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Culture Challenge of the Week: Contempt for Stay-at-Home Moms

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It took some pressure, but Hilary Rosen finally apologized. The Democrat strategist displayed a tin ear to women’s concerns when she snidely remarked that Ann Romney—mother of five and wife of presidential contender Mitch Romney--had “never worked a day in her life.”


President Obama sought to defuse the negative impact of Rosen’s remarks only by expressing dismay, through his campaign manager, that Rosen’s criticism breached the unwritten rule that presidential candidate’s family members should be “off-limits.” Michele Obama straddled the issue with her every mom’s-a-winner tweet ("Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected…”).

Meanwhile, liberal attack dogs kept barking, using the occasion to escalate their rhetoric. Actress Roseanne Barr, for example, mocked Ann Romney’s defenders, saying, “After the Republicans had alienated at least half the voting public by all but condemning birth control, suddenly Rosen’s remark enabled them to self-righteously assume the role of defenders of American motherhood.” And Terry O’Neill, President of the National Organization of Women, reinterpreted Hilary Rosen’s remark as an insight that, as a stay-at-home mom, Ann Romney lacked “the kind of life experience and if not, the imagination, to really understand what most American families are going through.”

Moms, do you get the feeling the left hasn’t a clue about the value of motherhood? That down deep, they believe that it’s a “career” that’s not worth much because it’s not salaried? Or that full-time motherhood is a refuge for women who, as Bill Maher said (more crudely and contemptuously), won’t trouble themselves to get out the door in the morning?

It’s a gift to be a mom. And it’s a tremendous gift to be able to spend dedicated years raising our sons and daughters. Motherhood is a call to shape the hearts, minds, and souls of our children. And moms who make it a priority—whether by balancing work hours, staggering shifts with a spouse, or staying at home full-time - deserve our respect, honor, and thanks.


How to Save Your Family: Support Economic Liberty for All Moms

The flap over Ann Romney’s motherhood serves as a necessary reminder: when the left claims leadership on women’s issues and touts its support for women, that leadership and support are defined by the liberal agenda.

For example, liberals routinely support increased government funding for child care, insisting that women want it. They’re wrong.

According to the Pew Research Center, while nearly two-thirds of women with children under 17 at home work full-time, only 37% of women prefer it this way. Sixty-two percent of moms who work outside the home would prefer to work part-time---a number that has jumped sharply over the past decade.

And what propels women back into the full-time job market when their children are young? Some moms, undoubtedly, find a full-time, outside career more appealing and fulfilling than caring for their children full-time. Others, like Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, are driven by ambition. (They don’t need government day care.) Still others prefer to track on and off the career path according to their families’ needs and their own interests.

But many moms in today’s world carry the responsibility of being sole breadwinners for their families—as single moms or because a spouse is unemployed—or face financial pressures alleviated only by a second income.

Women everywhere are ill-served by the liberal agenda that offers "solutions", such as government-subsidized day care, that many women don’t want and our country cannot afford. (Most working mothers opt to leave children with relatives or dad, rather than in center-based care, while they work.)


The truth is that the Obama prescription of higher taxes, ballooning debt, and a sinking economy hurts us all--but especially moms who are working and struggling to make ends meet. A day care subsidy is a poor substitute for a shrinking paycheck, or a job that disappears.

The real pro-woman solution is a pro-liberty solution. Let every family choose for themselves how to support and raise their children---but let’s put policies in place that restore economic liberty so that families can afford to make the choices they really prefer.

A thriving economy—unlike the financial disaster presided over by President Obama and a spendthrift Congress—is what moms really want.

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