Hey everybody! The Mommy Wars are in full swing just in time for the general election, and you don’t have to be a mommy to lose.
The latest “battle” pits Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen against potential First Lady Ann Romney in the always popular working mommy vs. stay-at-home mom death match. Essentially, Rosen said that because Ann Romney “hadn’t worked a day in her life” she wasn’t qualified to advise her husband on economic policy involving women, and then EVERYONE ON THE RIGHT came back and is all “Yeah she did, she raised five boys and that’s hard work!” and then LOTS OF FOLKS ON THE LEFT were all “Yeah we agree! We love stay at home moms! That’s hard work!” and then SOME PEOPLE ON THE LEFT were still like “Well Ann Romney had like five nannies and is, you know, wealthy so her ‘mom work’ isn’t the same as other moms!” and then Rosen is all “I meant work work, like for a paycheck,” and then the media started pulling up old stuff Mitt Romney said about single mothers on public assistance having to get jobs so they could enjoy the “dignity of work.” At Wal-Mart, or as underpaid home health aides, I’m guessing.
To my mind, it was pretty clear that Rosen meant “work outside the home for a paycheck” and that nobody in this day and age thinks mothers with five children who stay at home full time are not working hard, or that mothers who have a lot of money have the option to stay home; an option that many, many other mothers don’t economically have, or that it is harder to stay at home with one’s children when you don’t have a nanny than when you do have a nanny.
The funny thing is, I honest-to-god NEVER hear this shit on the ground from real actual women. In my daughter’s third grade class, the mothers are gay, straight, well-off, struggling, solidly middle class, biological parents, adoptive parents, single parents, working full-time, staying home full-time, working from home, working part-time, and OMG we even have a stay-at-home dad. WE HAVE NEVER, NOT ONCE, HAD A WAR. Nary even a battle. No arguments about who is good, better, best, bad, or worst at parenting. We all help at school, drive on field trips when we can, arrange play-dates and sleepovers, meet for coffee, help each other out when we get in a jam, and volunteer. Let me be a little bit clearer: I AM NOT AT WAR WITH ANY OTHER MOTHER. Seriously, I don’t even have any weapons.
But my absolute favorite comment in the Rosen/Romney dust-up came from the Catholic League:
Really, Catholic League? That’s how you’re going to play this one? Readers of The Reedster Speaks know that our family was formed through adoption, but until now I never knew that I was a lesser mother because of it! If only I had pushed babies out of what Jenny Lawson of The Bloggess heroically called, on national television, her “lady garden.” Then I’d be a real mommy like Ann Romney. Except for those nannies and that money. If only she didn’t have those, then she’d be a real mommy. What? Hilary Rosen is a lesbian? Oh, well then I must be a better adoptive mom than she is, what with me not being a homosexual and all. [Note: For this post, let’s put aside the whole WTF-ness of the Catholic League simultaneously being both anti-abortion and anti-adoption.]
Just so we’re clear, let me put the Catholic League rankings in mathematical terms:
- Fertile women > infertile women > lesbian women.
- Biological children > adopted orphans.
Got it! I’m making T-shirts right now.
I have an idea to make these comparisons a little more fun, in a gladiator kind of way. Why not just have representatives of all the various forms of womanhood – all the ways the media and politicians slice and dice us to score points – just fight to the death in, I don’t know, some kind of biosphere arena? And it could be televised? And why don’t we call it the MOMMY WARS HUNGER GAMES?
Below, the representatives from each district. I’ve helpfully noted what is wrong with each of them under their categories. (Because you know we are all deficient somehow!) So let the games begin. And may the odds be ever in your favor. Oh wait. You’re a woman. Sorry! The odds are never going to be in your favor.
|1. Wealthy women who stay at home full-time with the children they have borne of their own loins, 5 kids & over division.||Ann Romney||Privileged. Out of touch.|
|2. Freakish women who have borne children of their own loins, 5 kids & over division.||Kate Gosselin, Michelle Duggar, Octomom||They “seem weird.”|
|3. Women who have borne children of their own loins, 2-child division.||Michelle Obama||Not white. Went to Harvard. Exercises. Wears sleeveless dresses.|
|4. Women with no children who never married and therefore can’t possibly be satisfied with their lives, no matter what their accomplishments.||Condoleezza Rice, Oprah||They must be sad. Or lesbians.|
|5. Women with no children who just can’t find the right guy.||Jennifer Aniston||Lost Brad. Has not borne children of her own loins. She must be sad.|
|6. Women who are saints.||Mother Teresa||Deceased. Not really a mother.|
|7. Women who are lesbians who adopted children||Hilary Rosen||“Had to” adopt children. Did I mention she is a lesbian?|
|8. Women who stay at home full-time with their children, poverty division.||“Welfare Moms.”||Lazy. Do not have “dignity of work.”|
|9. Women who work outside the home, “only” 1 child division.||Hillary Clinton||Too ambitious, ball-buster. Wears scrunchies. Bill.|
|10. Women with adopted children who work full-time from home.||The Reedster||Seems to like her job. Could not bear children “of her own.” Barren.|
|11. Women who work full-time, are divorced, and had no children.||Sonia Sotomayor||She can’t possibly be fulfilled by that whole Supreme Court Justice thing. She must be sad.|
|12. Coal Mining Area of Panem.||Katniss Everdeen||Love triangle messes up her concentration.|
|13. Girl-women who forgot that their birth control method was abstinence.||Bristol Palin, Jamie Lynn Spears||Had sex.|
|14. Gay men with children who seem almost like normal guys.||Neil Patrick Harris||No matter how likeable he is, he’s still a homosexual.|
|15. Gay men with children who “seem gay.”||Ricky Martin||Had to use a surrogate what with being a homosexual man and all.|
|16. Women with children who work full- or part-time, middle class division.||Look in the mirror, or look all around you. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one of these.||Not wealthy enough to stay home. Not poor enough to qualify for assistance and thus be required to enjoy “dignity of work.” Must work to, you know, pay for food and rent ‘n’ stuff.|
|17. Women who are Kardashians.||Kim Kardashian||Not a mommy. But we just know she will bear children of her own loins someday, like her sister. [The petite one (weakness: Scott Disick), not the big one (weakness: Heavy. Not as sexually desirable as her sisters)]. And then she will be the perfect model of womanhood.|
|18. Women who are humanitarians in unmarried relationships who adopted children and also have borne children of their own loins.||Angelina Jolie||Homewrecker. Could stand to eat a sandwich.|
|19. Men (Focus: Caucasian division).||50.2% of US population. All current and former presidents. 97.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs. 74% of US college & university presidents. 83% of members of Congress.||Cumbersome genitalia require near-constant adjustment.|
AND THE WINNER IS…..
Let’s just say this: I’ve never blogged about cookies shaped like their private parts. YET.
Did I miss anyone? Any other combination of mommy-hood or non-mommy-hood or gayness or heaviness or thinness or work status? Or hair? Or clothing choices? Or sexual desirability (or lack thereof)? Or wealth or poverty? Or skin color? Come up with a District 20 in the comments to round things out.