Ok, while I try really hard to stay politically informed and as politically active as I can, I don't love arguing politics. People tend to be tightly tied to their political views and I don't love feeling like a discussion is morphing into a fight.
So, while I try to keep up on what is going on locally and nationally in the political sphere, I don't often drag conversations into this arena (although I will definitely voice my opinions if the topic comes up).
Well, recently a discussion has come up in the presidential campaign that I just can't ignore. Democratic consultant, Hilary Rosen, made a comment that really annoyed me (and by annoyed I mean made me freakin' mad). During an interview (watch it here), Ms. Rosen remarked that Ann Romney, a stay-at-home mother who raised five boys, had "never worked a day in her life."
Now, you have to understand that Rosen was bothered that presidential candidate Mitt Romney has stated on several occasions that his wife (in so many words) is his in house expert on women's issues particularly relating to the economy. Rosen took exception to this idea saying (in essence) that since Ann has not worked outside the home she is out of touch with the real world and its economical intricacies. (To be fair just about every major Democratic group has called for Rosen to apologize and has disagreed with her ridiculous comments...her version of an apology is to say it was a poor choice of words which doesn't sound like an apology to me AT ALL.)
Right, in order for a woman (or anyone for that matter) to understand what is going on in the world, the government, the financial institutions or even the family finances she obviously must be gainfully employed by some organization. Staying at home does not qualify as work.
This is not the first time a small minded view like this has crept up in the world, but this time it happens to be on a pretty big stage. (I wonder what Rosen would have said about Eleanor Roosevelt?)
To insinuate that stay-at-home mothers -- no matter their financial status -- are somehow less attuned to the dealings of the world because their chosen career plants them in a not for profit, UN thanked, often UN noticed roll is asinine.
If I shipped my children off to daycare every day and invited other parents to replace my kids with their kids so that I could raise those little ones while paying someone else to raise mine, that would make me more capable of thought, fiscal understanding and political savvy?
I think not.
Our chosen career path -- whether we are investment counselors or Realtors or teachers or nurses or at-home moms or political consultants or mechanics or whatever else -- has nothing to do with our understanding or involvement in financial dynamics.
Look, I stay at home with my kids every day. I read Arthur books and play Connect Four and clean up juice spills and change diapers all day long. But I also run our family finances. I create the budget. I pay the bills. I read up on investment opportunities and allocate 401k funds and plan for college savings and all that other juicy stuff. I read about presidential politics and study local candidates including judges and school board nominees. I don't think my choice to be a mom to my children has hobbled me when it comes to thinking through tough economic and governmental topics. Placing my children at the center of my life keeps me grounded and helps me stay focused on what matters most. Anyone who puts their family first -- no matter what their career is -- can claim that same benefit for themselves.
So, Ms. Rosen, all that I have to say to you is that in my opinion YOU are the one who is out of touch. A good long look in the mirror just might be in order.
But that's just my view.