“Moms Do Work”…this is the newly created bumper sticker phrase manufactured by the Mitt Romney campaign on the heels of comments that flew back and forth this past week over an irresponsibly careless remark by a democratic strategist. (It also eerily reminds me of one of Bush, Jr.s infamous remarks, “Childrens do learn”). A virtual explosion of faux outrage ignited, asserting that all Democrats/Liberals view momhood as inconsequential and effortless.
The comment was an adrenalin-filled remark directed specifically at Ann Romney as a wealthy stay-at-home mom who couldn’t possibly identify with the economic struggles of working moms in America. Predictably, the Romney campaign made an election year “mountain out of a mole-hill” and turned this golden opportunity into a slogan that absurdly insinuates that democrats/liberals and the Obama administration are overwhelmingly anti-stay-at-home moms.
Obviously this is patently ridiculous, but reality has little place in politics. Both republicans and democrats value the responsibility and work that it takes to raise children, albeit on a different basis in many cases. Motherhood is a full-time job that is never compensated adequately – and that is assuming that an hourly pay scale actually existed for the job.
Many, many women across America do not have a choice to stay home due to lack of necessary income. Most women must go out into the workforce to provide for their families whether as the sole contributor or as additional income in a two-parent household. That reality is fact for most.
And then there are those women who are career oriented and carefully balance dual roles as mother and professional. This is an option that is exercised with great success and satisfaction by many women, including former First Lady and current Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. Much ado was made 20 years ago when she was lambasted by the conservative right in 1992 after making this statement…
“I could have stayed at home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession”. ~ Hilary Clinton March 1992
For Clinton, her remarks were made from the perspective of lifestyles that she was familiar with. Women from every spectrum have unique takes on motherhood. This isn’t about Ann Romney making the choice to stay at home and raise her children. Her decision was made with any number of reasons in mind including her role as a Mormon mother and spouse, and her good fortune to be able to financially afford to do so. It is about a struggling economy making that very choice unattainable for the majority of women in America.
But this is all a distraction that gave the Romney campaign a golden opportunity to invent faux indignation against the liberals for discriminating against stay-at-home moms. After the bumper stickers and mugs are sold and the dust settles back down, the elephant in the room for the conservatives is still going to be standing there. The very real War on Women.
Patriarchal Authority at the Core
While this has given candidate Romney the opening he was praying for to step up to the mic and decry his concern for the well-being of women across this country, his words are echoing in hollow halls. You see, Mitt…American women just aren’t that stupid. And getting surrogates to come forward in the form of republican women to repeat your concerns for women just ticks off the very voting bloc you are patronizing. Keep telling us that there is not a war on women and that women don’t care about reproductive rights and that you have a personal thumb on the pulse of America’s women through the myopic viewpoint of your very fortunate wife. Your paternal arrogance is showing…we are smarter than that.
Afterall, who is leading the charge on this battle? Men. More precisely, religious leaders and male politicians who are self-anointed moral superiors. They are from an ideological society who have decided that they know what is righteous and and best – making them uniquely qualified to create laws on behalf of all women. Here is the rub for me…most of these sanctimonious asses cite one version or another from their flavor of Christianity to support their views on abortion, birth control, sex, homosexuality, women’s roles in general and a plethora of regressive social views.
Regarding the Romneys and their views of domestic bliss and appropriate family constructs here is an excerpt from a Vanity Fair article written by the authors of a book titled The Real Romney,
“[…]belonging to the Mormon Church meant accepting a code of conduct that placed supreme value on strong families—strong heterosexual families, in which men and women often filled defined and traditional roles. The Romneys have long cited a well-known Mormon credo popularized by the late church leader David O. McKay: “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”
A dichotomy exists within the Mormon Church, which holds that one is either in or out; there is little or no tolerance for those, like so-called cafeteria Catholics, who pick and choose what doctrines to follow. And in Mormonism, if one is in, a lot is expected, including tithing 10 percent of one’s income, participating regularly in church activities, meeting high moral expectations, and accepting Mormon doctrine—including many concepts, such as the belief that Jesus will rule from Missouri in his Second Coming, that run counter to those of other Christian faiths. That rigidity can be difficult to abide for those who love the faith but chafe at its strictures or question its teachings and cultural habits. For one, Mormonism is male-dominated—women can serve only in certain leadership roles and never as bishops or stake presidents. The church also makes a number of firm value judgments, typically prohibiting single or divorced men from leading wards and stakes, for example, and not looking kindly upon single parenthood.
Ann Romney was not considered to be sympathetic to the agitation of liberal women within the stake. She was invited to social events sponsored by Exponent II but did not attend. She was, in the words of one member, understood to be “not that kind of woman.”
Clearly it does not matter what sect of Christianity they ascribe to – Dominionism or Mormonism, for example. Both of these churn out believers who have in common a foundational belief in patriarchy. In their biblical/book of Mormon worldview men are the authority.
There is no gray area in this view and when it comes to women’s issues, it appears that all they want is for women to get back to quietly ‘pleasing and agreeing’ and stop all of this outrageous rebellion nonsense. They mourn the days of yesteryear when women knew their place and remained there. The male nirvana of the 1950s television families where men were men and wore the pants.
As a critical thinker, my understandings of the teachings of Christ are unrecognizable to these men. Their views are more in line with ideas such as this,
“A believing woman should not allow herself to be a pawn in the worldly agenda of the feminist movement. Men and women have a God-given privilege to fulfill the plan He has set for us. Rebellion against that plan and the arrogance that seeks to put self above God’s Word result in very difficult consequences. We see those consequences in the destruction of the relationship between husbands and wives, the destruction of the family, and the loss of respect for human life.”
Feminism, from the patriarchal perspective, is the culprit. It is the seed that has sprouted so many problems for these faithful followers of various sects of Christianity. It is why we are debating issues in the year 2012 that were thought settled decades ago. Spin as they might, there is no debate about whether or not we are witnessing a War on Women.
They really do believe that women are the ones responsible for any and all oppression that may exist in our society. Like Eve…they have brought this on themselves. Just ask them…
What are the issues of feminism? Feminism is a counterfeit solution to the real issue of the inequality of women in a sinful society. Feminism arrogates to itself the right to demand respect and equality in every aspect of life. Feminism is based in arrogance, and it is the opposite of the call to the born-again believer to be a servant. The actions of the modern, militant feminists are geared to cause women to rise up and rebel against the order that God has given to mankind. That brand of feminism seeks to impose humanistic solutions that are in direct opposition to the Word of God. Feminism was originally a positive movement, focused on giving women the basic rights God intends for every human being to have. Tragically, feminism has gone past those roots to focus on destroying any trace of a distinction in roles between men and women.
“Not My Kind of Mormon”
Mitt Romney has held the highest positions in his Church as a Mormon leader and practitioner over the years. There are volumes of written accounts of Romney’s position on women, feminism and the role of women in the family. In one case he told a women, You are not my kind of Mormon” after she asked his blessing to enter a Temple.
Do not think for a moment that this man is a moderate. He is a devout believer in a deeply patriarchal religion and will carry his beliefs into his politics.
Simply because he is skilled at flip-flopping and giving the appearance of not having a spine when it comes to commiting himself to a position…do not be fooled. From a very young age, Willard Mitt Romney was deemed the most likely candidate in the Mormon faith to achieve the Presidency. His Patriarchal Blessing eluded to this divine prophecy – known in the Mormon faith as the White Horse Prophecy. Please click here to read an introductory post at God’s Own Party? web site that goes into this in greater detail.
For those who may be unaware, a Patriarchal Blessing is a blessing/ordinance given by an Mormon Patriarch to ‘worthy Mormon members’. It’s supposedly modeled after the blessings that Abraham gave to his sons. Here are some of the stated ‘purposes’ for a Patriarchal Blessing:
1) Identify which “Tribe of Israel” the LDS member belongs to.
2) Bless the LDS member with ‘knowledge and spiritual gifts’.
3) Give advice, especially about the future.
The Patriarch lays his hands upon the LDS member’s head, and receives direct revelation from God, concerning that one individual, which he goes on to give as a ‘Blessing’. The blessing is recorded and then later translated to a paper copy, which is given to LDS members. All LDS members are assured of the promises given in the Blessing, as long as they are ‘worthy’ of them throughout life. (So basically if anything fails to fit, it’s your own fault somehow.)
LDS members are told to regularly consult their Blessing and re-read it for guidance, assurance, and advice. Most LDS members receive their blessing in their late teens, mostly those who were raised in the church.
Willard Mitt Romney, I assure you, is regulary consulting his Blessing and is as devout a believer that he has been chosen by God as Sarah Palin was; as Rick Santorum was; as Rick Perry was; as Mike Huckabee was…et al. This sense of divine anointing is a dangerous political cocktail. Theocratic control under any sect is a threat to our democratic republic. We must keep raising the conversation to a louder crescendo each time these trite opportunities crop up that distract the entire media and all its audiences from the dangers of that enormous elephant in the room. ~ About the Author, Leah L. Burton