Hilary Rosen‘s gaffe about Anne Romney having “never worked a day in her life” may have sparked a superficial Mommy Wars on the Twittersphere — despite the intended swipe at Romney’s privilege. The Romney campaign jumped on this opportunity to gain ground with female voters with Ann Romney hopping on Twitter to announce that she had definitely “worked.” Even the RNC designed travel mugs entitled “Moms Do Work! Vote GOP.” But of course it wouldn’t be long until Mitt Romney’s notoriously inconsistent record could perhaps provide some economic clarity. Turns out that although Ann Romney was working raising her five boys, welfare mothers need to seek out “the dignity of work” outside the home.
In a clip uncovered by Up w/ Chris Hayes, Romney tells the audience:
“I wanted to increase the work requirement,” said Romney. “I said, for instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless.’ And I said, ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.'”
Yet, for these low income mothers “the dignity of work” doesn’t exactly include raising their kids at home given their financial hardships — again solidifying that of course stay-at-home motherhood is work, if you’re privileged enough to be able to choose it. To have access to that type of career speaks volumes about class and doesn’t reflect the economic decisions that many less fortunate mothers are faced with, including procuring a paycheck with which to feed their kids. Mitt Romney most likely knows this given that, in a video located by Buzzfeed, he said:
“This is a different world than it was in the 1960s when I was growing up, when you used to have Mom at home and Dad at work. Now Mom and Dad both have to work whether they want to or not, and usually one of them has two jobs.”
Yet, given that Mitt has said that his wife “reports” to him on issues pertaining to women and the economy, perhaps we can credit her with these revelations that low-income mothers with toddlers “need to go to work.”