By Arelya J. Mitchell, Publisher
The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway
When all the hoopla started about Democratic strategist and surrogate Hilary Rosen stating that Ann Romney never had to work a day in her life, I frankly understood where Hilary Rosen was coming from. And she wasn’t coming from attacking stay-at-home-moms. Being a woman herself, she wouldn’t be that stupid and/or naïve and/or bitchy. Even this opinion I’m making now is not an attack on stay-at-home moms. My own mother was a stay-at-home mom.
To those stay-at-home-moms who are yelling all over the place, you need to put what Hilary said in historical perspective and take a spoonful of sugar and let the medicine go down. That historical perspective (which was not all that long ago) has to do with a time when women were relegated to the house, relegated into marriage or suffer the stigma of being a spinster, relegated into not being educated or very little educated, relegated into not being qualified to vote, relegated to being ‘barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen’, relegated into second class citizenry where they were to be seen but not heard, relegated into waiting on other women in the proverbial ‘Miss Ann’ category. Over time they were relegated into cheap labor for the proverbial ‘Miss Ann’s husband’ then moved into the office solely to wait on the proverbial ‘Miss Ann’s husband’ again– this time as secretaries, clerks or receptionists. There was not even a pink ceiling, because there was no ceiling. Women had no choice or very little choice.
Now the matter of woman’s work has come full circle, and you do have women who know (and we all do) that the hardest job in the world is rearing a child, and especially if you have a bunch of ‘em. It is a responsibility (a.k.a. job) to be respected, and it is a job that will more than likely always be part of women who work outside the home and women who work inside the home.
Women who choose to stay home to raise children are neither to be scorned nor are they to be put on pedestals and glorified as if they were the next best thing to Mother Teresa. Now back to my point with Ann Romney.
This let- us- not-attack poor Ann has gone so viral that it is a wonder that it has not morphed into a live virus with Kafka-like trepidation. Because first of all, there is nothing poor about poor Ann. Even hubby dear said that she drives a Cadillac or two (hopefully not at the same time). Good for her! Great for her! Yippee! And no one should resent her for having a nice car(s). Ann has to live with multiple sclerosis, and no one wishes her evil or ill will about that, and any decent human being would be sympathetic to her plight. But let’s put the facts on the Pledge shiny coffeetable: Ann made that ‘choice’ to be a stay-at-home-mom. Let me repeat: Ann made that “choice”. Today, most women do not have that choice. Oh, did I say ‘that choice’? What I meant is ‘a choice’. Period. Exclamation mark! They have to scrimp, scrape, and pray to put food on the table and pay fat utility bills. Ann raised five sons who could run in and out of the refrigerator and eat the finest and healthiest of what we call food while the refrigerator could stay on. Yes, Ann is suffering from multiple sclerosis and is a breast cancer survivor, but I am sure (almost one hundred percent certain of it) that she has a good health plan. More than likely an excellent health plan. I am sure she can drive her Cadillac or get her chauffeur to drive her to the doctor whenever she has to go. There are women out there in the same boat as Ann with multiple sclerosis, cancer, and other unfortunate health issues who can only pray to God for a miracle that symptoms don’t get worse and that the clinic is still standing in the neighborhood or the emergency room has room. Hilary, there’s no need to apologize to the proverbial ‘Miss Ann’ and there’s no need to apologize to the real Ann Romney. Instead Ann should have been woman enough to say with a charming smile, “Yes, I am thankful to have been able to afford ‘not’ to work, that I could make a ‘choice’ to stay at home and raise my wonderful sons, that I have ample economic means to treat my ailment, that I have a luxurious car(s) to get around in, and thank you, Hilary Rosen, for reminding me that under human conditions, I have a good life. Not a perfect life, but a good life.”
Then she needs to either sit down or stand by her hubby’s side like a Good Wife.*
*Which incidentally is a CBS series which tells of a former wealthy stay-at-home mom who had no choice whatsoever but to go to work after hubby screwed up.