Elizabeth Wurtzel has an interesting piece in the Atlantic, in which she touches upon whether or not Ann Romney’s – Mitt’s unemployed, 1% wife, whose dressage champ is going to the Olympics! – actually, you know, works. She states “I am going to smack the next idiot who tells me that raising her children full time — by which she really means going to Jivamukti classes and pedicure appointments while the nanny babysits — is her feminist choice.”
This surprised me, because I generally think of Wurtzel as being a very critical, non-judgemental thinker.
Fun story: I grew up doing dressage. My mom does dressage. I had a wonderful nanny. Due to various aspects of my upbringing I cannot pretend I am not backing Ann Romney’s horse in this race.
Now that we have had that fun full disclosure, which potentially means that you can dismiss my opinion as biased: I think Ann Romney is absolutely right to say that she works.
However, I think Ann is trying to give people the impression that she was simultaneously changing the diapers for six colicky infants, and I don’t think that was the case. I doubt that. I do think she works, but then, I think the kind of work done by wives of 1%ers is very, very different.
Being a rich mom — even with five sons, bless her heart — is not even sort of a job. Housekeepers there, servants there: it’s not just that being a wealthy wife is not work in the way that being a corporate litigator or a corporal in the Army is work, it’s that it doesn’t even involve picking up Lego pieces and putting away GI Joe dolls or much of any of the stuff that makes being a mom a job…It is not a selective position.
I feel fairly confident in saying that being married to a man like Romney is a very selective position, and it would be very hard work. She has servants for housecleaning and a nanny? Great. Her job has nothing to do with changing diapers. Her job has little to do with vacuuming. What her job, very likely, has to do with is keeping her husband happy.
Oh, I think this is a job where you get servants and nannies. You get all kinds of perks. And all you have to do in return is be perfect all the time.