It is not surprising that many people are confused about Mitt Romney’s economical beliefs when it comes to women. On one hand, Romney is telling the people that he sees his wife, a stay-at-home mother, as the person he can go to for economic advice. On the other, he is instructing women on welfare that they do not have the right to be stay-at-home mothers due to their financial situation.
While Romney was visiting Manchester, N.H., he addressed his ideas on welfare reform. He said that people on welfare do not deserve the privilege of being a stay-at-home parent.
“Even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work … I’m willing to spend more on daycare to allow those parents to go back to work. It will cost the state more to provide daycare, but I want those individuals to have the dignity of work,” Romney said.
The two contradictory statements get even more confusing when you bring into the equation the criticisms that Ann Romney, Mitt’s wife, has received. After Ann was attacked on major news stations for “never working a day in her life,” according to Democratic analyst Hilary Rosen, Romney responded to such statements.
“I happen to believe that all moms are working moms, and if you have five sons, your work is never over,” Romney said.
Doing the math for all of this does not yield promising results for Romney. By saying that a privileged woman who stays at home is working hard and one with a lower income is not is a blatant cry of economic inequality. His campaign has had major issues relating to lower income families and this class discrimination is likely to lead more people away from Romney’s campaign.
The amount of women who want to be stay-at-home mothers is slowly dwindling, partly due to the fact that families need to have two incomes to survive. Yet there is no denying that Christian communities that hold more traditional values have had a more traditional view on women in the workforce compared to cultural norms. Some colleges have even adapted curriculum so that young women who are coming to college to prepare for marriage can now directly major in that field.
The Master’s College located in San Clarita, Calif. offers a major “suitable” for the stay-at-home mom. Master’s home economics major helps women complete their godly duty and “fulfill the biblical precept,” according to their website. That precept is based on Titus 2:3-5. Through this major, a woman can learn how to “cook nutritious meals,” “joyfully submit to her husband” and “practice hospitality.” The website uses gender-specific pronouns, leading most to feel that this major is specifically for women, which was confirmed by the university.
I think Christian colleges tend to get a bad reputation for having an overt emphasis on marriage. While most universities focus on academia and future career building, Christian universities tend to hear more about spring engagements and Pinterest wedding boards. Though most people would say that paying over $30,000 should result in more than a spouse, the important thing is that both genders have the option to pursue their dreams.
If Romney is getting anything right in his opinions on these issues it is that women who are stay-at-home moms do have a huge job. These women are often the most suitable caregiver to their children, and staying at home allows them more time with their families. What Romney did not get right is economical class discrimination.
Women in today’s society now have the freedom to have a career and a family. They also reserve the right to follow a more traditional pattern. The issue is not which is right. The issue is that no one should feel conformed to fit into a category he or she is not comfortable with.
Megan Laber is a junior journalism major. She is from Visalia, Calif. and loves discovering new music, hiking and being spontaneous. She plans to travel all over the world and share God’s love to those she meets.