The gist of Ann Romney’s appeal to women at the Republican National Convention last night was undeniably sympathetic: It’s really hard to be a woman.
“You’re the ones who always have to do a little more,” she said. “You know what it’s like to work a little harder during the day to earn the respect you deserve at work and then come home to help with that book report which just has to be done.”
Amen, sister. In her new book, The End of Men, Hanna Rosin reports that, even when women take on the traditionally male role of the family breadwinner, they’re reluctant to cede the domestic sphere. Time use studies suggest that, no matter how much women earn, they still do more than their share of the child-rearing, housekeeping domestic work.
The GOP solution to women’s plight, as transmitted through Ann, isn’t an equal pay act, paid maternity leave, or subsidized family planning. It’s to fix the economy, with her hardworking “great American success story” of a husband leading by example. That way, the “little things” — “the price of the pump you could not believe and the grocery bills that just get bigger, all those things that used to be free, like school sports are now one more bill to pay” — become manageable again. (And you don’t have to bring home a second paycheck after all?)
But even if women could pay all the bills and have “the good jobs, the chance at college, and the home you want to buy,” would things would things get easier? Not if Ann’s any example! Her husband is superrich, and she still has to work crazy hard. She’s solely responsible for her presidential-nominee husband’s likability, not to mention her own, and still has to find time to bake traditional Welsh skillet cakes for the press corps.
The Washington Post reports that they’re “a delicious mix of salt and sweet, very moist and buttery.”