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Have We Not Gotten Past Professional Mother’s?

By Ray Cardello for August 10, 2021 Season 3 / Post 7

Elise Stefanik is a phenomenal power in the House of Representatives. Recently this American businesswoman and politician, serving as the U.S. representative for New York’s 21st congressional district since 2015, was elected chair of the House Republican Conference in 2021. She is the third-ranking House Republican. Stefanik is a supporter of President Donald Trump. Elise Stefanik is pregnant. I am not sure which of these facts raises the ire more for Democrats and the media.

Rep. Elise Stefanik slammed a local news outlet for its coverage of her, stating that commentary by two male journalists on her role as a working mother and GOP leader is “outrageously sexist. A local news station thinks it’s appropriate for two male ‘journalists/analysts’ to question whether a pregnant woman or new mother can effectively legislate in elected office.”

The segment, which aired on WCAX, included reporter Darren Perron asking, “In terms of leadership, will her absence though — physical absence — on Capitol Hill hurt her role in the Republican Party?” 

The reply from SUNY Plattsburgh political scientist Harvey Schantz was, “At a personal level, there’s always talking and backstabbing and coalition formation among members of the party, but it really shouldn’t interrupt Stefanik’s standing within the party.” During the conversation, Stefanik was referred to as “someone who wants to be scarce after having a child,” and “not up to full-time engagement on the floor of the House.” 

First of all, it was a really bad move for WCAX to have two men discussing a pregnant female in any capacity. There was no way for that conversation to end well, but they tried. And they failed. This interview turned into a classic example of liberal hypocrisy as if we needed one. In this era of equality, the Me Too Movement, and claims of sexism at the drop of a hat, what did these two men stand to gain by breaching the subject? Absolutely nothing. What they did was raise the ire of all women and unite the right to defend Congresswoman Stefanik.

Let us look at how the situation was handled differently when a Democrat Female Senator was pregnant. Ladda Tammy Duckworth is a retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel serving as the junior United States Senator from Illinois since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, she represented Illinois’s 8th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2017. Not only was she the first disabled woman to win an election from any state, but she also is the first Asian American woman to be elected to Congress from her home state. Senator Tammy Duckworth made history again when she was the first sitting United States senator to give birth while in office. She was nearly fifty when she gave birth to her second child in 2018. Nobody called her out for not being able to perform her duties. She was praised, and rightfully so, for all of her accomplishments.

Here are a few of the headlines at the time:

Tammy Duckworth will be the Senate’s first new mom. But she already has a record of blazing trails The Washington Post

Tammy Duckworth: The mother making history in the US Senate. BBC

Tammy Duckworth is pregnant. Would be 1st Senator to give birth in office. NBC News

Nobody took shots at Duckworth. Nobody called her out for not being able to perform her duties. So why the double standard? What makes Duckworth worthy of accolades and Stefanik the criticism? Political affiliation. The hero is a Democrat, while the inferior mom is a Republican. How sad is that?

A Mom may be the most demanding job you can imagine, and most women I know, and probably you do too, share the role of Mom with their chosen profession. That is what Tammy Duckworth did, and that is what Elise Stefanik will do. All Mothers deserve praise, support, and accolades. Damn anyone who thinks they can take shots at a woman who chooses to do it all. These hacks on WCAX cannot do one job well. Who are they to cast dispersions on anyone?

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