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Doug Holders says stay-at-home moms aren’t part of “workforce” … oh, no he dit’nt!

I already didn’t like Doug Holder — current State Representative District 70 — too much for his stance, voting, and wishy-washy statements on oil drilling off the coast of Florida, but now I like the guy even less. Holder is a holdover from the Mad Men era — apparently, the guy doesn’t have a clue the 60s are over.

During yesterday’s Sarasota Tiger Bay meeting, Holder had this to say about his challenger in the race for District 70 — Nancy Feehan:

“My opponent hasn’t been in the work force for 25 years.”

Oh, no, he dit’nt!

He did. And, I guess, technically, in a very outdated, kind of Mad Men-esque, sexist kind of way, Holder is right. Feehan hasn’t been technically employed and paid for performing a job outside of the home while raising her kids — at least to the best of my knowledge.

Feehan seated next to Tiger Bay podium; photo courtesy of

Feehan seated next to Tiger Bay podium; photo courtesy of

But for the past couple of decades she was very much employed in the very important business of raising her two children.

And, during those twenty-something years of being a dedicated mother, Feehan never lost an opportunity to serve her community either — whether in her children’s school system, or as a court-appointed advocate representing abused and neglected children through the Guardian ad Litem program, which she’s been involved with for the past seven years.

I’m not a mother myself (unless my felines count), but it rankles me something fierce when I see a State Representative who’s supposed to represent ALL the folks in his district dismiss those folks who don’t meet his criteria for being in the “workforce.” Ask any mother — stay-at-home or working — and ask any father with an appreciation for what it takes to raise a child — and I think all of them will tell you that raising children is a full time job and a critically important one in the overall concerns of our community — “workforce”– paid and unpaid — included.

Holder’s public statement about Nancy was kind of shockingly dumb given that there were plenty of Moms — and Dads who value the role their wives play — in the audience at Tiger Bay.

In my mind, Holder’s a throwback to an era that devalued women in general and stay-at-home Moms in particular. And for that, on November 2, I’m throwing him back with my vote.

Maybe once he leaves office, he can stay home with his kids and see just how much a part of the common and very essential “workforce” motherhood actually is.

Posted on September 3rd, 2010Comments RSS Feed
10 Responses to Doug Holders says stay-at-home moms aren’t part of “workforce” … oh, no he dit’nt!
  1. Women can do anything except competently pee standing up.

  2. Doug Holder ,tried to be bolder,against Nancy he thinks he told her,but in the end the voters will give that idiot the cold shoulder!

  3. Mrs. Coolidge, were you at the Tiger Bay meeting?… waiting… waiting… didn’t think so. Clearly you got your information second or third hand. I was, and Holder’s comment about Feehan’s lack of experience, which you so poetically criticized, rang true with me and was part of a response during a “how can we create jobs in Florida” kind of question. She seems like a nice lady, but Feehan admits that she has been out of the workforce for a looooong time. The comment clearly had nothing to do with criticizing her as mother or her service to the community, but all to do with the fact that we need bussiness-minded leaders in Tallahassee, and she aint it. Feehan even had the nerve to say that as an attorney she understands business. That’s lawyer talk at its best. This year, I’m casting my vote for creating jobs and Doug Holder.

  4. Dear I Need A Job — No, I was not at the Tiger Bay meeting … I was working. I did get my information second-hand, I guess — because I read it in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, as reported by political reporter Jeremy Wallace. That’s why I hyperlinked the article in my blog posting so that readers could know where my material was sourced from.

    I appreciate you reading my blog and adding your thoughts to the discussion. I agree with the idea that it’s ideal to have representatives who have business savvy, intellectual agility, political awareness, a commitment to vote according to the interests and wishes of their constituency, and general good manners and ethics. Business experience is but one component of what makes an ideal Rep — and I believe a stay-at-home Mom can be just as savvy and smart and educated and able to navigate the business of government in the interests of business and economies and jobs — as anyone else. Perhaps even more so, really. And with Feehan’s additional background and experience — I just read on her site that she also serves as the VP for the “financial arm of the Guardian ad Litem program, the Children’s Guardian Fund, Inc.” in Florida. That sounds like some very strong business experience right there.
    My point, as you read, wasn’t so much about Nancy (though she is clearly my candidate of choice) as it was about rejecting the kind of thinking about women/motherhood/roles that Holder was expressing.
    If your moniker is correct — that you really need a job — I wonder if you might ask yourself this: If Holder so easily dismisses the credentials of a woman he has deemed to be “unemployed” for so many years … how quickly do you think he would dismiss you if he were considering you for a job because you are unemployed? Many employers tend to not want to hire folks who have been unemployed — even through no fault of their own — for a long time? That’s just one of the conundrums faced by folks who haven’t been able to get a job for a long time — they become painted with a very unfair “stigma” by those in a position to hire. That same kind of “stigma” that gets tossed at stay-at-home- Moms.
    Thanks again for visiting my blog — I do always welcome different opinions and wish you all the best in your job search.

  5. Even if I could ignore Holder’s out-of-touch comments about Feehan’s years ‘out-of-the-workforce’, I still don’t see how he is bringing any job-creation skills to the table. It’s a very rare individual real estate professional who creates jobs. Instead of just talk, I’d like to see his past payroll statements. If he is so skilled at creating jobs – show me. Business-minded DOES NOT mean job creation. There are many approaches to create jobs – most are philosophically based. Old economic rules are being dis-proved. We are in a new economy that demands a new way of thinking. We need BRAINS in our legislature. That’s our only hope to come up with new solution that work – rather than just trying old formulas that are out-dated. I’m a true moderate. BOTH parties need to start THINKING. Feehan has my vote in November as she represents to me that best mind out of the two candidates. Plus, by taking 25 years to raise two kids to college, I think she has a better grasp on what our new economy really looks like that her opponent.

  6. Great points, Suzette — thanks for visiting the blog and sharing your thoughts. I do agree with you very emphatically about the need for candidates who think really, really well.

  7. I suggest your bloggers review on the web Holder’s voting record. One will see how truly out of touch he is on many important issues.Yikes!

  8. MC, Not only do we need jobs in Florida, but I truly believe it’s about time employers recognize women as equals. I mean, take a look at the stats. Women in today’s workforce are still not paid the same as men – even if they are doing the exact same job. I recall President Bush saying that to provide equal pay for women would hurt the economy…but then again, President Bush also said; that to outsource job, would be healthy for this economy…so, go figure… Thank you President Obama for signing the “Equal Rights/Pay Bill”

    But listen up, just remember the old adage, “you reap what you sew”… Thi sis still so very true. You want jobs in Florida, then take a close look at the origin of the automobile you are driving. You want to drive a Hyundai or a Nissan, not only are you placing millions of American workers out of a job, by not buying American, is just the begining. Take a look at all the restaurants closing in Sarasota alone. I used to have many friends that used to come to Sarasota for vacation, eat at our restaurants, stay in our hotels, shop at our stores…why the decline in business here you ask…well, my friends are now out of a job and no longer can afford to vacation in Florida.

    So, when you see restaurant after restaurant closing, malls empty, hotels with “vacancy” signs out front, don’t blame the current administration, don’t blame your Governor, take a look at the automobile sitting in your driveway… It’s that simple folks, you want to keep Americans working, then buy American, or don’t whine about not having a job!

    In 1950, 90% of the goods in our stores was manufactured in the USA, today, it’s the opposite, whirlpool, automobiles, etc…are now mady overseas. Businesses are getting greedier and greedier, the more $$$ they make, the more they want. But no one is holding a gun to your head, telling you to buy that Hyundai, now are they?

    The choice is yours folks, you want jobs in Florida, the next time you get that vehicle sale brochure from Gettel, sign it: “No Thank You”…

    Let’s get this country back on track!

  9. I have a different view.

    First, thank God for full time moms. That says a lot about Nancy Feehan as a person. But Doug is a great guy too. In that category, it seems pretty even. So, if they are both good people, then you can’t use that to select a candidate.

    So the next criteria would have to be relevant experience, given the current situation.

    While it may not be popular for Doug to make that statement, there is a valid point in it by your own admission. Suzette said that she wanted proof of job creation. I applaud his challenger by being a great mother….but how could her experience make her a better candidate. Is it as hard as being in business. At least. But let’s not get hard work and relevant work confused.

    The other question that begs to be answered is why the government should be responsible for job creation. My opinion is that government should get out of the job creation business. Most times when government bureaucracy is involved, the decision they make is usually the least offensive, not the best one. It happens in every big group decision, whether in the private or public sector.

    I also have a different opinion on the car market. Tell me which is more American made, the Nissan made in MS., or the Chevy made in Mexico? In fact, one of the largest “foreign” after parts companies in the U.S. will tell you that they are a “foreign name plate” after parts manufacturer.

    Finally, the quotes made above talk about empty buildings that need to be filled. Isn’t that the problem that real estate people try to fix every day? In my opinion, that’s relevant experience, and that’s why Doug has my vote.

  10. LJD — thanks for reading the blog and for taking the time to share your thoughts! MC


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