No Apologies Necessary Hilary

The XX Factor
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

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Even When They Go to College, the Poor Sometimes Stay Poor

Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Behold

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 6:24 PM The GOP Can’t Quit “Willie Horton” Even though they promise to do so, again and again.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 5:39 PM Whole Foods Desperately Wants Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 6:32 PM Taylor Swift’s Pro-Gay “Welcome to New York” Takes Her Further From Nashville Than Ever
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.