Friday, April 13, 2012

All kinds of women's work are honorable

Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen's comment disqualifying Ann Romney from any political or economic commentary because "she never worked a day in her life" has set off an angry reaction, an apology from Rosen and a corrective comment from President Obama. Rosen's comment reflects an implication by many feminists that only a career outside the home is worthy and fulfilling for today's woman. Nothing could be further from the the facts.

I was reared by a woman who was the family's primary breadwinner and a frugal budget master, but she would have preferred to remain at home. I am married to a woman whose job has become our primary source of income, but she insists that the best and most fulfilling job she ever had was staying home to raise our children and manage our home.

No job, as I am sure Obama will admit, is more important that raising children well, and I suspect most parents would agree that no one can do a better job of raising children than the parents who love them more than anyone else ever could. It is out of economic necessity, in most cases, that women drop their children at day care and join the daily struggles of the business world. Those women who are able to stay at home with their children or who choose to sacrifice some of the pleasures of life that a second income can buy should not be looked down upon for their choice.

Feminists are certainly right that women who choose to work, whether out of desire or necessity, should be celebrated and supported in their decisions. But women who make another choice — to put their children's welfare ahead of their own ambitions or needs — should be respected just as much for that decision.

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