We Must Work It Out

When I was a young “working woman,” I was envious of my friends who didn’t have to work after they became mothers. I thought what a relief it would be not to feel stressed by constant deadlines, unreasonable and nasty bosses, long hours and hardly any time off. Now, of course, I know that staying home with kids is work, too, and anything but a picnic.

Hilary Rosen (left) vs. Ann Romney

Whatever democratic strategist, Hilary Rosen, meant to convey when she said Ann Romney never “worked a day in her life,” is less important to me than the fact that Hilary seems to be jealous of Ann because she married a wealthy man and chose to stay home and raise five sons.  FOF Hilary, 53, is the mother of twins, so she surely must know what a handful three additional kids would be.

Mitt and Ann Romney (center) with their children and grandchildren in 2007.

Ann Romney doesn’t have to get a paycheck to know that women in the US don’t make as much as men for performing the exact same jobs. And she has as much right as Hilary or I do to voice her opinion.

Women who “work” are not holier than thou. They’re not smarter, wiser, or more worldly.  They don’t apply their makeup better or dress more stylishly. They’re not better friends or travel companions. They just go about their daily business differently than Ann Romney.

Isn’t it time women stick together, whether we work on Wall Street or in a factory, raise kids or take care of parents, are democrats or republicans?
Men compete on the size of their salaries, titles and other things. When we act like they do, it isn’t very becoming.

14 Responses to “We Must Work It Out”

  1. Lisa says:

    Susan,
    I enjoyed your post. It was thoughtful and honest and apolitical, just a true telling of the facts of your life experiences. I agree that this world will never be perfect or fair.

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  2. Susan says:

    I’ve stayed home raising five children and it wasn’t easy. I educated all five of them as well. My life consisted of being with them 24/7. Rewarding as that was it wasn’t easy. I don’t have a rich husband and with only one pay check, it’s been very difficult. My husband sacrificed a lot for us working without much time off. Others I know got to take a lot of family vacations when we didn’t. I worked full time before the children were born but decided it was best to have at least one parent home full time.

    I think the grass always seems greener no matter what side you’re on. I’m glad I did stay home. I still don’t have a luxurious home or things. But I have a wonderful family. I should say in raising five children four of which are men, they have struggled to find jobs, nice women, and find that it’s who you know that get you jobs. We’ve struggled in many ways others have not but haven’t had to struggle in ways others have. Do women need to stick together? I think people in all walks of life need to embrace each other and realize that everyone needs a chance. It’s not really a man’s world or woman’s world. It’s all in our perspective. There were years when my husband’s company promoted women over him that didn’t have college degrees and gave them more money. Then paid for their educations and made them managers who are still working over him and don’t even have a clue what he does. I remember when they said they wouldn’t give him a raise for awhile because he made more than some others. Then a few years later one of the women managers he went to work for was surprised at how little he was really making and brought his salary up to what she thought was fair. Talk about frustration. I know a lot of tough pushy women in the work force feeling they have to get ahead of men. But I’ve also been acquainted with terrible men in the work force. We don’t live in a perfect world and no one is perfect and nothing is fair. We just need to be thankful for our blessings. It’s our experiences that give us our perspectives.

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  3. Genie in Dallas says:

    I think there is a big difference between having a job where you have little power or control or security, and being a homemaker. That said, I do hope that women will continue to reach for, and receive more power and control over all decisions affecting our country, our place in the world, our individual lives. Fellas, is it time for you to step aside? I don’t think there would be so much greed, competition, and war in the world if female values ruled. Yeah, I said “ruled”! We’ve come a long way, and I hope to see a new form of government where money isn’t God. In my lifetime, please. Thank you.

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  4. Marie says:

    I vehemently disagree! Rosen could have phrased her comments better but she was spot on. If you look at Mitt Romney’s Financial Disclosure, you plainly see he is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Anne Romney raised her children at home, yes; however, she had nannies and cooks and all manner of help. She cannot possibly identify with a woman who stays home, has to clean house, chauffeur her children to everything, keep her husband happy, cook three meals a day, do the laundry, iron the clothing, etc. Anne never had to worry over whether or not she should buy the name brand or the store brand to budget the food for the household either. This never was a question about working mothers (all mothers work!) but rather a question of stay-at-home moms who are millionaires and those who manage on very little and there is a vast difference between Anne Romney and the average mom out here in the real world.

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    • Nicole says:

      Marie…I will repeat myself. Ann Romney is a Breast Cancer survivor and was diagnosed with MS. She should be able to get all the help she needs, along with other women in her situation.

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  5. Nancy says:

    ALL Hilary Rosen meant was this: Ann Romney’s husband is so stinking wealthy that the NEED for her to work outside the home was never an issue!!! Plain and simple, that was THE point!
    Of course the Conservatives blew it all out of proportion in order to try and confuse women voters of America and pit them against each other. They know that for years Republician men have held women back and are scared to death that women are FINALLY opening their eyes to the truth! For too many years they have controlled women by making them feel guilty for religious reasons. and being loyal and voting the way their husbands have told them to vote!!! Oh wise we women become in our later years…..

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    • Nicole says:

      Ohhh please, Nancy. She raised 5 boys. Come on’… she is also a Breast Cancer survivor and was diagnosed with MS. Cut her a break, will ya?

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  6. Dianne says:

    I think Hilary Rosen statement was incredibly stupid. Being a mother is the hardest job in the world. I like and respect Ann Romney and think she has worked hard. However, and I really think this was the point of Rosen’s comment, I do not think Ann Romney can understand what most woment, working outside the home or being a stay at home mom, experience. I seriously doubt she ever had to worry about putting food on the table, having a roof over her head, deciding which bill to pay when you were short of money, how you could afford to provide an education for your children, etc. that most women have faced at one time or another in their life. I, therefore, find it hard to see how she can speak for all women which is the impression I have been given by Mitt Romney. And in reality, the opposite is also true, I cannot speak for the life she has lived which I am sure has had many difficulties. It would be nice if both sides would stop jumping on every word that is spoken, especially when it isn’t if a candidate, and quit twisting people’s words.

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  7. Jodi says:

    It’s over, let it die. I am a Democrat and think Romney being elected President would be a travesty, but what Rosen said is a non-issue when it comes to the Presidential race.

    It is an issue in the war on women by women, however, nothing is going to change today. I don’t know Ann Romney’s background, but I do know her husbands and he cannot relate at all to the middle class voter.

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    • Nicole says:

      Jodi, the economy is a travesty now.

      Why are you penalizing Mitt? Because he is a smart, successful man and wants to help bring success into other families? I’m confused. Our president is also a very successful man.

      Jodi, did you know that Mitt Romney received a lump sum when his father passed, but he donated all of that money to the college where his father went?

      Please explain to me why our president now can relate to middle class better then Mitt Romney? They BOTH are extremely successful.

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  8. Cynthia says:

    Actually, Geri hits the nail right on the head. For whatever reason Hillary Rosen lashed out at Ann Romney, she was dead wrong. And her apology was grudgingly given and wrapped around yet another insult. She should stop talking.
    I worked full-time, raised 6 children, took them to museums, church, protests and camping, volunteered in Boy & Girl Scouts, shelters, food drives, the Red Cross and the Sierra Club because it was my responsibility not just to feed and clothe them, but to open their minds and hearts. And from personal experience I would much rather work 8-5 for pay, than 24 hours a day for nothing. SAHMs have the absolute hardest, most thankless job there is, with the most responsibilites and trust me, know a heck of a lot more about how to make money work than Hillary Rosen ever will.
    DonnaJoy, I confess to being confused as to how ‘conservative men’ are behind Hillary Rosen’s comments?

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    • Maci says:

      I think you have it exactly. I was fortunate ( and I do believe it was fortunate) to be able to stay home full time with my 2 very hyperactive boys and then build a business that went on to be extremely successful. All choices have pluses and minuses and not all of us have the same choices for many reasons, including but not limited to economic ones.

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    • Nicole says:

      Well said, Cynthia!!!!

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  9. DonnaJoy says:

    I totally disagree with your interpretation of Hillary Rosen’s comments. You miss the point that there is a war on women in the areas of health and equal pay. To me it is more important than splitting hairs between working moms and stay at home moms. Hillary apologized so let’s move on to REAL issues. Otherwise, you play into the hands of the extreme conservative men who are attempting to divide women anyway they can so as to gain points for Mitt Romney.

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