Beto’s problematic pas of the faux variety was making a light, humorous remark suggesting his wife makes more of a contribution to taking care of their kids than does he.
Heaven forbid there be any kind of traditional gender roles in his household. Furthermore, thou shalt not express appreciation for thy woman’s sacrifice.
During the program, he said his wife — Amy — is rearing their three children “sometimes with [his] help.”
He got ripped like a cheap shirt.
Beto tells a coffee shop crowd that he just talked with his wife, Amy. “She is raising, sometimes with my help,” their three kids. Then says he’s running for president for his kids, and theirs.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) March 14, 2019
Here’s a bit of snagging from Vox:
“Jack Kerouac-style, he roams around, jobless (does he not need a job?) to find himself and figure out if he wants to lead the free world,” Nia-Malika Henderson wrote at CNN in January, during what she called Beto O’Rourke’s “excellent adventure.” “This is a luxury no woman or even minority in politics could ever have.”
One reason a Jack Kerouac-style journey would be difficult for many women: Moms, on average, still spend more time on child care than dads do. And mothers still face the widespread expectation that they’ll be the primary caregivers for their kids.
Say it ain’t so! Why would women — people with lactating breasts who carry their young for three-quarters of a year while feeding them from the inside with their bodies’ own nutrients — be primary caregivers to the human beings they pushed out of themselves like shoving a watermelon through that extra tiny front pocket on the right side of your jeans?
A dad who jokes about being a “sometimes” parent might get some criticism on Twitter, but he’ll also get knowing laughs from people who are used to seeing moms as the ones in charge of kids. A mom who makes the same joke — well, she’s just a bad mom!
More on male chauvinism:
The comment, some said, was meant as self-deprecation and an acknowledgment of the hard work Amy O’Rourke did for their family. But despite his intentions, Beto O’Rourke revealed a fundamental inequality of American life: While men throughout history have been able to rely on their wives to provide child care while they fulfill their political ambitions, women have rarely been able to count on partners to do the same. And as New York Magazine writer Rebecca Traister pointed out, a woman who joked about being a part-time parent while on the campaign trail would be harshly criticized — and might find her political career over before it began.
Child care responsibilities may affect whether women run for office — political scientists Jennifer Lawless and Richard Fox have found that as women’s household responsibilities decrease, their interest in running increases (the same was not true for men). It’s a relatively slight effect, but as Lawless and Fox notes, household duties might also affect how women run if they decide to do so — they quote gender politics scholar Georgia Duerst-Lahti, who says, “Women may now think about running for office, but they probably think about it while they are making the bed.”
For many mothers, “sometimes” parenting isn’t an option. And while Beto O’Rourke’s comment did draw attention to everything his wife does to support his campaign, it was also a reminder of the privileges many male candidates have that women don’t — in particular, the privilege of a partner who takes the lead in caring for your kids, and a society that accepts that as normal.
The enlightened on Twitter agreed:
Again, bc people keep pointing out that he is being progressive in this acknowledgment: issue is not his intentions, which may be good! It’s dynamic that permits him to say (do!) this, but would censure any woman for saying (or doing) same. He gets space that women are denied.
— Rebecca Traister (@rtraister) March 14, 2019
That just makes me not want to vote for him on a entirely different level like come on
— Cari Wade Gervin (@carigervin) March 14, 2019
if she was running, they’d have a nanny because he wouldn’t be expected to sacrifice his career for the family.
“he still has a wife taking care of the kids?!” really?! THEY ARE HIS KIDS TOO.
— kaja (@kajaecho) March 14, 2019
I hadn’t seen that. Thank you.
I was really irritated by the “Born to be in it” crap, which could be the title of a prize winning documentary about white male privilege.
Better him than Trump, of course, but once again here’s one of those ‘hold your nose and vote’ candidates.
— Jan Thie (@Jantar23) March 14, 2019
The woke are watching; and they’re in a mood. Just ask Debra Messing: She recently rankled their ranks by claiming women have vaginas (here). They’re a freight train of justice, and don’t mess with their toot toot.
Subsequently, Beto’s far too cool to be cool with his coffee house cut-up of gross misogyny and…racism(?).
On the Political Party LIVE podcast just two days after announcing his 2020 presidential candidacy, he got right with it, apologizing for his masculine shame and systemically racist white disposition:
“Not only will I not say that again, but I’ll be more thoughtful going forward in the way that I talk about our marriage.”
Additionally, he promised to be more mindful in the way…let’s see…what was it again?
“…the way in which I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege.”
Oh yeah. That.
“My ham-handed attempt to try to highlight the fact that Amy has the lion’s share of the burden in our family — that she actually works but is the primary parent in our family, especially when I served in Congress, especially when I was on the campaign trail — should have also been a moment for me to acknowledge that that is far too often the case, not just in politics, but just in life in general,” offered O’Rourke. “I hope as I have been in some instances part of the problem, I can also be part of the solution,” he added regarding criticism that female candidates could not make similar jokes about their families.
The media love Beto. The voters? Not as much — he lost to Ted Cruz in November.
Nevertheless, as social justice warriors chirp about the evils of white men, the former Senate candidate’s playin’ to the cheep seats.
Personally, I agree with Tucker Carlson: apologizing’s for the birds.