Well, it’s been a few days since a Republican politician has said something to offend a large number of women. Don’t worry, this little gem has nothing to do with rape or abortion. We were all getting a little frustrated and emotional over that trend. So if they aren’t talking about babies from rape being intended by God or abortion to the save the life of the mother being completely unnecessary, just what are conservatives saying this time? Well, Maryland Representative Roscoe Bartlett has some comments to make about working mothers. And if you can imagine it, they’re straight out of the 50s.
According to The Washington Post, Bartlett told local constituents:
“This isn’t the politically correct thing to say, but when we drove the mother out of the home into the workplace and replaced her with the television set, that was not a good thing.”
My favorite thing about this quote is that Bartlett doesn’t even seem to give working mothers credit for getting themselves out into the workplace. Bartlett said “when we drove the mother out of the home,” implying that ladies were forced out kicking and screaming. Yes, there are always instances where women work outside of the home out of economic necessity, but that’s not the case for all moms. Plenty of women decided on their own that they wanted to earn a living for themselves.
Of course, this idea that mothers have been replaced with television sets is not new. People have been throwing it around for a while and blaming it all on women working outside the house. But I don’t think increased media consumption among children is solely a problem with working mothers. I haven’t seen the numbers on it, but I bet that kids who go to daycare see less television during the day than kids that stay home with their mom. I’m not saying that as an indictment against stay-at-home moms. I’m saying that when there’s a television right there and you really want to get some laundry done, it’s a pretty big temptation.
I suppose some will say that we should forgive Bartlett for this obviously retro point-of-view. He is 86 years old and the second oldest member of Congress. The problem is that he represents citizens of every age. Congressmen make laws that have an impact on all of us. And Representative Bartlett has had plenty of opportunity to see the good that can come from working mothers. I wonder if he looks at Hillary Clinton and thinks that she should’ve stayed at home.
The GOP might think that it’s “women problem” is manufactured by the media. Instead, they should look at the statements made by politicians in their own party over and over again throughout this election cycle. If they don’t see a problem or a pattern, than their “women problem” won’t be improving any time soon, no matter who they attempt to shift the blame to.