I have been astonished at the firestorm brought on by Hilary Rosen’s comments. And yet it should not have surprised me because the way things work these days it seems that if any comment can be distorted to suit partisan politics, then it is, and all hell breaks out. And this is what happened with a comment that was in fact quite benign. Ms. Rosen noted that Romney had designated his wife to tell him of women’s concerns, and Rosen wondered how she could since she has never worked. That is a fact. Not an insult. And yet it was quickly turned into an insult. The comment did not demean motherhood (I believe Rosen is herself a mother).
What I believe the comment was about was how Anne Romney does not represent the average woman in any way, not only because she does not work (and we all know that “work” was meant to signify being on someone’s payroll or owning one’s own business). Motherhood, difficult as it is, has nothing to do with this particular issue. Mrs. Romney has never had to punch a clock, keep a budget, or do any one of the usual things most women in today’s society have responsibility for.
In addition, their fortune has cushioned her life, and I very much doubt that she has to do her own cleaning, cooking, or any other chore she does not care to do. It is sad that she has had serious health problems, and the MS is more serious than the cancer. But their money has brought her the top health care that can be gotten in this country (and probably in the world). I know for a fact that she has been under the care of the very best, and that is wonderful, but I don’t know whether that makes her sympathetic to women who have no access, no health care, and no money to do much of anything about serious illness they may contract. Especially if Romney were to have his way about abolishing both the Affordable Health Care Act and Planned Parenthood (and probably Medicaid, which he said the “states could take care of”).
I wonder whether Romney owes the women of this country an apology for daring to suggest that the wife of a billionaire with absolutely no work history outside the home could report on what women in this country want.