DALLAS (CBSDFW) – Women will have a powerful voice in this year’s Presidential election—so any misstep that offends can become a major issue. No surprise then, that Democrats are scrambling to distance themselves from commentator Hilary Rosen’s comment on Wednesday about Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, saying “…his wife has never actually worked a day in her life.”
Romney took to twitter to respond, saying she made the choice to stay home, raise five boys and that it was hard work.
SMU Anthropology professor Caroline Brettell studies women’s issues and says the controversial comment contains a kernel of truth.
“She said it badly,” says Brettell. “But, I do think that many of our politicians… do not understand how a major portion of Americans live, do not understand the constraints financial otherwise on the lives of a lot of families. They have become a privileged class.”
Brettell says the manufactured ‘mommy wars’ make good fodder for politicians. But, miss the broader point that many American women who work outside the home don’t have a choice.
Women like Caroline Yarbrough. “When I got divorced, it was: this is going to work, I have to provide, there is no ‘I can’t’, it’s figure it out, “ says Yarbrough.
Yarbrough initially stayed home with her young children. But, a divorce forced her to become both Mom and breadwinner. And it’s hard.
“I have to put my 40 plus hours in, I have to go home, I have to do the laundry and clean the house and cook the dinner and bathe the children and play with the children and so it’s a non-stop job.”
And so is being a stay-at-home Mom, says Amy Dodson, mother of three. “There’s no coming home at the end of the day and putting your feet up… it’s 24/7.”
Dodson, and two other Moms were out today enjoying the sunshine while their brood played nearby. They say they believe there’s jealousy from both groups of moms… but, it’s really just different choices.
“I think as long as you’re confident in what you chose, then you’re okay with either position,” says Gina Lynch, mother of 3.
All of the women assembled have fought on both sides of the so-called Mommy wars.
“I think there’s always days where you’re like ‘oh, I wish I was back at work’, and I know when I was working there were days when I thought ‘I wish I wasn’t working and was home with my babies.’ There’s jealousy, but I don’t think it blows up into a war.”
So which job is harder? Working inside the home or working outside? The consensus seems to be whichever job you’re holding down right now.