Published April 12, 2012
Top Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen provided a clear psychological window on women who despise other women when she showed gut-level contempt for Ann Romney -- describing her as “never having worked a day in her life.”
For background, Ann Romney, the wife of former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, chose to focus strictly on her family and raise five sons full-time rather than be employed.
What Hilary Rosen has exposed is a psychological fault line that separates those women who simply oppose unfair gender-based barriers in education or employment or elsewhere from other women who actually despise and disrespect those females who choose to be full-time wives and mothers, instead of entering the workforce.
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.
Women who are happy raising families don’t have much “cred” with Rosen or, for that matter, President Obama, because Rosen and Obama resonate only with those who carry the flag of the disenfranchised and abused. Anyone who thrives in an American company or American home, while proud and happy with any element of traditional American values, must be a hopeless automaton or relic of the oppressive past.
Hilary Rosen vilifying women who choose to be stay-at-home wives and mothers is particularly ironic, given that she has chosen an alternative lifestyle raising twins with a female partner, meaning no father-figure is present in her home. To enjoy the benefits of her alternative lifestyle while denigrating the lifestyle of Ann Romney shows that her seemingly infinite bandwidth for alternative lifestyles flows in one direction: only alternative.
I will tell you that I have treated both men and women in my practice who grieve the fact that they focused too little on their marriages and homes and children. A very large percentage of them -- female and male -- wouldn’t be going to work for very long if their spouses made millions as investors (as Mitt Romney has done).
See, psychologically, that only makes women like Hilary Rosen hate Ann Romney more. Not only does she seem to be enjoying herself, and not only do her children seem to be happy and successful -- but she actually allowed her husband to go out and make the money to support all of them. And that’s letting a man be comfortable being a man, too. And, to Hilary Rosen, that’s a cultural crime and psychological assault.
Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team. Dr. Ablow can be reached at email@example.com.