Op Ed

Takedown: Thank you, Ann Romney

There has been a lot going around the internet these past few weeks regarding the conventions. I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to most of it, because I think that the conventions are little more than unpaid advertisements for either side and while the speeches can be inspiring, there isn’t much new. This picture, though, came out of the Republican Convention, and I just – I can’t.

Picture of Ann Romney captioned "Thank you, Ann Romney, for inspiring American women to dream bigger than free birth control and government dependence... but to aim for the stars and hold dear our God given right to freedom!"

I mean – thank you, Ann Romney, for inspiring American women to dream bigger?

Don’t get me wrong – I think Ann Romney is probably smart, and kind, and hard-working, and the woman raised five kids and battled MS and of course that is to be admired. But inspiring women to dream bigger?

From her speech: “It’s the moms of this nation – single, married, widowed – who really hold this country together. We’re the mothers, we’re the wives, we’re the grandmothers, we’re the big sisters, we’re the little sisters, we’re the daughters.”

So to start out, she’s not trying to inspire women, she’s trying to inspire moms. Hey, I’m a mom, so she’s aiming at me – but 19% of 40-44-year-old women in America are not moms. She’s a mom, she wants to talk about being a mom, that’s fine; but that doesn’t mean she’s inspiring women, it means that the crapdate poster is, as we often find with the Republican party, completely blind to anybody who doesn’t look just like them.

I didn’t see her speech, but I found a transcript, and I failed to find much of anything that was inspiring to women. Lots of vague Mitt-Romney-is-the-best references, such as “This man will not fail. This man will not let us down. This man will lift up America!” That isn’t particularly inspiring, just…putting in a good word for her husband. Lots of talk about how hard it is to be a mother, but is that supposed to inspire me to…do something? All sorts of mentions of the economy and how, again, it’s hard to be a mother. What was her speech supposed to inspire me to do?

The crapdate poster either didn’t understand the speech or is hoping that their followers aren’t paying attention. “Hold dear to our God given right to Freedom” are just words that the crapdate poster vomited all over the image, words that aren’t supposed to be looked at critically but are intended to make somebody feel instantly patriotic, like the lone tear on the cheek of a glittery bald eagle picture. She didn’t talk about freedom., and actually, didn’t even use the word freedom. The speech was on one hand an endorsement for her husband, and on the other hand an attempt to seem relatable. But not to women. To moms.

But beyond that – no woman I know is dreaming about government dependence or believe that free birth control is the end-all-be-all of quality-of-life indicators. Instead, we know that equality is critical to our “God given right to freedom,” that to accept being treated as second-class because of the shape of our genitals is the opposite of “aiming for the stars,” and that pretending like the Republican party loves women by pointing out that there was a woman who spoke at the convention and look! she mentioned motherhood! is just another way to gloss over the issues at hand.

There was one part of Ann Romney’s speech that I found inspiring: “We’re too smart to know there aren’t easy answers. But we’re not dumb enough to accept that there aren’t better answers.” That’s right. We’re too smart to believe that the way women are treated in society right now is okay just because it’s always been that way, we’re too smart to believe that sitting down and letting things happen as they will will change anything, we’re too smart to say “hey, it’s just birth control, I’ll pay for it myself.” We are too smart to believe that there are easy answers when it comes to women in society, but we’re not dumb enough to accept that there aren’t better answers.

And the better answers when it comes to women? Definitely not going to be found by voting Republican. So in a way, the crapdate poster is right. Thanks, Ann. Thanks for inspiring me to dream big, to expect equality, and to vote for Obama.

By Susan

I am old and wise. Perhaps more old than wise, but once you're old, you don't give a shit about details anymore.

11 replies on “Takedown: Thank you, Ann Romney”

I damn near hate her as bad as her husband. Every time she talks about her MS and breast cancer I want to stab her in the cheek with a silver pickle fork. I’d respect her a fuck of a lot more if she was out there fighting for every woman to have the same access to health care she got.

YES. EXACTLY. But no, she and Twitt – oops, Mitt – are milking this in order to gain some sort of connection with their audience that they do NOT deserve. I will never wish ill health on a person – I’d feel bad if it took – but if she’s going to use it for personal gain I’d like to see a bit of struggle.

You know why I don’t dream of birth control, ma’am?

Because I except my government to take care of my health. I know this is very 2007 but: kthnxbye

(yeaaaah I know, this European has no right to talk with her horrible government supporting slutty teenagers getting not-pregnant, but still).

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