Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen, exemplifying mainstream media's
pervasive bias, unleashed a firestorm recently. Ms. Rosen ridiculed
Mitt Romney's wife regarding the economic literacy of stay-at-home
mothers; contemptuously dismissing Ann Romney for "never having
worked a day in her life."
Many mothers managing family finances implicitly understand
economics better than political strategists or government
bureaucrats. Housewives engage markets constantly. Ludwig von Mises
noted of inflation, the "housewife knows much more about price
changes as far as they affect her own household than the
statistical averages can tell."
The myriad advantages of full time motherhood extend far beyond
finance, but there are substantial economic benefits too. Work
costs money, from transportation and wardrobe to the cascading cost
of dining out frequently. Unless a second salary far exceeds
daycare expenditures, couples may fare better with one breadwinner
and frugal budgeting.
Some families have insufficient means for a spouse to stay home but
wish they could. Others can afford acceptable care. How parents
navigate such crucial decisions remains their choice alone, but
that some mothers sacrifice material abundance is apparently
threatening to women who perhaps take motherhood less
Rosen's condescension reflects a recurring assault on Republican
women. Last election,
Sarah Palin suffered ferocious abuse, but her self-made success
would be lauded by feminists were they honest, or had Palin been a
Democrat. The 2004 campaign witnessed Teresa Kerry level similar
"has she ever had a real job" invective at Laura Bush.
Women today have plentiful options, but apparently all must pick
per feminist mantra. Don't choose life in Palin's case or support
husbands like Romney and Bush. Defying the politically correct
image of knuckle-dragging men waging the Republicans; perceived War
on Women; once again feminists smeared homemakers for making what
is an individual, personal choice.
The president exacerbates this divide by subtly depicting his
presumptive Republican challenger as old-fashioned, replete with a
submissive wife, which to
Team Obama is demeaning to women. Maybe the Romneys reflect
Fifties values, but any notion of that era being inferior because
most mothers minded the hearth is ludicrous.
Is there a more life affirming profession than motherhood?
middle class women who extracted themselves from harsh Nineteenth
Century workplaces to enjoy the timeless ideal of
nurturing their young. A century later, led by radicals like Betty
Friedan, women plunged back into a by then a much safer, sanitized
and more comfortable work setting; trumpeting that women were now
un-tethered from traditional norms.
It was not an oppressive culture which consigned motherhood to the
fairer sex. No patriarchal tyrant dictated that only women would
bear children or breastfeed. We were clearly designed for distinct
functions. Denying this to reverse roles found universally through
time and space affords women no justice.
How does mimicking men advance women?
Our complementary characteristics coming together as a completed,
life giving unit ought to be celebrated. Feminists may consider
"gender" as basically interchangeable, that our historical roles
resulted from an oppressive division of labor. They can reduce our
innate dissimilarities to plumbing while the administration
mandates free birth control and abortificients to manipulate the
faucets. But confusing impressionable girls only engenders conflict
and confusion between sexes.
On everything objectively measurable, from our physical attributes,
intellect and hormones, men and women differ. George Gilder
observes, "The differences between the sexes are the single most
important fact of human society." Science confirms that we even
think differently with male brains "compartmentalized" and females
Despite hordes of government programs and research intent to prove
otherwise, we thankfully still differ. Feminism's folly has been
betrayed by nature. Yet don't say so publicly as Larry Summers
learned. The former president of Harvard was censured for
suggesting, in an obsequious speech catering to feminists, that
women's lower representation in science may involve "intrinsic
Has anything ever been objectively proven for which men and women
are identical? Why then presume subjective traits are similar
between sexes. This defies both reason and experience. Even as
chemists can nearly replicate breast milk, and disposable diapers
allow men this thrill, it is preposterous to pretend our unique
gifts are inconsequential to child rearing.
Popular culture has debased fatherhood into a second, less
skilled mother, sans a maternal instinct. Capitalist bounty makes
both parents working outside the home feasible. Many fathers stay
home while their wife provides financially. Good for them. But
children will thrive best with both parental roles filled.
Rosen's solutions, per usual liberal answers for any ill, real or
imagined, prescribe social engineering under the guise of public
services. More federally funded daycare and subsistence for single
mothers. The feminists substitute cradle to grave government
dependency for the mutual reliance and fulfillment of marriage.
Ms. Rosen may be determined to prove that "A woman needs a man like
a fish needs a bicycle," but why must childless couples or those
putting children first subsidize moms who elevate materialism over
maternal concerns? Or, who bear children illegitimately?
As tax burdens escalate, it becomes increasingly challenging to
cope on one income. Why discourage stay-at-home mothers by raising
taxes to finance social engineering? Why dilute the economic
benefits from tending the hearth through subsidizing daycare?
Government deliberately skews the scale.
Sweden, as relayed by John Lott in
Freedomnomics, purposefully expanded both taxes and social
services to push mothers into the workforce and children into
government care. As former PM Ingvar Carlsson proclaimed, "School
is the spearhead of socialism." Single mothers too provide a
reliable voting block of government dependents.
But this beckons cultural suicide. There are irrefutable
repercussions from single motherhood. Children reared by single
mothers engage in much more promiscuous sex, dabble in drugs,
garner poor grades or commit suicide. Children with only one parent
present are twenty times more likely to be imprisoned.
Despite a dearth of research, minimal extrapolation suggests that
teenagers from two parent homes who do befall these pathologies are
disproportionately latchkey kids similarly lacking parental
attention; or those abandoned to the care of strangers.
Manifold problems derive from daycare including much higher
incidence of disease and aggressive or unruly behavior. Bernard
Goldberg deemed it, "The most important story you never saw on TV."
The mainstream media dares not mention this.
There are other cultural tides propelling crime, drugs and
illegitimacy, but given external pressures, the benefits of engaged
parents are even more pronounced. Unfortunately, these truths are
unmentionable to avoid inflicting guilt on working moms. Better it
seems if mothers stay deliberately blind to the underlying reasons
their children suffer.
Some families simply cannot afford a spouse staying home. Others
made poor life choices in the past. But rather than competing
politicians carving nooks and crannies throughout the tax code; or
redistributing wealth for social schemes, the state should cease
socially engineering parenthood.Three cheers for the mothers with
the courage and integrity to resist the feminist charlatans.