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American mother: A woman's woman

ROCKFORD, IL - MARCH 18, 2012: Gov. Mitt Romney and Ann Romney share a microphone at the Machine Shed Restaurant .
ROCKFORD, IL - MARCH 18, 2012: Gov. Mitt Romney and Ann Romney share a microphone at the Machine Shed Restaurant .
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

So, what we have now is Fluke telling us women want free contraception. We have Limbaugh wading in to call her names. We have Cook County's hometown hero, President Obama giving Fluke a call and speaking on behalf of civility and his daughters, to the nation. We have the call for Barack Obama to distance himself from a man who has used words that are uncivil and which would have been roundly disavowed, if they had been spoken about his daughters. We have a Democratic advisor saying that Stay-at-home moms (SAHMs), like Ann Romney don't work.
Though Fluke helps structure the question before us as a birth control restriction and interference with health access due to undue economic burden; government policies concerning birth control don't rank in the top five for voter concerns. Additionally, the numbers she put forward have been disputed. In fact, the question is another mandate, which interferes with the conscience of the Catholic Church as it pertains to doctrine. The Catholic Church does not want to pay for birth control. And it doesn't want its members' premiums to go up, because the mandate, which goes into effect in January 2013, is enforced against the insurance company.
Regarding SAHMs, we have disavowals from our First Lady and the White House. And we have a doubling down by surrogates and democrats across the board with clarifications of Hilary Rosen's original comments. With no idea, apparently, of what SAHMs do all day; they tell us about why it doesn't stand up to what they do in their industry. Because, they drive a car to get to work. They don't understand that a job you can't leave - and not just because you carry a Blackberry around with you - is, indeed work. And SAHMs are on-call for the most ignominious and unappreciated duties. It's backbreaking work to be a mirror. The one who makes sure everything around her looks good. Is clean. Is prepared. Is happy. Is fed. Is photographed. It is work to be the person behind the camera, whether you're in the pictures, or not.
The fact that many people are speaking out on the value of work outside the home, is not evidence of the import of work inside the home.
The other problems with the aspect of the war - the one being waged against women, purportedly; are what is does to the notion of choice and the feminist movement.
The legitimate choice - that is, of whether to pursue a career or to work in the home as a SAHM, is being falsely characterized. The implication that there are only two possibilities. Either a woman is forced by fiscal considerations to work outside the home, or she has the economic privilege to stay home. However, some moms struggle to stay home and make it work. And a lot of moms want to work, whether they can afford to stay home or not. It's a legitimate choice.
Additionally, the Progressive, feminist perspective is not hostile toward the choice that SAHMs make. It has held at its center the recognition that it is one of the hardest jobs a person can do. The Progressive, feminist agenda has suggested that it ought to be compensated, in fact.
A self-identified Stay-at-home Feminist proclaims: "Motherhood is not a career, a job or a vocation. It just happens and you deal with it." If this is the truth that most women settle at, how well they are dealing with it all - healthcare, unemployment and gas prices - is likely to decide the direction of their vote in the 2012 election. As is the case with all Americans, these are among their top issues.


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