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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/10/2011

Women offended by Md. officials' remarks

By Washington Post editors

Women are reacting with outrage over the comments made by two Frederick County commissioners Tuesday advising Head Start mothers to stay married and not hold jobs outside the home, The Gazette reports.

Commissioners Kirby Delauter (R) and C. Paul Smith (R) said during a meeting that the best way to help their children succeed in life is to stay married and stay home with their children. Both men touted their wives and the sacrifices they made by not holding jobs outside the home.

Read more about the dispute in The Gazette.

By Washington Post editors  | February 10, 2011; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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Comments

So, sometimes the truth hurts...but it doesn't change the truth, does it?

Posted by: NO-bama | February 10, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

So, sometimes the truth hurts...but it doesn't change the truth, does it? Since when is staying home to raise kids less important than getting a job?

Posted by: NO-bama | February 10, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Why are the children's fathers absolved from any responsibility for maintaining the marriage or supporting the family? If they were going to criticize these women, shouldn't they have waited until the sperm donors were present as well?

Posted by: morattico | February 10, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

This story is infuriating on so many levels. The fact that Frederick County is cutting funds to the Head Start program is disappointing, but not infuriating. However, what IS infuriating is that rather than simply justifying the cuts as a necessary consequence of the county's budget problems, these male county commissioners felt the need to offer up their alternative suggestion, revealing just how antiquated, chauvinistic, sexist, and out of touch with reality they really are. Their suggestion: why don't the mothers just stay home with their children? After all, according to Paul Smith, "the mother's role is primarily in the home." He and his wife and his children are in aggreement on this, so obviously the rest of us should agree as well. Don't trouble yourselves with thoughts of a woman's independence and her very reasonable right to want and have a career; don't consider that a woman shouldn't necessarily be expected to stay home with the children merely because, due to biology, she was the one to give birth to them; and of course DEFINITELY don't confuse yourself by considering the fact that the Head Start program is for DISADVANTAGED children and thus their parents probably need to work and can't afford to stay home, whether they want to or not. I wonder what Paul Smith would say if all of those mothers decided to stay home with their children per his suggestion and then had to file for welfare benefits? Somehow I suspect that he would have some negative things to say about that.

Some parents have the financial luxury of being able to choose whether to stay home with their children or to work, and whatever choice they make is not deserving of judgment simply because of their gender. Many men and women, however, do NOT have a choice because their need to financially support their children demands that they work and not stay home with their children. The fact that these male commissioners do not understand this fundamental logic in this day and age is highly disturbing.

Posted by: AK33077 | February 10, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

No-brainer: Since "feeding the children" and "putting a roof over their heads" became an issue after Bush drove the country into the ground.

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | February 10, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Typical GOP thought process. It must be nice to live in a world without gray. It's all black or white with them.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 10, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

gee, maybe these two geniuses wives have the option to stay at home, but the rest of us don't. The GOP is soooo out of touch with mainstream America, but all they have to do is say - "we're you" and it's the same foolatards who vote them in. If you're middle class and you vote republican you are a completeanduttermoron.

Posted by: red2million | February 10, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

gee, maybe these two geniuses wives have the option to stay at home, but the rest of us don't. The GOP is soooo out of touch with mainstream America, but all they have to do is say - "we're you" and it's the same foolatards who vote them in. If you're middle class and you vote republican you are a completeanduttermoron.

Posted by: red2million | February 10, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The County is WRONG!! Dont stay married, GET DIVORCED!! Your kids can raise themselvs, so go get a job and dont worry about it!!

Posted by: 75247524 | February 10, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The County is WRONG!! Dont stay married, GET DIVORCED!! Your kids can raise themselvs, so go get a job and dont worry about it!!

Posted by: 75247524 | February 10, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I thought the commissioners were well versed in our county finances. The majority of the people who live here cannot afford to be here with one income. Also, I was NOT a stay at home mom and my children grew up to be successful contributors to society. I am curious to see how their children turn out with the stay at home moms. Is that a guarantee that children will be smart, make good decisions, be healthy, etc. If so, then no one should work. If one parent stays home and can produce such great outcomes, imagine if both stayed home. So, commissioners, why don't you stay home with your wives and children and SHOW us how successful you can be.

Posted by: janie-b | February 13, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

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