The Leap of Faith That Is Supporting Mitt Romney
The Grammar of Gender

Irin Carmon on Ann Romney

Ann Romney: Love Mitt, please:

An election cycle in which her husband has declared [mandated] birth control coverage to be a threat to religious liberty is an inconvenient time for her to talk about “that couple who would like to have another child, but wonder how will they afford it.” A convention for a party that opposes any legislation around equal pay for women is an inopportune moment to discuss the “working moms who love their jobs but would like to work just a little less to spend more time with the kids, but that’s just out of the question with this economy.”

A campaign that has stubbornly declared that there is no such thing as women’s issues, that women care about jobs and gas prices, is forced to make an appeal relying both on gender essentialism and the explicit admission that women face structural challenges. Or as Ann put it, “I’m not sure if men really understand this, but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better!” No one expects it to be easy. Some people work for it to be better.