Thursday, April 12, 2012

There's Nothing Wrong With An Old Fashioned Man

Like many women today, I was incensed by Hilary Rosen's put down of Ann Romney and her husband.

Any woman who raises five children knows what "work" is.  Especially while battling MS among other ills over the years.  And just because a woman hasn't held a job that draws a paycheck doesn't mean she isn't keenly aware of the economics of living.  Even if wealthy.

By the same token, when a man defers to his wife as his source of knowledge about what women want it's pretty normal.  Men are from Mars.  Remember?  They don't fully understand women any better than we fully understand them.  We think differently.  It also doesn't mean he doesn't think of women as equals.

I'm married to an old fashioned guy.  One who doesn't wear his hat in the house, will still open a door for me, says please and thank you on a regular basis and remembers my birthday and our anniversary.

I remember him telling me, before we were married, about his accomplishments and what he wanted in the future.  The main thing was to be able to take care of his family.  That family has turned out to be just me and a passel of dogs over the years.

I didn't have to work, but having done so for a long time before marrying, I found myself missing the challenges and interactions with those "out there".  He never denied me when I went back to my work on various occasions, but I knew his feelings were hurt.  You see, in his generation, it was something expected of men - to provide, and a source of great pride when they were successful.  Mitt Romney is only five years younger than we are and I would guess his upbringing was much the same.

All that being said, my husband was as non-chauvinistic a man as you could find.  Women didn't work for him, they worked with him.  If they had the ability to do the job and did it they were treated no differently than their male counterparts.  The same truth applied if they failed.

The President has allegedly said they didn't have the luxury of Michelle not working.  He had a law degree from Harvard but chose to be a community organizer.  Her $300,000+ salary far outweighed his, obviously.  His priorities were different from Hubs; he could bask in his wife's earnings.  But I'd hardly say they were denied the luxury.

Once again it's a generational difference.  We've always been a team but he carried the weight because he felt it was his responsibility.  We're equals but as he once told me our strengths are in diffrent areas.  Not one better than the other, just different.

Maybe that's the difference.  We're the last of the "we" generation. Ms. Rosen and the Obamas represent the "me" generation. I'm old fashioned, I admit.  I'm becoming less flexible in my thinking; I tend to brush off rationale unless it really makes sense.  I do know,  however,  I  don't blame Hub for my shortcomings and he doesn't blame me for his.  We're pretty, what's the word I'm looking for - equal?  The paycheck may be a measure but not the only one and not necessarily the most important.


Betty said...

Hilary Rosen is a fool. In my lifetime, I have had periods of staying at home and raising the children and keeping house, and I have worked outside the home, and I have to say working outside the home was easier in many ways. Just as staying at home was easy in many ways. Ms Rosen should stick to things she knows.

Margie's Musings said...

Bob and I were in the same generation with the same mindset as you and hub, Mari.

Bob never wanted me to work but when our daughter needed braces on her teeth, I wanted to supply those.

He finally relented and I did that.

cconz said...

Get down on Hilary ,she was out of line with that stupid comment. But,what's with the Obama bash. Seems to me he came to the defense of romney. Something none of those lousy republicans would do if it were reversed.

Word Tosser said...

This one, I have to say I don't quite agree... see I took it as she meant it.. it wasn't about working hard.. it was about having to bring home a wage.. and juggling bills and food... and hope there was enough. I have been on both sides.. both as a divorcee and a widow.. I never took Hilary's comment to mean that a person working in an office, works harder than a mom who stayed home and corraled kids along with keeping the house hold going.
And if Romney's wife is the only one he is getting the advise about women who earn a wage... then we are in big trouble. While you women have been blessed (and I mean that in the kindess of ways) to have a man who could who could afford for you to stay home.. there are a lot of women out there who don't. And sadly there are a lot more of them, then there are of us (I am retired). I worked with those women, who tried their best to do both. Some times by themselves. Be it was by their choice or what life dealt up.. it is hard. Same for the wife who stayed home, with the kids and kept eveything going. And had to juggle the finances to make sure her husband check covered everything. The comment was never about who labored the hardest, it was about economics.
I.M. H.O.

Bay Views said...

Alas, we are a disappearing generation that is being replaced by those who respect nothing or anyone other than themselves. That fill their reality with drugs so that lacking actual accomplishments they can feel good anyway.

They tend to believe that the world owes them a living, just because they did well in their parent's home.

Mari Meehan said...

Conz, you're right about Obama defending Mrs. ROmney and with that al mothers who stay home and raise kids. The reference to Obama was the suggestion that Michelle was forced to work by their circumstances. With their combined educations and potential I should think it was a choice rather than an imposition - or were they living beyond their means? It's not a bash, just trying to make a point.

Mari Meehan said...

It was and it wasn't about economics. As you pointed out it affects both sides of the equation. I think you've taken the side Great Van Susteran took. Actually, it was really a slam against Romney rather than his wife but it was too good a political opportunity to look at it that way. It's much more effective to make it seem an attack against stay at home moms - which it wasn't. It was more about Romney's narrow vision.

Anonymous said...

Hat tip to the Ann Romney's in this world. Hat tip to the "We" generation, and all the values they hold dear to their hearts.