The Soon to Be Forgotten War on Women
Hilary Rosen recently suggested that Ann Romney, wife of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, doesn’t have the chops to be an influential voice concerning women’s issues because she has “never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that the majority of the women in this country are facing.”
Sure, there are those with a more fanatical left-wing bent that have refused to see any offense in Rosen’s comments, in spite of the vehement objection to them by women everywhere, including First Lady Michelle Obama. But defenses of Rosen generally lack coherence because they must always be prefaced by the customary proclamations of respect for motherhood. Martin Bashir of MSNBC, for example, laced his response to Rosen’s comments with gratuitous admissions that “motherhood is hard work,” only to immediately double down on Ann Romney being too aloof from the plights of “working women” to have any relevance.
But such bias aside, the truth is that Rosen’s display of off-the-cuff honesty has thoroughly exposed the nonsensical “war on women” as the farce that it is.
There has never been any conservative “war on women,” despite the fact that the phrase has become the left’s favorite charge in recent months. The phrase is merely an emotional trigger, devised by the left for obvious purpose. The goal is to convince women that not only is the GOP a bunch of oil-sucking, money-grubbing racists, but they don’t respect women’s rights much, either. When you pull back the curtain, however, it doesn’t take long to spot the wizard that’s behind this illusion of conservative misogyny.
First, we have to ask the question: if the issue is about women’s rights in general, as the phrase “war on women” implies, why would Ann Romney, who is a woman, be an unsuitable source of insight?
It’s the job, Hilary Rosen says. She doesn’t have a job.
But is it really the fact that Ann Romney did not have a career outside the home that makes her ignorant to what American women want or need? If Ann Romney were a single mother living on welfare, she would be equally unemployed- but would her position on women’s rights be equally irrelevant?
No, that can’t be it. The left routinely argues that the concerns and needs of single mothers on welfare are to be a top priority in shaping public policy. Let’s try it from a different angle.
If Ann Romney were a mother that also happened to be a successful corporate executive, would that then qualify her to comment on women’s issues? She would certainly have to have “held a job” for thousands of days to achieve that level of success. But would Hilary Rosen then find her worthy of engaging with her husband about women’s rights?
Of course not. And there’s the bingo. Her disqualification from being a victim in the “war on women” isn’t due to a lack of womanhood or a lack of a job. It’s about her being rich.
Hilary Rosen is a prominent adviser to the Democratic National Committee, and has reportedly logged 35 visits to the White House, presumably to discuss matters of public relations. As such, there is nothing more natural than to assume that her remarks were story boarded as a continuation of this administration’s class struggle rhetoric, meant to drum up support for expanding entitlements through government subsidization and regulation. Just more social justice- only this time, the rhetoric is gender-specific.
Or perhaps we can say, “was” gender-specific. Since Rosen made her comments, the left and the media haven’t been so eager to talk about any “war on women.” And there’s a good reason for that. Rosen’s comments have birthed the phrase “war on moms” to counter the left’s rhetoric about the “war on women.” And this “war on moms” phrase is much more pointed and effective with Americans.
You see, Sandra Fluke is somewhat unique. She is a thirty year old college student that lacks the resources to find affordable contraception, she lacks the desire to make sacrifices to attain it, and therefore, she is begging the government for assistance. And we all pity beggars, especially when they’re begging for something that most people have. So when most women, who do not share her plight, see that she appears in need and desperate for assistance, they find pity, and are susceptible to the claim that those who do not find compassion for her situation are unsympathetic to women in general. This is why the “war on women” silliness has taken hold.
But unlike Sandra Fluke, who is in a very specific situation, many, many women are mothers. Sure, they all have different struggles. Some mothers work one or more jobs, some do not work, some are CEOs. But they generally have one thing in common, as I’ve found in my limited experience as a husband of a mother, and the son, brother, and friend of mothers- a desire to feel respected for their own unique contribution to society and the Earth called motherhood.
More women can relate to this “war on moms” than the “war on women” that was an absolute sham in the first place. So now, the left would really like to talk about something else. Some, like Rosen, have decided to try and end the argument by suggesting that the right is actually responsible for spreading use of the “war on women” phrase, which is just hilarious when you consider, among the many examples, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s website that clearly accuses Republicans of launching an “all-out war on women.” And it hasn’t been just the phrase “war on women” that they want to disappear. They want Rosen to disappear, too, evidenced by opinion writer David Corn saying that Hilary Rosen is just an “obscure Democratic strategist” whose opinion shouldn’t be representative of the left, anyway.
But thanks to Rosen, the left has been desperate to get off the topic of women, and anything would apparently do- with the exception of anything having to do with this administration’s performance in the last three years, of course. So the media had no choice but to ask, “What else can we talk about? Dogs on Romney’s car roof and Obama eating dogs? We’ll take it.”