Rick Santorum was a total douche when it came to women’s rights, especially when it came to single moms. Take for example denying aid if you cannot or will not name the father of your child. Really now?
But Santorum’s exit from the presidential race has quickly closed a topic no would-be president wants to touch: the role of working and stay-at-home mothers play in American society.
Santorum’s views about women (and his proposed ‘solutions’) were extremely distorted, no doubt about that. But he had opened a door to issues that no politician would want to breach in the first place.
Mitt Romney and Barrack Obama dodged the gender bullet, with Romney saying his wife hears more about women than him while Obama says “we shouldn’t pry into the private affairs of a candidate’s wife”.
While we have seen some progress in these fields, the issue was quickly dropped almost as soon as Santorum was out of the picture. Both the Democrats and Republicans were quick to revert back to safer issues (like the economy) instead of directly addressing the issues of working and stay-at-home moms.
Times like this you miss having a candidate that brings these issues out in the open – even if that candidate is dead wrong on so many things.
The remaining candidates, on the other hand, have their work cut out for them.
Obama has a somewhat decent track record with working women, as accessible health insurance and increased childcare allowed moms to better focus on their careers. Lack of paid sick days, childcare for middle-income families and even problems with child literacy in single-parent families are issues that his camp has yet to solidly answer.
The Romney camp, on the other hand, provides scant information on how to help alleviate the plight of working moms. A recent conference call on Fox News, where a group of Romney’s advisers fumbled big time on the gender gap in hiring, does not help either.