April 12, 2012 · Lessig
Here’s what we know:
- Our society has not yet achieved sex equality.
- Women suffer that inequality differently.
In an unscripted television talk show appearance, Hilary Rosen referred to that differently-experienced inequality. She said that Ann Romney has “never worked a day in her life.”
Ann Romney, of course, has worked plenty of days in her life — as a mother raising five children. As a father who watches in wonder as my wife works to raise just three children, I have endless respect for anyone who can do what she, or Ann Romney does.
But it is absolutely obvious that Hilary Rosen was not saying that Ann Romney didn’t work in that sense. What she meant was that Ann Romney did not work in the sense that Hilary Rosen has, and millions of other women have — that while raising children, she has also spent at least 40 hours in a work place, away from home.
And even if Ann Romney had, she wouldn’t have done that the way the vast majority of women who do that have to do that — without permanent childcare, without someone who can always come to get a sick kid at school, without help to clean the house, without staff to cook dinner.
What Hilary Rosen was saying was that it is difficult — to say the least — for someone in the cradle of privilege to say that they know anything about people who live like most Americans: without privilege, without guaranteed support, constantly against an unforgiving edge which, if Obamacare is overturned, will only get sharper.
Yet immediately after Rosen made her completely true comments, her friends openly gather to ostracize her. Her true comments were “offensive” says Axelrod. Jim Messina “couldn’t disagree more.”
Really? Not even if you try really really hard, Jim?
It might be right that family should be off limits. But no one was talking about particular kids, etc. The comment was about a candidate’s spouse’s ability to judge, given she had claimed the right to judge.
The comment was totally fair, and right, in my view.