No Apologies Necessary Hilary

What Women Really Think
April 12 2012 5:39 PM

No Apologies Necessary Hilary

141641769
SCHAUMBURG, IL - MARCH 20: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife Ann Romney greet supporters during an Illinois GOP primary victory party at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel March 20, 2012 in Schaumburg, Illinois. Exit polls showed Romney leading his closest rival, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), and will keep his lead in the delegate count. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

I understand, that in some battle of campaign optics, the Romney campaign won today’s battle for the hearts of American women, as our own Dave Weigel noted this morning. But before the day closes, I want one last word on the spectacle. Having just watched an advanced episode of Veep, the upcoming HBO show in which Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays a vice president struggling to keep up with the bogus posturing and maneuvering that is the business of Washington, I don’t need a reminder of how it all works. But that doesn’t mean that we, as journalists, have to participate in that. All the journalists piled on today agreeing that of course Hillary Rosen stepped in it when she said that Ann Romney “has never worked a day in her life.” How insulting! How deeply hurtful to moms!

But merely because a campaign makes a disingenuous attack does not mean we all have to demand our own special apology. It is perfectly obvious, listening to Hilary Rosen, what she meant by “never worked a day in her life.” The sentence that follows is: “She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing.” Hear that one – “economic issues.” And I’m sorry to my friend Ruth Marcus and everyone else – there is no reason why we always have to use the "acceptable" formulation “work outside the home” every time we talk about mothers. We can admit that that’s an awkward phrase, and we can also admit that at this point staying home full time with your children is not only a choice but pretty much a luxury of the elite. And almost by definition makes it hard for you to relate to the average woman.

Advertisement

If we needed any more proof that the Romney campaign was merely jumping on this one to erase Rush Limbaugh from our minds, we can look at Mitt’s preposterous claim that most of the jobs lost under Obama were women’s jobs. In the last recession, three-quarters of the 7.5 million jobs lost were lost by men. It stands to reason that as the recession eases some manufacturing jobs are coming back, so men seem better off in this recovery period than women. But that’s a tiny microscope Romney is looking through, and he must know it. Projecting forward, nearly all of the professions that are predicted to grow over the next decade are dominated by women. 

Hanna Rosin is the founder of DoubleX and a writer for the Atlantic. She is also the author of The End of Men. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Altered State
Sept. 17 2014 11:51 PM The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 18 2014 6:00 AM All Shook Up My 11-year-old has been exploring herself with my “back massager.” Should I stop her?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 18 2014 7:30 AM Red and Green Ghosts Haunt the Stormy Night
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?