Saturday, April 14, 2012

Women’s Issues

Two things have happened recently that have to do with women. One is Ashley Judd’s criticism of society’s attitude towards women’s looks. The other was a comment made by a strategist for the Democratic Party and a pundit, Hillary Rosen. She made the statement that Mitt Romney’s wife “hasn’t worked a day in her life.” Let me start with the Rosen remark.

Being a Democrat, I presume Rosen is also a liberal. One thing about liberals, as I see it, is that they are all about free choice – as long as you make the “right” choice according to their way of thinking. If you don’t, you are vilified. Mrs. Romney obviously didn’t make the “right” choice, and thus “wasted” her life by raising her family and not pursuing a career, which apparently would lead to more fulfillment. When you understand where liberals are coming from, Rosen’s comment makes perfect sense.

Rosen made two mistakes. First, she criticized a candidate’s wife, which is not appropriate. Second, she let her liberal bias show in a very mean-spirited way. To her, what she said was consistent with liberal orthodoxy going back to the earlier days of the women’s liberation movement, when women were denounced for being stay-at-home moms. What she wasn’t expecting was the firestorm of criticism, even from her fellow liberals.

As far as I’m concerned, and some will disagree with me, the ideal is for women to stay home and raise the kids. Bringing up kids is never easy, and it seems these days the job is even more challenging. Of course my ideal isn’t always possible. With the cost of living so high, many women have to work outside the home. Some, of course, choose to pursue a career and raise a family, which is their choice and should be respected.

Regarding Ashley Judd’s complaint that people are obsessed with women’s appearance, I think she might have overreacted. As a celebrity, men and women are constantly in the spotlight. Since quite a few celebrities have plastic surgery, it is natural to ask the question if a person’s appearance changed.

However, her main point is valid: people are obsessed with looks, especially women’s looks. It isn’t just men she’s criticizing either, but women too. Unfortunately we as a society have made women into objects, and often beauty is valued more than character or other attributes. On the other hand, most people want to make the most of what they have, and so women get their hair done, put on at least some makeup, and dress well. Some work out or jog. Men also try to dress for success, keep their hair trimmed, shave in the morning, and may also work out or jog. So there’s nothing wrong with trying to look your best. I think the problem comes when looks become an obsession.

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