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Women Taking it to “The Man”

Democratic lobbyist Hillary Rosen dismissed Ann Romney’s credibility behind advising Mitt Romney’s economic agenda as a result of Ann Romney’s lack of real work experience, driving a deeper wedge between stayat- home moms and working ones. 

Rosen described Romney as “never [working] a day in her life.” She further went on to comment that Romney does not know the needs and concerns of women who work outside of the home. She was later rebuked and apologized for her disparaging statement. 

Although Rosen did not criticize Ann Romney again, she continued to discuss Mitt Romney’s view of his wife as his economic adviser for women. “I think the issue that I’m focusing on is, ‘Does Mitt Romney have a vision for bringing women up economically, and can he himself stop referring to his wife as his economic surrogate?’ That’s an important thing. He’s the one that keeps doing this. Not me,” she said in an interview on CNN. 

NPR released “Rosen’s Words About Ann Romney Fuel ‘Mommy Wars’” late last week in response to the upheaval.

The 10 minute story briefly featured three moms with Michel Martin, a host from NPR daily news and talk show, “Tell Me More.” Trending topics all circulated around stay-at-home moms versus working moms and the deepening wedge forced between the two. 

All three mothers agreed that the initial comment by Rosen caused push-back by listeners, but went on to discuss how Rosen’s following sentence about Ann Romney’s lack of experience regarding the needs and concerns of women outside of the home perfectly legitimate. 

“Women can’t seem to stop being judgmental of each other, which is a tragedy because ‘divided you shall be conquered,’” Ann Crittenden, author of “The Price of Motherhood,” released in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. 

Dr. Michael Phillips-Anderson, assistant professor of communication at the University commented on Ann Romney’s challenge on creating a common identity with American voters. 

Phillips-Anderson explained that, “[for] most parents, being a stay-athome parent is not a choice and if one parent is at home, it’s often the result of unemployment or the lack of sustainable employment that would pay more than the cost of childcare. There [is] also Mitt Romney’s comments that women on welfare should work outside the home to experience the ‘dignity of work.’ He apparently does not think being a stay-at-home mom is a position of dignity.” 

One of the major themes surrounding the election has been Mitt Romney’s inability to reach out to women voters. A recent Wall Street Journal/ NBC survey alluded to Romney’s 12-point deficit with female voters when head-to-head with President Obama. 

The same survey suggests a different divide around marriage occurs. 

Romney is carrying married voters, both men and women, by three percentage points: 49 percent to 46 percent He is also trailing Obama by 36 percent among unmarried women; the statistic does not improve when comparing unmarried men at 23 percent to Obama. 

The Wall Street Journal suggests that the yawning gap could be contributed to household incomes; those who are unmarried tend to have lower household incomes than married counterparts. 

The WSJ/NBC survey also shows Obama leading Romney in the group of lower-income voters, those who earn less than $30,000 a year, by a gaping 31 percentage points, 61 percent to 30 percent Those analysts suggest its reasoning behind Obama’s populist appeals as of late and Romney’s inability to connect with lowerincome voters. 

USA Today stated that women voters are not a lock for either side, but the Democratic Party has won the majority of the women vote in the last five presidential elections.