Project Wonderful

Friday, September 14, 2012

Oh, Get Over Yourselves

If you want to take umbrage with the way Republicans talk about women, be my guest. You can discuss Paul Ryan's vote against Equal Pay, Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" comments or Michele Bachmann's belief that wives should be submissive to their husbands. But when it comes to Ohio Governor John Kasich talking about his wife doing the laundry, everyone needs to CTFO.

Kasich's comment was meant to highlight the very real sacrifice that candidates' wives make to help their spouses run for office, it was not a universal prescription for all married relationships nor an indictment of working women.
Listen for yourself above. He doesn't even say "wives" he says "spouses."

"It’s not easy to be a spouse of an elected official," he said. "You know, they’re at home, doing the laundry and doing so many things while we’re up here on the stage getting a little bit of applause, right? They don’t often share in it. And it is hard for the spouse to hear the criticism and to put up with the travel schedule and to have to be at home taking care of the kids. And where is the politician? Out on the road."

Far be it for me to define feminism for anybody, but it seems to me that temporarily taking a back seat to help your spouse of any gender succeed in his/her career is a perfectly valid and supportive choice. Kasich's wife actually had a career for many years. The presumption that Gov. Kasich and his counterparts somehow forced their wives into these roles rather than that these women made a choice as part of their partnerships seems more anti-feminist.

There are a lot of creepy, deplorable things in John Kasich's record on women (like the fact that he pays his male staffers 56% more than his female staffers) but I call bullshit on this. I don't approve of Republicans degrading women to score political points and I won't sanction the reverse.

Don't worry, there is PLENTY at the crossroads of gender and politics that is actually worth spending time on this election cycle.


  1. I agree 100%. It's so bizarre that, with so many legitimate differences and so many huge policy points to talk about, the parties are super concerned with who's releasing tax returns, and examining birth certificates, and jumping on everyone that makes any kind of comment that can remotely be misinterpreted. It's so shitty.

  2. I still think Romney should release his tax returns, because that is relevant to the campaign.