"Fox News’ Keith Ablow: Working Moms Like Hilary Rosen Despise Themselves"
In a new column rife with his usual brand of audacious conjecture, Keith Ablow of Fox News’ Medical A-Team takes aim at Hilary Rosen and all working moms (and arguably all feminists), suggesting they are “anti-gender” and “despise the parts of themselves” drawn to motherhood:
These “anti-gender” women have it in for anyone who embraces her femininity, maternal instincts and capacity to nurture as their highest priority — postponing or passing up other laudable opportunities to work at, say, a law firm or as a marketing executive. They despise the notion that some women may indeed be drawn — instinctively and happily — toward creating special and loving environments in which to raise their children, while spending all their available time sustaining and enriching those environments and those children.
They despise the parts of themselves that may be drawn to such roles, as well. That’s why women like Hilary Rosen make such outlandish statements, to begin with. They’re essentially talking to themselves — albeit, with the rest of the world forced to listen — trying to reassure themselves that their own choices in life weren’t only equally as good as those of other women, but better. Far, far better. They feel like their choices are better because they have thrown off the shackles of roles that were once “expected” of them, leaving them not only freer than, but superior to, those women who don’t feel enslaved at home, but feel fulfilled at home.
Unsurprisingly, Ablow assumes that gender norms are good and haven’t been used to discriminate against women for almost all of humanity. Perhaps he’d like to roll back all of the freedoms women have fought for over the past century so they can fully embrace their “maternal instincts” with nothing to distract them from what he seems to see as their true calling. Ablow, of course, includes a jab at Rosen for being a lesbian, suggesting she’s only capable of supporting “alternative lifestyles.”
As Carlos Maza points out at Equality Matters, Ablow’s column includes all his usual pop-psychology tropes:
- Violating professional ethics standards by diagnosing a public figure without permission or a formal examination
- Peddling unscientific and sexist stereotypes about how men and women are supposed to behave
- Using any excuse to take an unprovoked potshot at the Obama administration
But all of that aside, Ablow accidentally concedes that the intention of Rosen’s comments was exactly right, suggesting that many of his clients “wouldn’t be going to work for very long if their spouses made millions as investors (as Mitt Romney has done).” If Ann Romney really didn’t go to work, choosing instead to “allow her husband to go out and make the money to support all of them,” why doesn’t Ablow simply agree with Rosen?