This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It's been called another battle in the War on Women. Really, it's just a dust-up about a Democratic strategist saying on CNN that Ann Romney couldn't possibly understand working women's travails because she'd "never worked a day in her life."
But Hilary Rosen's remark does reflect the way some professional women view their counterparts, rich or not, who forgo the workplace and care for their families.
First, Rosen is herself a mother, a working one, who has to know that bringing up kids is an all-consuming job whether you're on the job or at home.
Having brothers myself, I would think that raising five boys and running a household has to be the work of an intelligent and infinitely patient woman.
Now, Ann Romney was born and married into privilege. Yes, she may have a couple of Cadillacs and mansions in New Hampshire and California and is an expert in the art of dressage and has a string of horses. Hey, if I could afford it, I'd do the same thing I've always had a thing for the nags. At the same time, though, Romney has worked with disadvantaged kids in Boston and Salt Lake City. While Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, he appointed her to help faith-based groups get more federal dollars in association with the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives. She has sat on the board of United Way, among other philanthropic efforts here and abroad.
Ann Romney also has beaten breast cancer and held her multiple sclerosis at bay, which has to take an inner strength that many of us will never have to test.
Appropriately, Rosen has apologized and has cancelled appearances on the Sunday news shows, saying she has said all she wants to on the subject.
So let's bring this home. In the nation and here in Utah, women are deeply underrepresented in governments large and small, make less money for our work and we lag men in educational achievement. On the other hand, Utah is home to a great many women who have scaled the pinnacles of education, business, medicine, education, media and the legal system, among other enterprises. But Utah also is home to many women who, by conviction or necessity, care for their families. It's their right to choose.
Peg McEntee is a news columnist. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/pegmcentee and Twitter, @Peg McEntee.