Thursday, November 13, 2008

A long way to go - Part II

One of the most preposterous arguments against Palin during the race was the idea that she was neglecting her children by being in the race, and if she and McCain won her childrens' lives would suffer because she would be failing at her duties as a mother- especially to a special needs baby. I was stunned. So because she has children living at home and her husband makes plenty of money, she should be required to stay at home for the duration of their childhood. Once they leave the nest then she can have pursuits outside the home such as: knitting, the book club, decorating, planning family vacations and bird watching. What year is this, 1950? Those are all great pursuits if that’s what you want to do, the operative word being want. If that’s not what she wants to do she shouldn’t be pigeonholed into doing it because people are stuck with antiquated standards for women.

It’s an old-fashioned theory that women are biologically better nurturers to children than men. Women were not predestined to be only carriers and caretakers of children. Maybe it’s because I was raised by a single dad that I can’t even fathom this argument. To say that is actually very insulting to men. There’s nothing wrong with a man who decides to stay home with the kids while his wife has a career. This is 2008 and there are no more rules. When Todd Palin stood on the stage at the RNC carrying baby Trig, it took my breath away. When have we ever seen that in American politics? Here’s a real man who’s not afraid to stand by and support his wife while she does a very time consuming, potentially powerful and enormous job. Did we hear anything positive about that? No. People couldn’t get over the fact that she wasn’t at home nursing her baby – or in the background like wives Michelle and Cindy.

But if people want to make the argument that she should not have been VP due to her filial duties then so be it, but do the same thing to the male candidates. No one questioned how Obama’s daughters would function with him being gone 90% of the time as President. No one questioned where they would go to school. No one questioned the circumstances of their births (as was done to Palin). No one mentioned that uprooting these young girls’ lives would be too traumatizing and therefore he should quit the race. No one questioned what Michelle would have to do regarding her career if her husband won. No, when a man is running for President, the noble thing for his family to do is follow, and make any and all sacrifices for him. When a woman runs, her judgment is questioned.

No one brought up the good things she’s done as Governor, or the difficult road it was to get there. All they could say was that she was being a bad mother for having a time consuming job outside the home. No one thought that maybe the state of Alaska was better off with her as Governor than not, and it was a good thing she made the sacrifices to do it.

Clearly, a long way to go.

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