Former first lady of Massachusetts Ann Romney is shown with her multi-millionaire husband last month, above, and in 1969, the year of their marriage, below. Mrs. Mittens and the Mittens campaign would have you believe that she’s been the typical stay-at-home mom, just as Mr. Mittens and his campaign would have you believe that he’s your average Joe (the Plumber), too. Bullshit.
First off, I agree wholeheartedly that any assertion that most stay-at-home moms don’t work is sexist, misogynist, patriarchal and flat-0ut wrong.
It can be a struggle to keep up with even minimal housekeeping for myself and my partner whom I can’t marry because I don’t have equal human and civil rights here in “the land of the free” (where it comes to paying taxes, however, interestingly, I’m quite equal, even more equal than are our loving, tax-evading corporations and our tax-evading, patriotic plutocrats who benefit from them). I can’t imagine adding a child to the mix, even just one, fairly low maintenance, type-B child, the kind you don’t have to ever worry about committing a massacre at his school (I guess that the film “We Need to Talk About Kevin” is still fairly fresh in my mind…).
So yes, most stay-at-home parents are unfairly regarded as having it easy by many who aren’t stay-at-home parents.
But how hard or how easy did Ann Romney — who with Mittens Romney popped out five puppies between 1970 and 1981 — have it?
After all, multi-millionaires like Mittens Romney tend to have plenty of hired help.
But how hard, exactly, Ann Romney has or has not labored as a mother — which is something that we probably cannot ever know — misses, I think, the much larger point.
And that point is: Did Ann Romney, as a Mormon, have any other choice but to become a stay-at-home mother?
Or even more specifically, did Mittens give her any other choice?
Wikipedia notes of Ann Romney: “She converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1966 [she was born in 1949, so she was a teenager at that time]. She attended Brigham Young University and married Mitt Romney in 1969 [when she was about 20 years old].” Ann Romney’s bio on Wikipedia, especially the information contained under the heading “Early life,” certainly implies that if she hadn’t dated Mittens in high school, she never would have converted from an Episcopalian to a Mormon. My reading of her bio is that it appears that if she wanted to be with Mittens, she had no choice but to convert to Mormonism.
Ann Romney had her first of five sons in 1970, when she was still an undergraduate and when she was, what, all of 21 years old? That seems awfully young to me for Ann Romney to have her entire life already mapped out for her, but that’s what the Mormon cult does: it maps our your entire life for you, whether you’re a male or a female.
The Mormon cult doesn’t care what the individual wants. The Mormon cult considers the individual to be lost and sinful and evil, and the Mormon patriarchy essentially is God, so the individual must do as the Mormon patriarchy commands the individual to do — or be tossed out of the cult (which is the best fucking thing that can happen to any Mormon [except, perhaps, a minor who cannot yet provide for him- or herself]).
So let’s keep all of this in mind before we start to think of Ann Romney as a feminist because one (female*) Democratic Party operative’s words have been construed as an attack on all stay-at-home moms. Ann Romney, the wife of a multi-millionaire and the former first lady of Massachusetts, for fuck’s sake, is not your typical stay-at-home mom.
And she certainly is no feminist.
No feminist supports a patriarchal, misogynist institution like the Mormon cult or the Repugnican Tea Party.
A feminist supports a woman’s freedom to live her life the way that she wishes to live her life. That means that if she doesn’t want to marry a man or have children, she doesn’t have to — and that, of course, she may use birth control to her heart’s content, and that should she get pregnant but not wish to give birth, she may terminate the pregnancy under the rights guaranteed to her by Roe vs. Wade.**
Ann Romney does not support such freedom for women. Ann Romney is a feminist like Sarah Palin is a feminist.
*The Associated Press notes that the Democratic operative, named Hilary Rosen, “at first buckled down and refused to apologize” for having asserted on CNN Wednesday night that Ann Romney, as a stay-at-home mom “who never worked a day in her life,” is unqualified to talk about the nation’s economy. “But after [Michelle] Obama tweeted her support for all mothers, Rosen said she was sorry to have offended [Ann] Romney or any other women,” the AP reports, adding, “A parent herself, Rosen said her point, stated poorly, was that Ann Romney had the luxury of choosing whether to work outside the home, whereas most American women must work to pay the bills.”
Again, I disagree that Ann Romney, after she converted to Mormonism apparently primarily or even solely to be able to be able to marry Mittens, “had the luxury of choosing whether to work outside the home.” I don’t believe that she had any such choice at all.
**Feminism also means, of course, that lesbians, bisexual and transgendered women deserve all equal human and civil rights, and that if a woman truly wants to be a stay-at-home mom, if that brings her fulfillment, then her choice for her own self-fulfillment should be admired and respected. She should not be deemed a sellout if that is not what she is. (Ann Romney, though — pleeeaaaaase. She certainly seems like such a sellout to me.)