Sunday, April 22, 2012

QOTD: Screw you. My mom worked.

Quote of the Day:
The last one may be one of my least favorite of meaningless platitudes in circulation in the U.S., the whole "stay-at-home moms are the hardest working, bestest people that ever worked!" one. It's a common feature on STFU Parents, with housewives braying about how, unlike everyone else, they work 24/7 and don't get vacations and blah blah.

There's a very serious and insulting problem with this platitude: It carries with it the assumption that working mothers (a term that is commonly understood to mean women who have paid employment while raising children at home) don't raise their children.

Think about it: [Ann] Romney is saying she made the "choice" to raise her five boys by staying home, as if her boys would have gone unraised if she'd had a job outside of the home. To which I say, screw you. My mom worked. [WCG: My mom worked, too. And screw anyone who says she didn't work twice as hard as Ann Romney.] In this country, most moms work. Their kids don't run around like wild animals, naked and barefoot and killing pigeons to survive. Hell, in some families, believe it or not, dads some times pitch in and raise their kids. (That last bit was mega-sarcasm, for the utterly literal.)

[Hillary] Rosen's point stands. Romney's tweet actually confirms that she has no idea what it's like for most women to be out there, worrying about how to make enough money to take care of themselves and their families. That she had the choice to stay home makes that very clear. And that's even if you don't know about Romney's financial situation. The reality is that she could afford economic dependence, because if she ever got divorced, her alimony payments would be enough to keep a whole neighborhood of single mother-led households afloat. Hell, Romney doesn't even have much in common with most stay-at-home moms. In the real world, many stay-at-home moms are living in poverty, unable to afford a job because of the costs of child care, and often living on a patchwork of family help, food stamps, and under-the-table employment. Even those who don't live in poverty are often living in a much more financially precarious situation than the "choice" stay-at-home mothers the media loves so much. The reality is that most mothers work, since most middle class families rely on women holding paid employment to stay afloat. More than 3/4 of women with children under age 15 at home have paid employment outside of the home. - Amanda Marcotte

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