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April 13, 2012


IMHO the controversy over Hilary Rosen's comment is less manufactured than the carefully constructed controversy over whether supporting a religious exemption for free birth control means that Republicans are making war on women. I think Rosen's comment is significant because it tends to confirm an existing impression that liberal feminists have contempt for homemakers.

Or, try this analogy. Suppose Karl Rove said that Michelle Obama shouldn't be listened to regarding women's economic issues, because she's black and got where she did thanks to the benefits of affirmative action. (Not that I believe this.) There would be a huge controversy, and IMHO it would be appropriate. Rove's hypothetical comment would be rightly taken as a slam at all black people.

A commenter on anther blog saw Rosen's comment in the context of traditional sexism:

Rosen's remarks fall into a pattern of "housewives aren't smart enough to understand." Women weren't smart enough to vote, supposedly, women weren't smart enough for that....Ann Romney's a home maker. Because she's that, she's not qualified on the economy? It is sexist and offensive.

I would add that it's so normal for politicians to support motherhood and apple pie that the phrase is defined as "Statements of principles or values with which few disagree."

For a political campaign to attack motherhood is remarkable, and therefore newsworthy.

Poor Hilary Rosen, pilloried for giving the unfiltered version of what she really thought. And as some of her defenders have pointed out, her slam against stay-at-home moms was actually peripheral to her real point, which was to slam the rich. Class warfare is completely respectable, you see, at least among the Obama faithful.

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