ONTD Political

Attention Working Mothers, you actually hate yourselves.

5:34 pm - 04/13/2012
Fox News’ Keith Ablow: Working Moms Like Hilary Rosen Despise Themselves

In a new column rife with his usual brand of audacious conjecture, Keith Ablow of Fox News’ Medical A-Team takes aim at Hilary Rosen and all working moms (and arguably all feminists), suggesting they are “anti-gender” and “despise the parts of themselves” drawn to motherhood:

"These “anti-gender” women have it in for anyone who embraces her femininity, maternal instincts and capacity to nurture as their highest priority — postponing or passing up other laudable opportunities to work at, say, a law firm or as a marketing executive. They despise the notion that some women may indeed be drawn — instinctively and happily — toward creating special and loving environments in which to raise their children, while spending all their available time sustaining and enriching those environments and those children.

They despise the parts of themselves that may be drawn to such roles, as well. That’s why women like Hilary Rosen make such outlandish statements, to begin with. They’re essentially talking to themselves — albeit, with the rest of the world forced to listen — trying to reassure themselves that their own choices in life weren’t only equally as good as those of other women, but better. Far, far better. They feel like their choices are better because they have thrown off the shackles of roles that were once “expected” of them, leaving them not only freer than, but superior to, those women who don’t feel enslaved at home, but feel fulfilled at home."

Unsurprisingly, Ablow assumes that gender norms are good and haven’t been used to discriminate against women for almost all of humanity. Perhaps he’d like to roll back all of the freedoms women have fought for over the past century so they can fully embrace their “maternal instincts” with nothing to distract them from what he seems to see as their true calling. Ablow, of course, includes a jab at Rosen for being a lesbian, suggesting she’s only capable of supporting “alternative lifestyles.”

As Carlos Maza points out at Equality Matters, Ablow’s column includes all his usual pop-psychology tropes:

-Violating professional ethics standards by diagnosing a public figure without permission or a formal examination

-Peddling unscientific and sexist stereotypes about how men and women are supposed to behave

-Using any excuse to take an unprovoked potshot at the Obama administration

But all of that aside, Ablow accidentally concedes that the intention of Rosen’s comments was exactly right, suggesting that many of his clients “wouldn’t be going to work for very long if their spouses made millions as investors (as Mitt Romney has done).” If Ann Romney really didn’t go to work, choosing instead to “allow her husband to go out and make the money to support all of them,” why doesn’t Ablow simply agree with Rosen?

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/04/13/464194/keith-ablow-hilary-rosen/
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itcamefromjapan 14th-Apr-2012 04:16 am (UTC)
Yeah, my mom worked two jobs for most of my childhood and raised me on her own and still managed to nurture the fuck outta me, so I'm going to have to ask you to take a seat, asshole.
dncingmalkavian 18th-Apr-2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
Same for me, actually, so +1 right here.
farting_nora 14th-Apr-2012 04:23 am (UTC)
Mothers can't win. If you work you are a monster who doesn't love your children as much as you should, and if you stay at home with your children you are a lazy person who doesn't do any actual work and therefore doesn't deserve any respect.
beoweasel 14th-Apr-2012 04:56 am (UTC)
And if you don't have kids at all, you're either pressured to have children, or people assume you're just being selfish.
little_rachael 14th-Apr-2012 04:29 am (UTC)
They despise the parts of themselves that may be drawn to such roles, as well.

And why do you think this is, dipshit? (when it's true, I mean)
effervescent 14th-Apr-2012 04:33 am (UTC)
You know what, the fact that SAHM's are devalued and unappreciated is an issue. But when someone twists things to make it sound like women should be at home, and all working women hate those women who stay at home, and then finishes up with this gem: And that’s letting a man be comfortable being a man, too.

...yeah. I know not to listen to a single word they say.
queenweasley 14th-Apr-2012 05:14 am (UTC)
schexyschteve 14th-Apr-2012 05:04 am (UTC)
I, for one, am grateful that some mothers work (either out of choice or necessity). It means I have a job.
romp 14th-Apr-2012 05:09 am (UTC)
I wish people would stop giving Ablow work.
makeme_moo 14th-Apr-2012 05:11 am (UTC)
Seriously. I was first introduced to him on an episode of Dr Oz (no, I don't know why I was watching Dr Oz), and ugh rage for days.
liret 14th-Apr-2012 05:11 am (UTC)
I don't even understand how pointing out that Ann Romney 'hasn't worked a day in her life' is an insult against stay at home moms. Her youngest kid is 31.

Edited at 2012-04-14 05:12 am (UTC)
evilgmbethy 14th-Apr-2012 06:29 am (UTC)
because it totally devalues all the hard work she did in managing nannies years ago!
daydream11 14th-Apr-2012 05:14 am (UTC)
I'd say that my relationship with my mother is better precisely because she worked outside of the home. We had our own things going on and our own spaces, and that meant that the time we did spend together was enhanced because we had lives to share with each other. She would have been driven absolutely mad at home. She's laid off at the moment and it's not a good look. =\

I'm also struck by how much (white) privilege this man's stance reeks of. Besides the fact that black women have always worked outside of the home, it debases the working black mother even more than the black mother already gets grief. Black women and girls off all classes aren't raised to be stay-at-home mothers. I grew up around black women, and even the upper-middle class black girls I went to school with got the same message the rest of us did: "You better not ever depend on a man to take care of you. Make sure he can, and then make sure you have your own bank account that he can't touch." We're not really given the option of staying home; the ones who do always get the side-eye it seems, far more than white women who stay home do. A black mom who stays home is lazy; a white mom who stays home cares about her kids. And that's a view I've noticed from the black community just as much as the white mainstream. Besides the fact that that's part of the point all across the rainbow - take women out of the workplace, and you take away their economic independence, which means she's at some man's mercy - I feel like it's even more so for black women (and probably other women of color, too).

Screw it. I'm going to bed.
baked_goldfish 14th-Apr-2012 05:23 am (UTC)
You know, yeah it wasn't the choicest phrasing to say that Ann Romney never worked a day in her life. But call me when you see Republican politicians tripping over themselves to denounce Ablow's statement on working moms the way apparently every Democratic politician in existence, living or dead or from the fucking future, appeared to denounce Rosen's statement on SAHMs. Because that would legitimately be news.
evilgmbethy 14th-Apr-2012 06:26 am (UTC)
whatever, I'm sick of the apologizing for Rosen's comments. Compared to most mothers in the US, Ann Romney hasn't worked a day in her life. Compared to most SAHMs she is extremely privileged, and tbh, being able to be a SAHM in the United States at all is a sign of privilege. A lot of families don't have that option. I am really fucking sick of this rich-ass woman acting like some kind of fucking victim. I am not impressed by her achievement in raising sons when she's a multimillionaire and has all the help in the world to do it.

Edited at 2012-04-14 06:27 am (UTC)
hinoema 14th-Apr-2012 07:48 am (UTC)
I say we give this guy what he wants. I propose that tomorrow, every woman in the country should stay home where we belong. Of course, the entire economy would collapse, but hey, we'd he 'honoring our gender' or somesuch.
phoenixblaze 14th-Apr-2012 12:49 pm (UTC)
Lol at this so much.
valkeakuulas 14th-Apr-2012 09:27 am (UTC)
If a woman is working, people question how she can balance her work and family life, and "how can she be away from her children that much???" But when a man is working, it suddenly is no issue. The more a man works the more of a hero he is, sacrificing everything to provide for his family.
homasse 14th-Apr-2012 11:33 am (UTC)
When I want a man's opinion on how I, and other women feel, about motherhood and working, I'll be sure to ask one.

*crickets chirp*
wicked_seraph 14th-Apr-2012 12:09 pm (UTC)
world_dancer 14th-Apr-2012 11:47 am (UTC)
No, but I'll tell you what, I get very pissed off at people who insist I have maternal instincts to embrace. I have none. Get over it, and stop trying to tell me I'm in denial. It's an insult to my intelligence and my awareness of my own body.
dncingmalkavian 18th-Apr-2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
faeryfroggy 14th-Apr-2012 11:58 am (UTC)
Fuck you very much, Mr. Ablow. If I could afford to stay home, I would. But you know what? Health insurance is so fucking expensive that it makes it impossible for us.

Seriously, the worst part of being a mother is the fact that everything I do is open to people judging me. And it fucking sucks. I love my baby more than anything in this world and I would give anything to be able to stay home with him instead of taking him to a daycare.
likeahobbit 14th-Apr-2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
This times a million. I'm only 15 weeks pregnant, but I'm already dreading the judging that I know is going to happen. I'd love to be a stay at home mom for a year or so, but as it stands I'll be lucky to be able to take all 12 weeks of my unpaid maternity leave because the United States has one of the shittiest maternity leave policies in the world and I don't know that we can afford to live off just my husband's income for that long.

If this guy really wants women to be able to choose to stay at home (and it is a choice that a lot of women aren't lucky enough to be able to make), he should stop attacking feminists and start working WITH them to improve health care, social support for families, and federal maternity leave policies.
nekomika 14th-Apr-2012 12:37 pm (UTC)
My dad forced my mother to become a SAHM because of similar beliefs and opinions and to be honest we really could not afford it. There have been stressful months financially that I can remember as a kid when we barely had enough money for the mortgage let alone food/eating out and mum would say that 'things would be easier if i worked but that's not the way your father wants it."

It also really damaged her self esteem. :c
dncingmalkavian 18th-Apr-2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
That really sucks. I'm sorry to hear it. :(
amyura 14th-Apr-2012 12:42 pm (UTC)
I just posted a comment over in the Booj about how close my kids and I are, and how close I still am to both parents. One of the things all the adults have in common in my family is we all work. And I STILL probably do more around the house than Ann Romney ever did-- for example, we don't hire anyone, documented or otherwise, to do our landscaping.

Everyone with half a brain knows what Rosen meant-- Mittens claims that he gets women's concerns, economic or otherwise, because Ann tells him how women feel. Ann Romney has never had to balance the needs of her family with those of her workplace. She's never had to come home after a stressful day at work and decide whether she has enough energy to cook a nutritious meal or just order pizza. She's never gotten behind on the laundry during a busy week. She's never had to scramble to get herself and the kids out the door in time in the mornings. I'm sure she's a perfectly nice woman, and I'm sure I'd enjoy going out to lunch with her or talking at the playground while our kids ran around, but no, I don't think she gets the average American woman's concerns. She doesn't need to be pro-choice, because her millionaire husband could support any children they conceived, and if she didn't want to be pregnant or had a medical issue, he could afford to fly her to Canada or Sweden or wherever. She doesn't need to worry about insurance, because they're rich. She doesn't need to worry about equal pay, workplace discrimination, adequate maternity leave, privacy to pump breast milk while at work, or child support.

I'm not saying Michelle Obama necessarily ever had to worry about any of that while she was an adult, but Barack isn't going around saying she's the reason he understands women's issues.

As for Ablow.....bah, it's Ablow and Fox, what else is new?
evilgmbethy 14th-Apr-2012 12:55 pm (UTC)
loving this comment. and I don't think it's even a question whether you do more around the house than Ann Romney has to do, of course you do. I mean hey, if I could afford to hire people to clean my house and cook for me, I'd hire away, but I wouldn't be under any delusions that I'm the one doing the hard work. The problem isn't that she has had it so much easier than other mothers (including other SAHMs), it's that she's pretending that her experience as a mother is in any way comparable to the experiences of most mothers. And it's not, because most mothers don't drive "a couple of Cadillacs" and have millions at their disposal.
doverz 14th-Apr-2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
What the fuck ever. Rosen didn't use the best words, but her point is still valid.
per_simmon 14th-Apr-2012 03:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Republicans scrambling and trying make it seem like they suddenly care about women's issues:

kyra_neko_rei 14th-Apr-2012 03:47 pm (UTC)
"These “anti-gender” women have it in for anyone who embraces her femininity, maternal instincts and capacity to nurture as their highest priority — postponing or passing up other laudable opportunities to work at, say, a law firm or as a marketing executive. They despise the notion that some women may indeed be drawn — instinctively and happily — toward creating special and loving environments in which to raise their children, while spending all their available time sustaining and enriching those environments and those children.

They despise the parts of themselves that may be drawn to such roles, as well.

Couldn't just be fear talking in such feelings, when women still have to deal with the implicit threat of people wanting to force us into that sort of role AND push us to agree that it's our Real True Purpose.

Seriously, when there are people whose recruitment tactics are trying their damndest to resemble the Borg . . . people are going to be somewhat uneasy with the thing they're pushing, or afraid of it, or sometimes utterly loathing of it.

Accuse us of despising housewife-hood? Dependence on a husband? Content devotion to children and home? For some of us, that's a nightmare, a cage we're threatened with. A cage people like them threaten us with, insulting our priorities and our agency and our self-determination and our competence to choose our own lives, in the process.

Most of us can separate the vehemence of our certainty that it's not for us from the concept of motherhood. Most of us can accept its existence as a fulfilling path for some people. BUT we're dealing with people who push not only the idea but the cultural expectation that it's where we belong, no matter what we say we want. And maybe the people making the accusations of contempt at us ought to take a hard look at their own abilities to differentiate what we feel toward stay-at-home motherhood, and what we feel towards those stay-at-home mothers who actively help them argue that the rest of us should be stuck career-less, income-less, and husband-dependent too.
kyra_neko_rei 14th-Apr-2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
They despise the parts of themselves that may be drawn to such roles, as well.

When someone tries to argue that desire equals consent, and tries to use one's desire as an excuse to trap one in a situation that one does not find worth it to engage in . . . yeah, it's pretty easy to start despising that desire.

They created that problem. Now they're blaming us for it.
rylee900 14th-Apr-2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
Sometimes,it's true,I envy people who can afford to be a SAHM.
But fuck this shit.
hamiltonia 14th-Apr-2012 06:03 pm (UTC)
So I know this is going to make me sound naive and kind of like a politics noob (I'm not, I promise you) but just...

How anyone could ever make such bold, sweeping judgements about the majority segment of the population is utterly baffling to me. I know journalists (and everyone else) do it all the time, but people like this seriously deserved to be shamed for putting forward such nonsense. The briefest examination of sociological literature on issues like this would show, quite clearly, that everything being said here is so unbelievably wrong that it's almost not worth commenting on.

Augh just. all of my rage. Again, I know people do this all the time, but the continuing assault on women in the media is really starting to wear me down. :/

Edited at 2012-04-14 06:04 pm (UTC)
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