that perk of not having to be personally responsible for bringing home the bacon. I would gladly trade that stressful responsibility if all I had to do was cook it. As it now stands I have to do both and so do millions of other American woman.