James Taranto correctly excoriates the feminist philosophy that served as the foundation for Hilary Rosen’s epically stupid attack on Ann Romney:
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.
Taranto also points out something that I consider vital. He effectively draws the distinction between Romney’s accomplishments and Rosen’s: “Raising children is a lot of work, and we’d venture to say it’s more valuable work than, say, lobbying for the music industry or helping BP with its crisis communications, to name two of the highlights of Rosen’s career.”
I’ll go even farther. Bearing and raising children is far more important than anything any working woman has ever done in her professional career in the entire history of Mankind. The silly, short-sighted, white trash teen mothers on MTV are contributing more to the human race than the most intelligent, highly educated, and accomplished women have ever done for it.
If a woman wants to devote sixteen or more years of her life to “education”, then follow it up by sitting in a cubicle and transferring information from point A to point B, that’s her legal right. But it’s not doing anything for the human race, and indeed, considering the economically negative effects of the government agencies and human resources departments where women are inordinately employed, economic irrelevance is probably the best case scenario.
Linda Hirschman once claimed: ““The tasks of housekeeping and child-rearing are not worthy of the full time and talents of intelligent and educated human beings.”
But she had it wrong. She had it completely backwards, because there is absolutely nothing a woman, however educated and intelligent, can do that is more important or more vital than raising children. And while home-making not the physical equivalent of working in a coal mine, it is at least as laborious as most white collar employment. I have no affection for Captain Underoos and if he wins in November I think he will probably be even worse than Obama has been. But it is as evil as it is stupid to attack his wife for doing the one thing that the human race absolutely requires for its survival.