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Moms, Maids, & Lies

Dave Kopel wrote a wonderful article in the September issue of America’s First Freedom about the fake narrative of just being a stay-at-home mom that Shannon Watts created for herself. He highlights her political work as the Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan’s Public Affairs Officer during the same period that the governor was doing public events and public calls for gun control in the media, and yet Shannon claims she’s never ever worked on gun control before. Sure.

Shannon isn’t too happy about the fact that it uncovers her previous political career and work for a company hated by many of her followers – Monsanto – so she’s fighting back, but not because she can actually refute anything in the article. She’s getting women to argue with #MomsNotMaids because of the NRA publications department depiction of her.

ShannonWattsNRA

This is one of those times when neither party is right. (Except Dave and his excellent article, which will be sadly overlooked – exactly what Watts wants.)

Watts is wrong because she’s effectively arguing that real moms don’t clean their family homes. Um, hate to tell you Little Miss Priss Spoiled Girl, but the vast majority of moms do clean their own homes and know many of these little tools quite well. (Well, except for the rotary phone – that was a relic even when I was a child.) Making sure their kids live in a home that’s safe and that they are fed is a very typical role for a mother, obviously not something that a woman as wealthy as Watts does because that’s work for the maids.

Watt’s vehement reaction against being portrayed as a woman who cleans a home is also inherently demeaning. What is wrong with being a maid? I know plenty of women – mothers, even – who clean buildings and houses for a living. Why does Watts consider a perfectly legitimate and honorable profession to be an insult? Again, this is illustrative of her stuck-up elitist out-of-touch Twitter rants.

On the other hand, whoever designed this little illustration for NRA is also in the wrong, too. Stay-at-home moms are a hell of a lot more than just cleaning supplies, rotary telephones, and nearly archaic coffee makers. I’m not even a stay-at-home mother, and I am insulted by this attempt to sum up their days like this. The stay-at-home moms I know today are frequently home-schooling their kids, getting the kids involved in many hobbies and activities, or are active in non-profit groups. Even the sit-com stereotypes of how stay-at-home moms get their entertainment (through the phone, in the illustration) isn’t accurate for today if they were trying for a failed version of tongue-in-cheek.

The concept of a paper doll playing dress up for a part isn’t inherently a bad illustration for Shannon Watts and her little effort to pretend she’s not a paid professional with years of experience in Democratic politics and PR circles, but they didn’t even do a good job of trying to creating a visual image of how one would dress up and fake being a stay-at-home mom today.

This comes on the heels of some really great media coverage of pro-gun women lately, and I suspect that’s another reason why Watts is trying to make the NRA look anti-woman. Unfortunately, they gave her the bait to do it.

19 Responses to “Moms, Maids, & Lies”

  1. The_Jack says:

    Agreeded.

    A few takeaways

    1) Don’t give Watts bait, especially with such a confusing graphic. Since it doesn’t clearly convey the problem with Watts.

    2) The antis lie, and with impressive levels of doublethink. Because it’s good when she claims she’s just X, but if her opponents point out she’s not X, then she’ll scream that they’re merely calling her X.

    3) Watts has a Bloombergian grade ego (wonder if that contributed to why he picked her) and seems to have an even bigger glass jaw with regards to Lèse-majesté than even he has. Watts is really wrapped up in the idea that *she* is some sort of avatar of goodness and maternalism.

    She has also overreacted to such slights in the past before revealing a lack of self control and inability to handle things not going as she planned.

  2. Joe_in_Pitt says:

    Watts is as astroturf as they come, and I think the NRA is clearly trying to point that out. However giving her the bait to claim the sexist card means she will surely run with it and (as you said) distract everyone from the legitimate criticism and get them caught up in stupid Twitter battles about the “war on women”.

    With that said, maybe this is the part of the NRA’s strategy. Knowing how thin her skin is, perhaps they are trying to launch enough of these kinds of volleys to the point where she goes off the deep end and says something even her followers have no choice but to cringe at?

    • MattW says:

      I’m not sure I’d give the folks at the NRA behind the graphic that much credit. I’m sure it was just shortsightedness. They may be able to leverage the mistake down the road as you said, though.

      The NRA does have plenty to back up that they aren’t a sexist organization as they included more and more women as commentators, more focus on women members etc… They just need to keep up that good work.

  3. Whetherman says:

    My first thought on this is, don’t make too much out of it, because who is either side talking to other than their own people?

    Who is reading First Freedom that needs to be persuaded of the pro-gun position?

    And I first learned about this incident from a left wing site. I’m betting 99 percent of the people reading that article, come to it with a preconceived taste for gun control.

    For all intents and purposes nobody’s mind is going to be changed by this, so don’t over-analyze it.

    • jkp says:

      This is exactly right. I’m an NRA supporter, and I came to firearms primarily from a self-defense perspective, so carry issues/second amendment activism were always more important. But I found FIRST FREEDOM to be a waste of time as a magazine. I get the sense that the only people who read it are the ones who need to have their egos stroked. Probably the equivalent of left-wingers who spend their time reading SALON or THE NEW REPUBLIC.

      Ever since the first year, it’s been AMERICAN RIFLEMAN for me. They spend a lot more time talking about guns in that magazine.

      • Chris from AK says:

        I think First Freedom is irrelevant for people that read this and similar blogs, and keep up with the issue in a 21st century way.

        If your mastery of the internets barely extends past cat pictures and CHAIN EMAILS IN ALL CAPS then First Freedom is probably more relevant.

        • HSR47 says:

          “If your mastery of the internets barely extends past cat pictures and CHAIN EMAILS IN ALL CAPS then First Freedom is probably more relevant.”

          Don’t forget about the comic sans!

      • Geodkyt says:

        You know, I switched from American Rifleman to First Freedom because I don’t give a flying fig about duck guns and the like.

        I stopped even reading First Freedom because it is mostly mental cotton candy at best, and I get better gun articles from my Facebook friends news scrolls. . . now the issues of First Freedom just stack up in my bathroom, for guests to read.

      • Joe_in_Pitt says:

        I get American Rifleman in digital format, and I tend to breeze through most of it nowadays (mostly because I’m not in the market for anything and probably won’t be for a while).

        I never read an issue of First Freedom, but I assume it’s just the 8-10 pages of red meat that LaPierre and Cox put into AR extended for the entire magazine. I think magazines in general are just a relic from previous generations, as most Gun Culture 2.0 folks are more heavy into getting their 2A news from places like here and social media accounts.

  4. RP says:

    After checking out her twitter and all the stuff she re-tweets, I’m pretty sure the vast majority of her followers are idiots and will blindly swallow anything she says. At least she only has 7,000 of them.

  5. AntiCitizenOne says:

    She is definitely a maid…trying to polish the turd known as gun control.

  6. Roberta X says:

    Just FYI, that’s not a percolator, it’s a vacuum carafe. :)

  7. Lamont says:

    I’m just pissed they plastered her mug on page 2 without any warning on page 1 of what’s to come. To the EIC of A1F: Don’t EVER do that to me again!

  8. Ed says:

    Looks like she did good snagging a husband when she was working at Wellpoint, this looks like hubby’s LinkedIn profile.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-watts-jr/7/219/896

  9. Ed says:

    According to FEC Donor records her husband donated to Republican candidates in Georgia from 2003 to 2008.

    WATTS, JOHN
    ALPHARETTA, GA 30004
    ISAKSON, JOHN HARDY
    VIA GEORGIANS FOR ISAKSON
    08/17/2004 1000.00

    WATTS, JOHN
    ALPHARETTA, GA 30004
    BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD
    CHAMBLISS, C SAXBY
    VIA CHAMBLISS FOR SENATE
    10/13/2008 1000.00

    WATTS, JOHN
    ALPHARETTA, GA 30004
    WELLPOINT HEALTH NETWORKS
    GRASSLEY, CHARLES E SENATOR
    VIA GRASSLEY COMMITTEE INC
    04/30/2003 500.00

  10. Ed says:

    According to FEC donor records she has donated to mostly Democrat candidates including multiple donations to Barack Obama.

    WATTS, SHANNON
    ZIONSVILLE, IN 46077
    FLEISHMAN-HILLARD
    DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE
    01/28/2011 500.00

    WATTS, SHANNON
    ZIONSVILLE, IN 46077
    SELF

    DNC SERVICES CORPORATION/DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE
    03/23/2010 500.00

    EMILY’S LIST
    03/18/2010 500.00

    ZERBAN, ROBERT T
    VIA ROB ZERBAN FOR CONGRESS
    08/13/2012 250.00

    WATTS, SHANNON
    ZIONSVILLE, IN 46077
    SELF-EMPLOYED

    OBAMA, BARACK
    VIA OBAMA FOR AMERICA
    06/29/2012 250.00
    07/06/2012 250.00
    07/10/2012 250.00
    08/17/2012 250.00
    08/21/2012 250.00
    08/26/2012 250.00

    WATTS, SHANNON
    ZIONSVILLE, IN 46077
    SHANNON WATTS

    DONNELLY, JOSEPH S
    VIA DONNELLY FOR INDIANA
    05/15/2013 500.00

    WATTS, SHANNON R
    ZIONSVILLE, IN 46077
    MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE

    ESTY, ELIZABETH
    VIA FRIENDS OF ELIZABETH ESTY
    09/30/2013 1500.00
    10/12/2013 1000.00
    05/14/2014 900.00
    06/26/2014 1000.00

    Total Contributions: 8150.00

  11. Ed says:

    Most interesting is the $4,400 given to Elizabeth Etsy’s campaign. She represents Connecticut’s 5th congressional district, which includes Newtown, CT. In 2012 she only won by 2.62% of the vote. I wonder if this seat is in play for a Republican take over since it includes mostly rural NW Connecticut voters who may not be fans of the last round of gun control laws.

  12. HSR47 says:

    “The concept of a paper doll playing dress up for a part isn’t inherently a bad illustration for Shannon Watts and her little effort to pretend she’s not a paid professional with years of experience in Democratic politics and PR circles, but they didn’t even do a good job of trying to creating a visual image of how one would dress up and fake being a stay-at-home mom today.”

    Have you considered that the image is intended merely to portray HER disconnect with reality, and not a putative incomprehension of modern stay-at-home motherhood on the part of the NRA?

    To wit, that she claims to be this paragon stay-at-home mother, when she constantly exposes her elitism and expresses that she believes actually BEING a stay-at-home mother is somehow beneath her?

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