If feminists had their druthers women like Ann Romney would no longer exist.
They see her as a relic, a vestige of a past that is long gone and forgotten.
At a time when women have been indoctrinated into believing that she should not marry young and should not to be housewives, homemakers and helpmates to their husbands, along comes Ann Romney to present an alternative.
Noreen Malone expresses the feminist chagrin:
What is more powerful about Mrs. Romney is how she seems to encapsulate a bygone way of life, the old America that seems to have slipped away, an America in which people are prosperous enough to raise five children on one salary, and fill their garage with “a couple of Cadillacs.” An America where the wife has time to make Welsh skillet cakes and volunteer for equine therapy programs and wears pink dresses with nipped waists because that’s how her husband prefers her to look, where her favorite movie, after all these years, is the one she saw on their first date, where she and her husband look at each other adoringly and hold hands in public like they’ve been doing since they were teenagers, because they have.
Ann Romney came of age at the onset of second wave feminism. Second wave feminists had passed beyond issues like suffrage and property rights and arrogated to themselves the right to dictate how women lived their lives.
It was nothing if not audacious. Second wave feminists passed withering judgments on any woman who dared to live her life as she saw fit. They despised and shunned women who refused to sacrifice their lives to the feminist cause.
They did not approve of Ann Romney.
For those who do not remember those times, Ashley Parker reports on Ann Romney’s struggles with her peers:
She married young and started a family over the protests of her parents. She chose to become a homemaker, even though the newly emboldened career women of her era in Boston would, as she put it, “turn their noses down at me.”
Mrs. Romney found herself a young mother — she had one son, with a second on the way — in a world where women were immersed in the feminist movement. Friends and family members say Mrs. Romney felt disparaged for her choice to stay home with her boys.
Defy feminist precepts and you found yourself criticized and shunned.
Dripping with her own special contempt, Amanda Marcotte declares that Ann Romney’s life cannot possibly be real:
It would have never occurred to me that a lot of Americans still romanticize the idea of marrying your high school sweetheart or that people still think there's honor in marriages that subsume the individuals into the concept of "us." In part, that's because no one I know, liberal or conservative, actually lives like that. But as Noreen writes, Ann Romney captures a "simmering wistfulness" for an era when women knew their place and love means being attached at the hip. That fantasy must be pretty widespread, as Romney's approval ratings are close to Michelle Obama's at this point. Knowing this helps me understand, for instance, why so many conservatives become unhinged with anger at the very existence of a Sandra Fluke or a Stephanie Cutter. They're comparing them to women like Romney, imagining that these women would have ended up as cookie-baking political spouses in an alternate universe where second wave feminism didn't happen, and that perceived loss creates anger.
Doubtless this says more about Marcotte’s circle of friends than about reality. Keep in mind, as reported on this blog, that 84% of working mothers would rather stay at home with their children.
Like other feminist zealots Marcotte offers no respect for a woman who has chosen to be a wife and a homemaker, who defines herself as a companion to her husband, who cooperates with him and who sees them as one marital unit.
For Marcotte a women who would make such a choice would be sacrificing her individuality. She disapproves of all women who do not make their lives and their marriages into battlegrounds in the class struggle between men and women.
Unfortunately, for Marcotte, the Romney marriage seems, by all appearances, to work very well for both parties.
Thus, Malone and Marcotte are obliged to pronounce it as unreal.
When she begins to offer something like an analysis Marcotte explains that the popularity of this or that First Lady is a barometric indicator of how the culture sees women.
I suspect that she also fears that Romney marriage might liberate young women from the pressure to live the feminist nightmare.
For Marcotte, the ideal marriage might resemble the Obama marriage, because Michelle Obama did have a career. Better yet, the feminist ideal might be like the Clinton marriage.
All of us, except Marcotte, know how well that has worked out.
Marcotte describes the Clinton marriage, thusly:
The nerdy feminist draws the cutest boy in school!
Marcotte ignores the salient fact that the cutest boy in school has spent his marriage cheating on the nerdy feminist. Calling it a sign of a loving marriage would be a stretch.
For her feminist purposes Marcotte drops this salient detail. Apparently, she cannot tell the difference between reality and an ideal?