Liz Marlantes over at the Christian Science Monitor thinks that the fight between democratic strategist Hilary Rosen and the wife of Mitt, Ann Romney is just a catfight. She says it is a manufactured fight and it’s fake.
I disagree with her. I think that Hilary said exactly what she was thinking and she definitely did disparage Ann in her remarks and I’m glad she apologized for it. She did demean Ann’s choice and I think Ann objected in a “ladylike” way and I’m proud of her for her handling of the issue.
Women don’t often feel that they have choices about raising children. We have heard study after study telling us that having children in daycare isn’t going to harm them, and we hear about how valuable it is for children to go to all day kindergarten- but those institutions pay people to work in them. Mothers who go back to work are footing the bill for these institutions as well as the fathers and actually society in general. It’s just a choice! Ann has a very valid point. Children will be raised! The question is do we do it in an institution or do we do it in private homes where children have a constant provider who very often is committed to their well being.
I’m not going to try to stir up a ruckus about whether women should work or stay at home. Besides, our model for the stay at home mother isn’t working! It relies on the good will of a partner, and in tough times partners don’t always value the sometimes Herculean effort to handle a houseful of small kids. It relies on a contract between the parents that isn’t always solid. It relies on hoping women or men ( stay at home dads) figure out what it takes to be a “caregiving” parent as if they have an inborn talent that will help them raise children.
Raising kids is sometimes tedious. There is loads of frustrations that come with the job and there are no down times! Children can be whiny and difficult and miserable and unpleasant and they can be sick and they try to hurt you! But, if you are amenable to all those things and you recognize that with gentle training they will probably overcome those negatives then you wind up with some young adults that you have every right to be proud of!
I’m not saying that working parents don’t have the same bragging rights about raising their kids- but we have to acknowledge that it is a very different experience. Parents who parent 24/7 ( we aren’t talking about parents who are just there, but parents who engage their children) those parents are almost battle tested. They tend to know when junior is going to pull a fast one. They can hear a tired scream and they can distinguish it from an annoyed scream. They know the difference between a peaceful house and a disaster waiting to happen!
But let’s let all of that go, because to me the most remarkable thing about Liz’s article is her use of the term ‘catfight’. Have you ever heard that word used in reference to men’s arguments?