Ann, honey, you still don’t get it
Rosen, who may have been a little harsh, said she believed Ann Romney had little understanding about the lives of working women because she never held a job. Whether you say it harshly or gently, it is true. If you haven’t held a job while trying to be a good parent, you can’t understand the challenges.
Yes, Ann, it is very hard work raising children, but you can’t fully understand trying to hold a job and raise children unless you’ve done it. I’m not saying it to criticize; I’m just saying that’s how it is.
In your Tweet, you mentioned you chose to stay home. Therein lies the problem. The operative word there is “chose.” Choice in the matter is not something most of us have. Had I not worked, my kids and I would have been homeless. Even after I remarried, our combined income left us with little extra after the bills were paid. We didn’t own a home until we were 40 because it took us that long to save for the downpayment.
Income for most working Americans has gone down precipitously since the 1970s because of the attacks on unions and worker rights. If manufacturers couldn’t get their workers to offer up enough concessions, the jobs went to China. You never had to worry about that because your husband’s job was to “trim the fat” from companies he bought. That usually meant that people in the working class suffered.
I don’t blame you for the business or political policies of your husband, even though I disagree with him on many, many counts. What I’m saying is that you have no experience with struggling to make ends meet while you worry whether your job will be downsized or outsourced, and at the same time trying to be a good parent.
Studies show that children whose parents are wealthy are less likely to have compassion for people who are poor. Although some people can overcome the disadvantage of growing up advantaged, it’s more difficult to have compassion for something you never experienced. Your Tweet proves that. It never occurred to you that you had a choice most of us never had, or that things for most of us working Americans have gotten much harder.
I’m glad you had the choice to stay at home. But you still have no way of understanding the struggles of a woman who has to work and still wants to be a good parent.
Leslie Boyd, a former newspaper reporter, is president of the health care advocacy nonprofit, WNC Health Advocates, founded in memory of her son, who died in 2008 because he couldn't access health care. E-mail her at leslie at lettersfromtheleft dot com or follow her on Twitter @leftyletters1, visit Letters from the Left on Facebook. For more information about WNC Health Advocates or to read Boyd's health care blog, visit wncha.org.