The War on Women, A Woman’s Work and Its Value, and Feminism
by Ardentmeld, April 16, 2012
Sunday, the 15th of April, three op-eds caught my eye. The reason for the interest was not so much who wrote them but what the writers were commenting on. It basically came down to the value of women and what or who damaged it, and what or who is helping its progression.
These three op-eds are based upon a comment made by Rosen on Romney, which I’m sure you heard some peep screech about. The uproar seemed mostly about the fact that it came from a liberal, feminist, lesbian adoptive mother, who is a Democratic operative; and the fact that she also said candidate families are fair game.
“She has never worked a day in her life” was basically the comment by Rosen. When I first heard the up roar about Rosen’s statement I agreed. But then the statistics, generational differences, and class and cultural differences began racing through my head. I then read yesterday the New York Times Op Ed by Frank Bruni, “Working and Women” which hit exactly on some of the things as a so called feminist I struggle with. What exactly is a woman of power? What is that definition? And who’s exactly is it? Mr. Bruni speaks of his mother and not knowing exactly if at the age of 19 it was more of a traditional generational arrangement, where dad was the income provider and mom navigated, financed, consoled, and arranged everything else out of that provision. Although the raising of 5 boys, 6 to be exact, and never really complained about that arrangement. I grew up in that arrangement for a time until the unfortunate failure of my dad’s arteries (several times) and then came the “we can replace more experienced workers with 2 or 3 inexperienced less paid workers and well, my dad became obsolete in the working world. My mother than began her 35 year career as a librarian for the school district and life changed for me and my brother.
A woman’s value and whether it is regarded as power or not is an interesting question, Linda Chavez writes that in 1992 a famous remark by Hilary Clinton “I suppose I could have stayed at home and baked cookies and had teas” shows that power of stay at home mom’s is still looked upon as “frivolous ninnies”. As Chavez points out, some say stay at home mom’s take the easy way out which is not always true. With daycare costs, food, gas, an extra car, medical bills (which rise when your children leave home), it is sometimes cheaper/cost effective to put off going back to work. Single moms are the ones that have the problem with the not working part. I worked as a wife in my first marriage, a single mom, and a wife in my second marriage up until our son was just ending middle school. I was able to go back to college and still take care of the home, be the hang out house for the kids, which was much easier to do not working with my husband deployed the second time. I had powerful jobs, I am a powerful being, but it is not because of the jobs I possess or the money I make or the people I know or my reputation.
Feminism has not made me a powerful woman, working has not made me a powerful woman, being a stay at home mom has not made me a powerful woman, the people I have met or worked with has not made me powerful. Not one of those things has made me powerful. My parents, my friends, my education, my son, my husband, my losses, my suffering, my wins, my gains, my character, all this has made me powerful.
So I am sorry Ms. Chavez, Mr. Bruni, Ms. Rosen, Ms. Tucker, you have all got it wrong. There is no one thing that makes a woman powerful. She has to do that on her own, and stop being wimpy bitch and stop being invited to the table.