Joe Biden Declares War On Women
"I think the 'war on women' is real," Biden told MSNBC's "The Ed Show," deploying the politically-charged phrase for the first time on the national stage."And look, I'll tell you when it's going to intensify - the next president of the United States is going to get to name one, possibly two or more, members to the Supreme Court," he added.Asked about Hilary Rosen's controversial comments on Ann Romney, Biden said the Democratic strategist made an "outrageous assertion.""Look, I have fought my whole career - I'm no hero, I don't want to make it like… - whether it's the Violence Against Women Act or equal pay. My entire career as a senator and the vice president is to get to one point: when my daughter is able to make whatever choice she wants and no one question it," he said."If my daughter wants to be able to say, 'I'm staying home and raising my kids,' no one should question that."
In truth, anti-momism was the very heart of "The Feminine Mystique." Friedan's argument was that motherhood and homemaking were soul-deadening occupations and that pursuing a professional career was the way for a woman to "become complete." She agreed with the midcentury misogynists that a stay-at-home mother was, in Friedan's words, "castrative to her husband and sons." But she emphasized that women were "fellow victims."
The book might as well have been titled "Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man?" Today, of course, she can, and because feminism has entailed a diminution of male responsibility, she often has no choice. As we've noted, an increasing number of women are choosing domestic life, finding it a liberating alternative to working for a boss. But to do so requires a husband with considerable means.
Fifty years ago, Ann Romney's life would have made her just a regular woman. Today, she is a countercultural figure--someone who lives in a way that the dominant culture regards with a hostile disdain. And she has chosen to live that way, which is why Hilary Rosen, as an intellectual heiress to Betty Friedan, regards her as a villain rather than a victim.
“I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life.”
The “mommy wars” may be alive and well on playgrounds and school pickup lines in well-off areas. But they can’t any longer truly serve as a meaningful wedge to divide and conquer American women.
If there’s anyone the Democrats owe an apology, it’s Hilary Rosen. She made a sloppy semantic error but issued no actual slap in the face to Ann Romney or the small percentage of privileged women who can truly, realistically, identify with her. All the rest is smoke and mirrors.