Shoulder Pad Feminism

Monday, April 16, 2012

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd discusses politics, Texts from Hillary and Hilary Rosen.

Comments [111]


brian, i love your show, but i cannot let this go by without a comment. please take a moment to go back and re-listen to this show, and particularly to your response (or lack thereof) to lisa from brooklyn. that lisa was allowed to go on and on with her (and the republican's) inventions about obama with nary a check from you is very disappointing! sure, people like her speak for themselves as to their ignorance, but as a journalist, you should at the very least point out the complete absence of fact behind practically every statement she made.

Apr. 24 2012 09:44 AM
Connie from Westchester

Social Security for mothers who work at home. WOW! Here is the first time I have heard anyone suggest how much of a liability the lack of this income is for mothers who have not had a paying job. Brian summed it up, (I paraphrase his words)if we really value the work that mothers do at home, why don't we provide Social Security for that contribution? I am old and get a small amount of Social Security each month.My (paying) job history is very eratic. However, I must say that that small check each month is invaluable to my sense of self-respect. I could not afford to live on it but it is my OWN EARNED money. If I had expected to live on it, I certainly would have planned accordingly and worked more consistently and made additional investment for retirement. But, women should definitely get recognition (in the only way our society recognizes valued work) in DOLLARS & CENTS.

Apr. 21 2012 11:35 AM
Ed from Larchmont

It's remarkable that people say that this activity by the Secret Service was imprudent since the agents could be distracted, how about that hiring a prostitute is immoral?

Apr. 17 2012 06:06 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Didn't occur to me till the 2nd go-round: Apparently Mitt Romney doesn't consider raising children, as tough a job as it is, to be work that has any "dignity." Or he didn't at one time...when was that clip from?

Apr. 17 2012 12:28 AM

Another thing I feel should be stressed is the difference between work and a job. Being a stay at home mom is as much, if not more work than having a full time job... but when people suggest stay at home moms do not have a job they are not talking about the amount of work the mother has to do, they are referring to the technical differences between raising children and being employed.

It's a shame how often people argue past each other because they're too stubborn to realize the dispute is nothing more than a matter of semantics.

Apr. 17 2012 12:09 AM

I would just like to add to the current ideas that I am a white, American male who realizes that a womans' work is not just what she does in the office but it is as much work,if not more, that a woman has in the home. Unfortunately or fortunately for her, Ann Romney has not had to do either and I would suggest that Mitt Romney should re-evaluate the facts before he criticizes people for the amount of work that they do.

Apr. 16 2012 11:53 PM
Boo from Brooklyn

BEST show segment E-V-E-R!!!
I laughed so hard, not only at the more bazaar callers, but even minor stuff like Hilary Swank!! in this conversation.
This city / radio station has its share of oddball listeners and it's good to hear them come out of the woodwork once in a while :)

Apr. 16 2012 09:46 PM
karen from Mahattan

Not working is fine, working is fine, and as modern women we often lucky to have a choice.
The point here is that having to make money never seemed to be a consideration in Ann Romney's decision. She had the luxury of finishing her college education at the Extension School at Harvard University while raising her boys. I imagine she also was not concerned with student loans.
In addition to this luxury I am sure Ann Romney has always had household help to assist her managing the boys, the laundry, housekeeping, etc. How many working mothers manage all these tasks either on their own or,if fortunate, in concert with their partners?
Ann Romney was diagnosed with MS in 1998. In a great show of love and privilege, Mitt Romney traveled the world seeking a cure for her. Using both mainstream and alternative therapies, including equestrian dressage, she is doing well. It must be nice to be able to afford all that.
In 2008 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a lumpectomy; thankfully she is doing well. Lucky for her she had health insurance to cover the costs.
Shouldn't other women have at least some of this peace of mind to deal with all that life throws at us?

Apr. 16 2012 09:33 PM
Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn, NY

Hi, I am no fan of Mitt Romney. I don't know him or his wife. I do think that many women envy someone like Ann Romney because she does not have to go out and get a job. Especially now, with all the economic bad news out there, I believe that there are plenty of women who would like to be in Ann Romney's place. I admit to being one of them. Raising children is a job. My own mother and my sister did/do work even though they do not/did not go to to the office every day. If I had been able to marry and have kids, I would have wanted to be a stay at home mom. I realize that my working outside the home women neighbors would have envied me. That's the truth. Eugenia Renskoff

Apr. 16 2012 02:15 PM
Wildboer from NJ

Obama should address all of Romney's "war on women" reversals with this: Hillary Clinton, Sonya Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, two wonderful daughters, end of story.

Apr. 16 2012 01:30 PM
doug from jersey from South Orange

After initially being disillusioned that you would give time to rehashing the trumped up Hilary Rosen kerfuffle, I was thrilled to hear you become the first non-ideological journalist to put her out of context 'never worked a day in her life' bite into the full context.
I know to expect real journalism from you, but it's become so standard for all of the media to ignore what Hilary Rosen actually meant to say that I started thinking it would never happen (except on some MSNBC shows hosted by avowed liberals).

Apr. 16 2012 01:24 PM

C'mon! She may have stayed home but, she had little to do with the actual raising of her children.

When was the last time you saw a woman of this level of means actually changing a diaper??

That kind of actual work is left to the "help".

Apr. 16 2012 11:49 AM
April from Manhattan

To the guy who criticized Carter and Obama. Jimmy Carter didn't invade Iran when they took hostages. If he had he would have won in '80. Yes his attempt to free them failed. He needed an extra chopper, why Obama took an extra to kill O bin L. Good thing he did; one crashed. Another thing leftists forget: After the Sandanistas won election in Nicaragua, he offered them aid. "No thanks", they replied. Why? Because they need U.S. as the evil empire. Still do. A Salvadoran friend, after the election a year or so ago of a leftist president, confirmed my knowledge that whatever negative happened would be America's fault. The odd thing is he hasn't. Should Carter have invaded Iran? He and Clinton are the only recent presidents who haven't invaded anyone, Clinton only bombed a few places. Reagan, the deity of the right, as Fidel is the deity of the left, invaded Granada to save American medical students. A friend of mine was one of them. She said there"d been no danger at all, and it was inconvenient to be "saved" from something that doesn't exist. Brian seems to dismiss the notion that we have an empire. A suggestion: cover the 800 military bases worldwide acknowledged by the DOD. Not to mention all the black sites and other hidden ones. How would we feel if there were foreign military bases in the U.S.? Wouldn't we fight to get rid of them? Didn't we in our revolution?

Apr. 16 2012 11:46 AM
Erica Miles from NYC

Not directly related to the comment about Mrs. Romney's not working, but on the broader issue of women's reproductive rights: I was on a destructive relationship in my mid-twenties and became preganant at a time that pre-dated Roe vs. Wade. Unable to get an abortion anywhere in the U.S., I was forced to go to Puerto Rico for an equally illegal but at obtainable abortion at great risk. Any threat to pro-choice, as all women know, would not elimate abortions, just drive them underground at the risk of women's lives. My experience is described in my book DAZZLED BY DARKNESS, which I expect to be published and available on next month.

Apr. 16 2012 11:42 AM
RD from brkln

RE: David from Fredericksburg, VA
I agree with you.
Obama is a very elegant speaking president, who is extremely ineffective and even "cold" as in distanced.
Romney is an terrible alternative.
Sad state of affairs int he 2012 election and a 90 degree turn from 4 years ago.
kikakiki from Harlem

JCrew is not a budget retailer - OMG, they are so expensive.

Apr. 16 2012 11:19 AM
Katherine Boyd from Brooklyn

Re Romney's comment on his requirement that mothers on welfare In MA being required to work: Really? In this economy, when many college graduates are working at minimum- and low-wage jobs? When many women on welfare lack skills that would make them employable, even if there were jobs? When there are no options for job training? When there is no affordable day care unless they have a family support system to care for their children while they look for work and try to hold down a job?

This is typical of the punitive thinking concerning mothers on welfare: It's their war on poor and lower-income women. None of these women are getting rich on welfare, much less getting by.

The lack of affordable daycare has been a huge problem for years, not just for women on welfare but for low- and middle-income working mothers, both married and single. Until there is a social system of daycare, as there is in France and other countries, women on welfare who have children will continue to be a problem.

Apr. 16 2012 11:09 AM

Dear Lisa, FYI: I am a ritually observant Jewish woman who voted for Obama in 2008 and will vote for him in 2012. I want a president who is a public servant (too many examples to put in a comment here), who supports Israel (check the facts) and supports women (again, check the facts).

Dear Brian, I wish you had challenged this woman a little more robustly. You have the chops - remember that for next time you get a caller who is so close-minded and ignorant of the facts (on whichever side of the argument).

Apr. 16 2012 11:07 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Saying someone never worked a day in his/her life has long meant she/he never worked *for a living*. Maybe Hilary Rosen didn't say it the best way possible, but (as far as I know) Ann Romney never had to work for a living or support her family, or even herself, financially. Her wording is being used to distract from the real issue of whether either of the Romneys knows what it's like for those who do.

On a separate issue, I want to throw in w/all the earlier comments on the pronunciation of Cartagena in Colombia. Yes, it's "car-ta-he-na," not "car-ta-he-nya." (BTW, Cartagena is the Spanish name of Carthage.)

Apr. 16 2012 11:00 AM

Wow. So many of these comments fill me with gloom as I realize how shallow the notion of "relating" to someone else seems to be. Is having the same amount of money as another person the only way we can "relate" to her any more?

Apr. 16 2012 11:00 AM
Stefanie from West Village

Please please PLEASE do a follow-up on Jewish voters and Obama, so that Lisa doesn't get the last word. She only proves that she is religious about watching Fox and knows how to spit back radical right-wing talking points. But what's alarming is that if a listener didn't know the issues and heard her comment, they'd think that "all Jews" are not going to Obama, and that he's "lost" us. How does this Lisa purport to speak for all Jews? And all mothers, for god sakes? Her vitriol requires a follow-up. Frankly, I'm embarrassed for WNYC, Jews, and women everywhere that this woman was given a five-minute platform to spew.

Apr. 16 2012 10:58 AM
kikakiki from Harlem

I just want to ask Ann Romney and Hilary Rosen if either of them know the price of a quart of milk, one pound of hamburger meat or one can of spaghetti-o's. Next press conference I want someone to ask that question. The kicker I believe Mrs. Obama could get a couple of the answers right. Who brought J. Crew and Target, low budget retailers to the White House. Lastly, one of the FIRST pieces of legislation of the Obama administration was the Lilly Ledbetter Act (equal pay for women for those not familiar)

Apr. 16 2012 10:58 AM

On yesterday's Chris Hayes show, there was a lengthy and nuanced discussion of this "kerfuffle". The clip of Romney talking about making sure women on assistance work -- "the dignity of work" was put in the context of who gets to stay at home and who has to work. Rich, middle class women are encouraged to stay at home and raise their kids -- the tax laws support this choice although they do not earn SS nor is this work given a monetary value for tax purposes. Poor women on assistance, however, are foroed to work outside the home by the welfare reforms of the 1990s (thanks to Clinton). They are deemed less able to raise their kids who are better off in day care. So if you look at this issues through the lens of class and economic advantage it looks very different. As for Ann Romney -- she hasn't had to live in the same ecomonic world as most women so while I'm sure she's empathetic what is her actual experience. Also her children have been grown and out of the nest for some time -- what has she done since then? Granted she's dealt with illness but what about volunteer work? What issues will she take up as potential First Lady?

Apr. 16 2012 10:58 AM
Tony from UWS

Brian- Why didn't you point out to the caller "Lisa" that Hillary Rosen is both a woman and a Jew?

Apr. 16 2012 10:57 AM

it's CARTAHENA not CARTAHENYA for the love of GOD!!!!!

Apr. 16 2012 10:57 AM
Jeff Park Slope

Interesting, typically liberals argue that NPR is fair and balanced. Whenever a non-liberal position is advocated however, the objections come fast and furious. Did you notice how Brian was constantly challenging her, yet the only thing he was actually able to make any headway on was Jewish support, because that is the only issue that she was probably not correct on? He tends not to challenge liberal positions, they are taken as given. So give him credit for trying. She was not part of the radical right, but rather the sensible center. As for being anti-abortion equating to being ant-women, lets discuss abortion and ethics, but female babies in most cases grow up into women.

Apr. 16 2012 10:52 AM
The Truth from Becky

Screeners on "vacay"?...the next caller gets on and says "Hillary Swank" Jeez what the????

Apr. 16 2012 10:52 AM
Susan from Upper West Side

Conversation drifted a bit from policy. But if a policy were to assist moms re-enter the workforce after taking time off to raise their children - especially right now as our "time off" (ha ha - any "stay-at-home mom" will tell you it's a virtual vacation to get to return to work) has coincided with a recession and 10-11% unemployment. Why not insert this mega-population of women into the current EOE statement/policy/law that every employer boasts - if they actually try to stay true to it?

Apr. 16 2012 10:51 AM
Wilma from The Bronx

The woman with the 5 sons who was on a few minutes ago is delusional, and speaks for no one except herself. She should take a few minutes to look at all the reports of states around the country in which Republican/Tea Party dominated legislatures are passing laws meant to take women back to the 19th Century. She had better hope President Obama wins this year, along with Democrats running at the state level, or she might not have a vote to exercise in 2016.
(Are you sure that she wasn't Pamela Geller ?)

Apr. 16 2012 10:50 AM
casl from Morris County, NJ

Brian you allowed Lisa, who clearly is influenced from FOX news vitriol to go on way too long without challenging her factual misstatements. I too am a Jewish woman and Obama has my vote and many other Jewish votes. Lisa does not speak for all Jews and should educate herself from other sources other than Fox and right-wing Christian politicians who have their own myopic agenda for Israel based on their fundamentalist theology. It would've been interesting to hear you ask callers about which party's policies would be most beneficial for women instead of letting callers merely spout their emotion. I am a huge NPR and WNYC fan and I don't want to see you make the same mistakes that other news services are by not challenging callers and speakers on their lack of factual support for their positions and correcting clear falsehoods often said for propaganda purposes.

Apr. 16 2012 10:49 AM

Obama hates women and Israel is only a "true" statement if you rely on Fox News and GOP talking points to formulate your opinions.

Apr. 16 2012 10:49 AM
DYV from Park Slope, Brooklyn

WHY did you let that ranting woman take up so much air time on the show? 3 more callers could have contributed something constructive and USEFUL.

Ann Romney is a millionaire. Most women are NOT millionaires or married to millionaires. Of COURSE she doesn't know the experience of most working women. Hillary Rosen was correct. This has NOTHING to do with choosing to stay home versus working outside of the home. It has to do with privilege, life experience and world view.

If the media outlets didn't just run with this baseless assumption that Hillary Rosen was slighting women who are primary caregivers, that entire meme would have died last week.

The salient POINT is that the experience of a working woman who has children and is primarily responsible for their care IS, IN FACT, different that that of a woman who is primary an at home caregiver.

And the truth is, Ann Romney can't relate to EITHER of those experiences by virtue of her extreme wealthy.
It is not "anti-women" to point that out.

Apr. 16 2012 10:48 AM
The Truth from Becky

Caller Lisa, what self respecting jew/woman/middleclass/poor person says, "I want my daughters to be rich like the romneys?" Why are you sacrificing yourself for these people who wouldn't even let you cross their threshold? Baffling to me, that rant is equal to "keep your hands off my medicare!"..ridiculous!

Apr. 16 2012 10:48 AM
Bob from Pelham, NY

Does anyone know where Romney got the 92% of job losses were women? Has it been fact checked? It seems mathematically/demographically impossible. When I first heard it, it reminded me of Stephen Colbert's "School for Pundits" sketch last week -- just make up a number and state it confidently without attribution.

Apr. 16 2012 10:47 AM

Lisa and the caller before her are examples of "shoot yourself in the foot republicans" So filled with vitriol and hatred, they are their own worst enemies.

Apr. 16 2012 10:46 AM
John from NYC

Tell the truth -- this is a Dem strategy --

Remember,ones said "Laura Busha never worked a day in her life" -- she was for many years a librarian -- but that is WOMEN'S work

AND -- it was said that the Chenys had a CONVENTIONAL marriage -- yea, she is a Professor, former head of the national Endowment for the Humanities, and head of a foundation

Dems want to create an IMAGE of Republican women -- disregarding the truth

Apr. 16 2012 10:45 AM

Sometimes when I back up and look at the big picture here, it seems really ridiculous that there's so much vitriol about either of these presidential candidates. I support Obama, but really, Romney is far from a worst-case scenario. I think this election is great for America; both men are more than up to the job. There is a lot to feel positive about in 2012.

Apr. 16 2012 10:45 AM

Anyone remember Rusty DePass? He's the Republican operative who compared Michele Obama and her family to a gorilla. He posted a comment on his facebook page on on news of a gorilla breakout at a local zoo: “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors — probably harmless.”

Ugly and outrageous but didn't cause nearly the storm that this is causing.

Apr. 16 2012 10:45 AM
Eli from astoria NY did that last loon get on the air with her hate filled diatribe? "obama hates women!"
yeesh. talk about lowering the level of discourse.

Apr. 16 2012 10:44 AM
john from office

Wow, that last caller the old jewish woman was nuts. Jews are falling for the right wing snow job on Israel. Brian could have challenged her on at least some points.

Apr. 16 2012 10:44 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

I want to vote for none of the above.

Obama has been a disaster. For such a "brilliant" man, he has totally failed to LEAD. Mr. constitutional scholar has utterly failed to uphold the constitution. In short - he makes me sick.

As for Romney - his America would have Nobility (the obscenely wealthy) and serfs (the rest of us).


Apr. 16 2012 10:44 AM
Guy from Brooklyn

Who, if anyone, is screening these calls? This is reflecting poorly on this show. The radical right doesn't need another platform, Brian.

Apr. 16 2012 10:44 AM

Romney is anti-abortion. That's about as anti-women as you can get.

Apr. 16 2012 10:43 AM

why is Brian allowing this nut so much air time... how about correcting all that she said.

Apr. 16 2012 10:42 AM
Ed from Larchmont

No doubt families in general have to get more support from economics.

Apr. 16 2012 10:42 AM
John in Bergen from NW Bergen County

@Cass is NOT a conservative! How can you have 10 children (5) from 2 marriages and consider yourself a conservative?
A true conservative does not over reproduce.

Apr. 16 2012 10:42 AM
Hal from Brooklyn

Lady, (Lisa?) take off your tin foil hat.

Apr. 16 2012 10:42 AM
pordy from Madison, NJ

good god cut her off. We get it.

Apr. 16 2012 10:42 AM
Carol from NYC

Where are all these nutball callers coming from?? Never heard so many in one segment.

Apr. 16 2012 10:41 AM
Ron Mwangaguhunga from Bklyn

Obama won 78% of the jewish vote in 2008

Apr. 16 2012 10:41 AM
damisi from manhattan

This current caller has lost the plot. She is talking point echo chamber.

Apr. 16 2012 10:41 AM
Edward from NJ

If someone were to say that a man "never worked a day" in his life. It would be very clear that they were commenting on the person's wealth and privilege not their child-rearing choices.

Apr. 16 2012 10:41 AM
Diana from Ridgewood, NJ

Ann Romney is married to a billionaire. SHE NEVER WORKED A DAY IN HER LIFE. They were high school sweethearts - she had five boys with all the resources, etc. etc. available to her. Being a stay at home mom is the hardest decision and job most women make and do. You give up your paycheck, you give up in essence you prior identity to make this sacrafice, and you have to worry with your husband how you will make it on one paycheck. Being a working mom is also tuff. Ann Romney is NOT EITHER! That is only some of the stuff - what if down the road divorce happens.

People are spinning this the wrong way. You know what Ann it is true - YOU NEVER WORKED A DAY IN YOUR LIFE!! Love, the middle class ;)

Apr. 16 2012 10:41 AM

This woman is insane. Please stop allowing her to speak.

Apr. 16 2012 10:40 AM
The Truth from Becky

This caller is delusional.."Obama hates women?" Puhleese he has a wife and two daughters weirdo! She must listen to hannity. Romney is NOT closing any gap.

Apr. 16 2012 10:40 AM
Roslyn from Manhattan

Ms. Rosen's comments were on target. Speaking about wealthy women managing home and family has nothing to do with the value of work vs. "stay at home moms." Not lifting a hand at typical home tasks (cleaning, laundry, marketing, cooking, errands, etc.) makes one's life a life of ease and comfort. I cannot "admire" a women with a large family who has enough help at her beck and call for anything and everything. Ms. Romney is not a typical woman with whom I am able to relate or hold in high esteem. Living a life of privilege is nothing to condemn; yet it is nothing to hold in hight esteem either.

Apr. 16 2012 10:39 AM
Frank from NYC

It's clear Hillary Rosen was making an economic argument, not one about motherhood. I agree with another comment writer - let's hear about how many nannies, housekeepers, groundskeepers, and other staff used by Romney family. While stay-at-home moms is a choice that requires sacrifice, let's not forget it's a choice not all families are able to make. It's a dollars and cents reality.

Apr. 16 2012 10:39 AM
Nick from UWS

"Disrespected"? DISRESPECTED? What are we, 12?

Who the hell cares if anyone is "disrespected"? What is this, a school yard? People should grow up and stop being obsessesed with what other people think about them. At least 50% of people will dislike you for almost any reason you can think of. That's the way life works. Get over it.

Apr. 16 2012 10:37 AM

A homeless, single mother? Republican, of course.

Mitt Romney definitely has her interests at heart.

Apr. 16 2012 10:37 AM

I find that anyone who could be "insulted" by Hilary Rosen's statement probably needs to find real issues to be concerned about.

Apr. 16 2012 10:37 AM
Thomas Foster from Manhattan

It's preposterous to raise any kind of outrage as a stay at home mom or to feel insulted by the Rosen comments. In no way could one interpret them as a slight to any stay at home mothers; it's clear that the comments were directed at a person from a family of extreme privilege who does not understand the lives of the rest of the country. Hands down.

Apr. 16 2012 10:37 AM
Antonio from bayside

Was that Sarah Palin?

Apr. 16 2012 10:36 AM
boy do i know

lanvy -- are you french or russian? if you were Vietnamese you would appreciate what America (post 1995 of course) and the Clintons are fighting and have already won so many of your fights and rights, to America's great pride. Forcing the Communist government to accept internet so that you can listen to this show and learn about other countries, for example. This is new for Vietnam -- ask any Vietnamese older than 20. ALong with the myriad of other rights or privileges you enjoy (like not getting shot).

there is a lot to criticize about america but what i love about the country is that in the end, after all the missteps, we do most often get it right, in terms of "doing the right thing." can't say that about china, russia or any other power has chosen to promote and defend human rights outside its own borders.

Apr. 16 2012 10:36 AM

and she is home schooling her child?!? poor kid

Apr. 16 2012 10:36 AM

What is most egregious about Ann Romney is that having lived with serious health issues and having a cadillac healthcare plan she does not campaign for good healthcare for all. She continues to champion her husbands harmful policies. What a difference from how Elizabeth Edwards
used her circumstances to promote good policies.

Apr. 16 2012 10:36 AM
rich mcbride from Murray Hill

the point is that Romney should not have to ask his wife what women think and feel...

Apr. 16 2012 10:36 AM

Im a fifth generation Mormon who stayed at home. I always knew it was a luxury. I have always honored women who work. My sister a single mom works so hard to okay rent and hasn't had health care for ten years. I want Obama care. Maybe someone should do a study on how many Mormon stay at home women use Prozac to cope with their choice!

Apr. 16 2012 10:36 AM

This is a typical media manipulation and I'm really disappointed that particularly Brian is indulging this non-issue. The Republicans are hemorrhaging women voters so they use the old ruse of divide and rule, setting women against each other. Men love a good cat fight. And you know what? It works, I'm really sad to say. Women really need to wake up and smell the manipulation. This always happens when women start really voicing their rights en masse. Men feel threatened and suddenly it's all about "well who's looking after the home?" It's so damn obvious. If you actually listen to Hilary Rosen's comments, they weren't about Romney being a mom, but just so stinking rich, that even if she hadn't had kids she could sit back and file her nails, and she certainly could afford enough nannies to ensure there wasn't much of the "working" in working mom. Please just stop putting women against each other, we're sick of it.

Apr. 16 2012 10:35 AM
April from Manhattan

The reason women's jobs have been lost is that Republicans are trying to close down any public unions, and firing teachers, firefighters, as Bloomberg is here, with firemen anyway, in New York. As to why women get blamed for wanting rights? I can't believe you, Ms Dowd, don't understand why women get universally dumped on. Haven't you read your bible? It's all our fault, i.e. Eve's, and we're her reflection. The Catholic Church is hardly an equal opportunity hirer. Neither are Hassids, who thank G-d every morning they're not women. Muslims women don't always get a great deal. Beyond the people of The Book, in India it's marvelous to see goddess temples, but since creation is painful and bad, and the goal is to transcend it, it's female, the result of Maya, i.e. illusion. Same with Buddhism, though gods and goddesses are seen as mind creations, the Dalai Lama listened to a German woman who pointed out that the nun, who's been a nun the longest, sits behind the youngest monk. The Dalai Lama changed that immediately. Now nuns sit on his right, monks on his right. Men wanted control of us after they figured out they had something to do with babies. Then they created marriage and chastity belts. What fun! Worst off of all are single women with kids with two minimum wage jobs who can't afford day care.

Apr. 16 2012 10:35 AM
BrendaTNYC from New York City

It seems somewhat patronizing to suggest that because I'm a woman I would vote according to what I consider best for my children. My worldview is a tad larger than that. This whole brouhaha is just a diversion and is a failed attempt to divide a minority group. By the way, I don't remember anyone caring that Hilary Clinton's husband was unemployed when she was running for office.

Apr. 16 2012 10:35 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

There is nothing more virtuous that staying at home and raising children.

However, most women don't have the luxury of making that choice - Ann Romney is the exception, not the rule.

Apr. 16 2012 10:34 AM
Lauren from Brooklyn

Haven't had the chance to skim the comments list to see if anyone else mentioned this -- but did Anne Romney have a nanny? Is it still work if you have a nanny? How would that affect a SS benefit assessment?

Apr. 16 2012 10:33 AM

@Ed from Larchmont, AMEN for the less than devoted Catholics.

Apr. 16 2012 10:33 AM
Betsy from bergen county

One thing that has frustrated me about this debate is the idea that stay at home moms are privileged to be able to stay home. Many of us make the difficult choice to stay home although our husbands don't make a lot of money and we have to find ways to make ends meet. Most of us aren't sitting around eating bonbons while the nanny raises the kids and I resent those implications that I've heard sometimes in this debate. We don't have cable because we live on one income. That's just one example of choices we've made because we feel it's best for me to stay home with our kids.

Apr. 16 2012 10:33 AM
J from Greenpoint Bklyn

Let's talk about government-subsidized childcare. Have always thought that would be the great equalizer of the sexes.

Apr. 16 2012 10:32 AM
Vicki from Forest Hills, NYC

Social Security Credits! Yes! Credit some of the partner's income to the nonworking spouse.
Why should a paid nanny get credits for taking care of my child, but I don't get credits for raising my own child?

Apr. 16 2012 10:32 AM
new mom back at work from Manhattan

Rosen comment was taken out of context. Ann Romney doesn't represent a typical stay at home mom or a working outside the home mom.... aside from that
Being able to stay home is a luxury these days.
I just had a baby and HAD to return back to work for financial reasons. I don't understand the argument that staying home is a 'sacrefice' as some media has been saying recently. I would love nothing more than to be able to stay home w/ my 3month old.

Apr. 16 2012 10:32 AM
james from nyc

Social security is on the cutting table for the Republicans?

Apr. 16 2012 10:31 AM
Susan from Yorktown Heights NY

Like Mrs. Romney, I have multiple sclerosis and I've been a "stay at home mom' for 16 years. I was not at all insulted by Hilary Rosen's statement. I think most people understand the difference between moms for whom staying home is a difficult decision, and one who had the wherewithall to stay home without worries about how the electric bill will be paid next month. Mrs. Romney could easily choose to stay at home with her children without fear of financial repercussions. I'm also sure she had no trouble finding "help" when her MS was acting up. Some of us don't have that luxury. If she had chosen to work outside of the home, she easily could have found nannies and housekeepers to keep her children happy and well cared for when she was away. It's all about choice and the difficulty of that choice. Mrs. Romney had the luxury of doing whatever she wanted to do with her life. For most women, it's not that easy.

Apr. 16 2012 10:31 AM
Paul from New York City

Can anyone name a First Lady that CAN identify with the not-so-fortunate? I think the Hillary's might want to take a long look at their own pocketbooks and those of the Kennedy's and the like. Hypocrisy 101 by the left.

Apr. 16 2012 10:31 AM
Douglas from Brooklyn

Why Brian, why? If I want to hear about the Hillary Rosen kerfuffle or Secretary of State Clinton drinking a beer I'll go to the Huffington Post. I count on your show for in-depth discussion of REAL issues.

Apr. 16 2012 10:31 AM

Ann Romney is nothing more than a shill for her husband's policies. Nothing admirable in that.

Apr. 16 2012 10:31 AM
Abby in Manhattan from Manhattan

Whatever choice a parent (fathers too) makes, whether to stay at home and parent or go out to the workplace, Mitt Romney clearly does not think that stay at home parents are doing "dignified" work. I applaud the effort for more day care for those who want or need it, but parenting is arguably one of the hardest jobs in the world. Calling it "undignified" is an insult to parents everywhere.

The Republican focus on women's rights, women's bodies and women's choices is a distraction from the most important issue facing us today: corruption, greed and the growing economic inequality between the wealthy and the rest of us.

Apr. 16 2012 10:31 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

Dowd's parents were not "devout" Catholics by her own admission. One cannot reject a key moral tenant of the church and call themselves devout.

Whether her parents were right or wrong to use contraception is an entirely separate subject.

Apr. 16 2012 10:30 AM
Shana from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

Ann Romney doesn't understand. I'm a stay at home mother right now. I wish I could work. But we can't afford childcare. On top of that, so many companies seem to want to make you work longer hours just because you have a kid as though they want to punish you for having a child. A friend of mine returned from her maternity leave early after being badgered by her boss only to be fired months later because there "wasn't enough work."

Apr. 16 2012 10:30 AM
Yoichi Hariguchi from Menlo Park, CA

Nobody talks about single dads like me. "Believe me. It's hard." :p

Apr. 16 2012 10:29 AM
Elaina from Brooklyn

The quality of this show is dropping fast. Intelligent segments seem in short supply. Can we go bakc to the days of talking about important things, with knowledgeable guests (i.e. not guests with axes to grind) and facts. If I wanted the kind of lack of jounalism we are getting now on the BL show, there are 1000 different outlets, the things that made this show differrent are eroding quickly. What is up, Brian?

Apr. 16 2012 10:29 AM
The Truth from Becky

They new/know full well what she meant, romney camp just needed something to latch onto to try to create a spark...we ALL know that there are a whole battery of housekeepers and nannies running that household. The truth remains, ann romney has NEVER worked for pay outside of the home.

Apr. 16 2012 10:28 AM

Too bad that Brian, who I love, did not use this Dowd segment to better understand anything. It really was a waste.

Apr. 16 2012 10:27 AM
Ed from Larchmont

With all due respect, if your parents were using contraption (not natural family planning) they weren't very devout Catholics.

Apr. 16 2012 10:27 AM
Ed from Larchmont

People have the freedom to use contraception from the 1964 Griswold case, the current issue is whether someone who is against them on conscience grounds should be forced to pay for them.

Apr. 16 2012 10:26 AM
lanvy from HCMC, Vietnam

I find it more insulting that Hilary CLINTON thinks "America must set the example for the rest of the world."

Apr. 16 2012 10:26 AM
darla from manhattan

Ann Romney had the choice to stay at home. Her wealth gave her that luxury. Would that my daughter could. Back at work as soon as the baby hit 3 months. She would much prefer to stay home! I am a part-time babysitter,as is her hsuband - I work and her husband work - we all chop in. - day care and nannies - who can afford that?

Apr. 16 2012 10:25 AM

I'm writing this after dropping the children off at school, starting the laundry, and settling down to the freelance work I do at home. I don't know anything much about Ann Romney, nor do I much care, but I have no trouble entertaining the notion that although her situation is rather different from mine she, like any other reasonable adult, might be very well able to understand and sympathize with people in all sorts of situations.

I think we're going down a bad road when we say (as we increasingly do) that only people who have had the exact life experiences of other people are allowed to speak with authority about them: only women can speak to issues that effect women, only blacks can speak to issues that effect blacks, only parents can speak to issues that effect children and so forth. Pushing the idea to an extreme, would anyone be comfortable in saying that only white Renaissance men could enjoy Shakespeare or Dante, or only Regency women understand Austen, or only post-war Nigerians care about Achebe? Why are New Yorkers listening to reports on Syria and Egypt and Norway if people are somehow unable to walk in another's shoes in their imaginations?

Surely people of experience and imagination have much to contribute in conversations on any group, and often people outside a group can offer a great deal of objective and still compassionate advice. (One example that occurs to me, which, based on my long-time lurking, I suspect will not be met with much sympathy on this site, is the perspective that Catholic priests can offer on marriage. So feel free to supply an example more congenial to you.)

For the last 20 years or so, as identity politics has held more sway, I've gone from thinking such denials of this human ability were silly to perfidious. We isolate ourselves from each other and from all of history at our peril.

Apr. 16 2012 10:25 AM
blacksocialist from BK

brian lehrer is a hack... a never ending lineup of people that should be ignored. that national review guy last week, and then that other conversative hack (forget his name), and now dowd.. give me a break.... will this hack of a "journalist" ever have a progressive on for an extended period like he did with jonah goldberg....

Apr. 16 2012 10:24 AM
RD from brkln

even Fox's Greta Van S' had a more balanced view of Rosen than Bruni's NYT

Apr. 16 2012 10:23 AM
Antonio from bayside

Why continue on the mischaracterization of what Rosen said? We all know what she meant, and that issue is settled...


Apr. 16 2012 10:22 AM

red herringish -- the criticism was not against stay at home moms (or dads) but rich people.

middle class stay at home moms know more than anybody about economics -- they're on the front line: At the grocery store, paying the bills, choosing whether piano class is in the budget... traditionally the worker in the one-job family is "the earner." the non earner raises the family -- all the while feeling slightly or very guilty about not having MORE money in the household. The very wealthy are immune from this complicated issue (among so many others).

Apr. 16 2012 10:19 AM
Ed from Larchmont

If Hilary Clinton runs as the vice-president, it would be, for pro-life people, like the devil and his wife.

Apr. 16 2012 10:19 AM
gary from queens

Does it matter that Hilary represents US foreign policy under obama?

Victor Davis Hanson
April 6, 2011 4:00 A.M.
A Middle East Policy in Shambles
As President Obama launches another war, he knows no one is going to demagogue him the way Senator Obama did President Bush.


In fact, the entire American response to unrest in the Muslim world is ad hoc, reactionary, and often contradictory — apparently favoring government repression of rebels in the Gulf while intervening to stop such crackdowns in Libya but not elsewhere; pressuring pro-American tyrants in Tunisia and Egypt, while carefully not antagonizing anti-American tyrants in Iran and Syria; declaring support for human rights and transparency in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, while ignoring these values altogether in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. In eerie fashion, the less the Obama administration seems to know about the complexities of the serial unrest, the more it jumps in with blunderbuss sermonizing. We treat restraint from our allies with contempt, and excess from our enemies with an odd sort of deference. One sees the Carter world of 1979 and awaits only the oil crisis — and then shrugs that $5-a-gallon gas may be on the way to finish the parallel.

While Obama, the anti-war Nobel Peace laureate, was inaugurating a new war in the Middle East — simultaneously with not one but two other conflicts — back on the home front, the U.S. is running a $1.6 trillion budget deficit. Politically, Obama has retrospectively exposed the anti-war movement between 2003 and 2009 as partisan rather than principled. The Left is now as quiet about Barack Obama’s preemptive war without congressional approval — against an Arab Muslim oil-exporting nation run by a madman who was at the time being courted by intellectuals, academics, and sympathetic American politicians — as it was not long ago incensed about George Bush’s preemptive war with congressional approval — against an Arab Muslim oil-exporting nation run by a madman who was at the time ostracized by the world and condemned by several U.N. resolutions.

Apr. 16 2012 10:18 AM
fuva from Harlemworld

Puhlease...Hilary Rosen's words weren't perfect, but her meaning was pretty clear to me, and resonant: Ann Romney cannot relate or speak to the economic plight of 99% of mothers -- working OR stay-at-home...

Apr. 16 2012 10:18 AM
inwoodita from nyc

Having "mean girl" Maureen Dowd on to discuss the supposed disregard of women by a dem is just suspiciously catty. What, we have to get one mean girl to talk about another mean girl? And for that matter, nobody is fooled by Ann Romney's stay-at-home work -- she had four homes, and definitely had the kind of help that most stay-at-home moms can only dream of. We all know what REAL people go through when they stay at home to raise their children. They cook, they clean, they chauffeur, they manage everyone's time. Do you think anyone really believes Ann Romney did all this? It was no "gift" to the GOP.

Apr. 16 2012 10:16 AM

What is it about NPR that everyone trying to be super correct in their pronunciation of the Colombian city actually mispronounces the name. It is CAR-TAH-HEY-NA, no tilde, no "y" sound at the end.

Apr. 16 2012 10:14 AM

Just heard a little from Romney's comment "... the dignity of work"
I'm a stay at home mom, and I DO work. And I'm also spending a lot of my time translating stories for free (I even offered E.L. James to translate her trilogy in French when it was a fan fiction), so I think he meant "the dignity of earning money", and it sickens me, because you don't need to earn money to be worth something and have a fulfilled life.
On the other hands, it also sickens me when a woman has to work 3 jobs to make ends meet... There is nothing dignifying when you can't have one job that pays enough and you have to work 80 hours a week.

Apr. 16 2012 10:14 AM
Nancy Cadet from Fort Greene

Can we at least pronounce the name of the city correctly, pundits and "news experts" ? It is /kar-tuh-hay/nuh/.

There is no tilde over the N. Hello?¡ Or should I write hola .... But then you might say /ho- luh/!

Apr. 16 2012 10:14 AM
eddie from Brooklyn

Please, please,'s CartageNA, NOT Cartageña. I wince whenever I hear someone in the media mispronounce this.

But seriously, I love Maureen Dowd.

Apr. 16 2012 10:13 AM
Tara from NYC

Maureen Dowd is another person I would like NEVER to hear from again in media. She has no credibility!

Apr. 16 2012 10:09 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Martin: don't forget her never-ending diatribe on Hillary Clinton. Dowd is a bandwagon jumper.

Apr. 16 2012 09:36 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

LOL....this is ironic chutzpah .... that the original “mean girl” is discussing attacks on women!

Brian, please ask her about her own 15 years of philippics on an arm length list of women.

Dowd has been mailing in the same tired column for years…a snarky, vicious diatribe on any current female who doesn’t toe her political line. From her shameful treatment of Monica Lewinsky through her nasty comments on (colleague) Judy Miller, Palin, Bachmann, Clarence Thomas’s wife, Liz Cheney, Callista Gingrich…well, you get the picture.

Feminism, indeed. If she were a man, she’d be Bill Maher.

Apr. 16 2012 09:30 AM

i'd like to hear from Romney's nanny.

Apr. 16 2012 08:58 AM
namey from nyc

did anyone read Frank Bruni's gratuitous column yesterday, defending his late mother, like she was under some attack from liberal women "everywhere" for being a stay at home mom...Even though an apology was issued by the woman who fired off that discussion and basically, Bruni and Hilary Rosen agree on 99% of everything.

When a candidate pushes his wife into presidential arena, guess what, she's no longer a private person.

Apr. 16 2012 08:23 AM
Ed from Larchmont

If the election looks close, what do you think the chances are the Hilary Clinton will be the vice-presidential candidate on the democratic ticket?

Apr. 16 2012 08:05 AM

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