Sarah Palin stands in opposition to most of the policies promoted by the average feminist — in particular, reproductive choice. Some conservative pundits have taken to calling her a feminist (not that we should allow Rush Limbaugh to start deciding who is and who isn't a feminist). But it does bring up an interesting question: what qualifies one as a feminist? Is reproductive choice the litmus test?Because, as Gloria Steinem interviewer Chrystia Freeland points out, if Palin wasn't a social conservative, many feminists might be cheering her choice even if they weren't planning on voting for McCain. A self-made female politician, she chose motherhood and a career and managed to do both with some success and makes no apologies for her working motherhood. Isn't that part of what feminism has been striving for? The ability to make the same choices as men, with the same rights, responsibilities and consequences that go with them? Some say that her daughter's pregnancy is a failure of her parenting; others attack her insistence on going back to work so soon after her pregnancy and thrusting her kids into the spotlight for the sake of her career at such a trying time (an assertion that implies that Bristol or her parents are ashamed of her or her pregnancy). And, like Leslie Morgan Steiner was saying on Today this morning, where were these people when Joe Biden was being venerated last week for carrying on his political career after the death of his wife, and commuting back and forth to Delaware for the sake of his career? No one was lambasting his work-life balance. It's disturbing, and although the McCain campaign (except its national co-chair) is certainly attempting to overplay its hand in this case — a blatant campaign tactic if I ever saw one — it doesn't mean its criticism of the sexism leveled at Palin isn't apt. While I'm all on board with criticizing Palin's record on choice, health care access and marriage equity (and anything else that I disagree with her on), I'm not remotely happy to be listening to women who disagree with her politically make value judgments about her work-life choices or her parenting. Her religious beliefs lead to political beliefs about abortion, and she has, by all accounts, led her life and pushed policies in concert with those beliefs. And, as much as I disagree with her beliefs and the way she attempts to express them in policy, I don't argue with her right to hold them. And I don't think it's such a terrible thing for women or the feminist movement to have the second women ever atop a Presidential ticket even though she holds those views. Although I would undoubtedly not vote for her ticket in November in part because of them, I am still excited to see her taking her swings at that glass ceiling that so many women before her have bashed their head against. The New Face of Feminism [Rush Limbaugh] Palin Is A True Feminist Role Model [Financial Times] Questions for a Superhuman Mom [Slate] Leslie Morgan Steiner [Official Site] Palin Media-Sexism Train Arrives on Schedule [Time] GOP Women Call Palin Critics Sexist [Time] Related: Analysis: McCain Camp Plays Sexism Card For Palin [AP] McCain's National Co-Chair: Media Coverage Of Palin Is "Completely Fair," Not Sexist [Talking Points Memo]
She can't have her cake and eat it too. Telling people to back off her daughter and then bringing the baby's father to the convention today??? Make up your mind, woman. Either LEAVE all the kids at home or bring them over and DEAL with it. But don't expect us to respect your wishes when you pick and choose when it's appropriate or not to bring up your family. It's rather confusing.
Also, it bothers me that everyone is saying that she's balancing work and home. She's able to take her baby to work all day. How many of us can do that? And is she going to do that in the White House when the baby is 18 months? Please, if I could do that (or be able to hire a full time nanny), I would be Superwoman too and have "balance" in my life.
Yeah, yeah, the father is there, he should help... 1) He can't breastfeed 2) when her daughter is in the delivery room, trust me, she is not going to want her Dad in there, she'll want her Mom.
Fathers and Mothers in a job like this one (notice that I am INCLUDING men) will be somewhat less present in their kids once they get the job. She is not balancing, she's choosing her career at this point, just like Obama is. I probably am judging her more harshly because she is a woman but it is because for the life of me, I can't get past points 1 and 2 above. Call me old-fashioned but there are things only a mother can do (I know, I'm going to get hate mail for this, bwah!)
As a mother, I believe there is a time for every thing. I would LOVE to go back to grad school, but am I? NO. Because I CHOSE to be a Mom, and now my kids are in elementary school, and I hope once they are in college I can do it.
Like I've heard before, you can have it all, only NOT at the same time.