February 22, 2016

The guy who signed a bill defunding Planned Parenthood this weekend was full of himself today.

Speaking at a town hall in Fairfax, VA about his first election at age 26, Kasich said, "We just got an army of people, and many women who left their kitchens to go out and go door to door and to put yard signs up for me all over."

Oh my. They left their kitchens, did they? How brave of them!

One woman in attendance wasn't especially pleased with that bit of puffery, telling Kasich she'd come out for him, but she wouldn't be leaving her kitchen.

Indeed. Are women still back in the 1950s somewhere? It appears so.

John Amato:

John Kasich, is the supposedly moderate Republican still hanging around in the 2016 GOP presidential primary. I'm sure he'll snatch up the remaining lady votes now because women love being portrayed as homemakers, with their hair in nets as they wash their dishes and prepare dinner for their husbands.

There's no doubt they will immediately ditch their wifely duties to support him.


The Washington Post's Philip Bump rushed to justify Kasich's remarks:

In 1978, women were more likely to stay at home than they are today. The labor force participation rate -- the percentage of women old enough to work who actually were working or looking for work -- had been steadily climbing for some time prior to that and would continue to grow.

I was new to the workforce in 1978, as were many of the young women I went to school with. You might recall that the fight for the ERA was an early 1970s battle which, while ultimately not won, certainly changed women's attitudes about being in the workplace and earning a living.

And if the ERA didn't do it, the economy sure did. We'd just come out of a recession from 1973-1975 and the economy was beginning to recover, but not at a pace that gave much of anyone the luxury of hanging around in the kitchen in bedroom slippers.

It's worth also noting that the recovery was brought about by growth in service industries, a place where women traditionally were able to find jobs more easily than other sectors.

If they want to use our mothers as an excuse for what seems to me to be a very tone-deaf comment about women and their role in society, fine. But many of us -- myself included -- had mothers who worked, too. As a kid, if anyone was in the kitchen, it was usually me. She was working to keep food in the house for us to eat.

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