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Ms. Palin, if you're nasty

Sarah Palin's choices are not ours to judge

by Jenny  |  2255 views  |  7 comments  |        Rate this now! 

I haven't posted much about politics lately, because I'm just so damn tired of it being all everybody talks about, no matter which side you're on. I feel like we've been listening to the political positioning for YEARS, and I'm bored with it. This is dangerous I think, and I wish the politicians would realize this. I wish they would realize that starting the campaigning earlier and earlier just burns out the American public, and by the time we actually go to the polls, for every person who's gotten more excited since their candidate crossed the convention stage, there's like two that don't care anymore and would rather just watch Wipeout.

But last night I watched Governor Palin speak at the RNC, more out of queasy curiosity than anything else. And I really like her, I have to say. I'm not voting for her, of course, because I like my uterus being under my own control, thank you very much, and I can't stomach any of her positions on guns, the war, the economy, or really anything else, either. But she's spunky and invigorating, and a nice breath of fresh air in a party of old white men. I feel like if we came across each other as working moms somewhere, despite our personal and political differences, that she'd be fun to sit down with and have a glass of wine. I also think that in four years, when she's had a little more experience with navigating national politics, she could be a force to be reckoned with.

However.

I've been very bothered by all the conversations swinging around on the internet about her since her nomination to VP candidate. I'm bothered by the attention on her family. I'm appalled by the liberal attacks on her ability to mother her brood and navigate her job in politics. And I'm just as annoyed by the conservatives using her family as an entity to be spun and twisted into what works for their platform.

People, listen up. If we continue to talk about whether and how this woman can manage her family and her job, we will set working women back 50 years, no matter which side you take.

I am not down with that.

It doesn't matter how old her youngest child is, or how soon she will become a grandmother. It doesn't matter that she's a parent of a special needs infant, or a pregnant teenager. Or that she has a son going to Iraq, and two adorable little girls in the middle who need her.

What matters is she chose to take this step, and she has a right to take that step. She has just as much right to do it as anyone else, regardless of their family situation. It's her decision how she manages her family, and her job. We have no right to judge her for how she manages her family. We have every right to judge her for how she performs her job. And everyone expressing an opinion about that needs to get over it, and move on to the important topics. Nobody is judging Obama for how little he's going to be available to father his two little girls as President. It shouldn't be part of the conversation.

About the Author

Jenny is mom to two little boys she calls Chaos and Mayhem, and a recruiter in the advertising and marketing industry. She blogs on careers and advertising at www.dfbryant.wordpress.com, and life in general at http://notinkansasanymoretoto.typepad.com.

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7 comments so far...

  • Great prespective- I didn't realize it until I read this- how much I agree with this! I am not a Palin fan- as far as a candidate for VP and what she stands for politically. But I have often said to my husband that I can see myself enjoying her in a playdate or Mom group.
    As much as I agree that we need to support each other as working moms, every candidate is judged on the politcial landscape and that is simply the name of the game, unfortunately. I don't plan on voting for her, but that doesn't mean I am not proud of her for representing the rest of us.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Ally on 30th September 2008

  • I think your point is well said. I am grateful to you for making a stand and letting yourself be heard, I generally don't respond to policital posts. I seperate what I believe is right for me and what may be right for others. I don't think I can make decisions for others, even though I find that ridiciousley frustrating!! God gave me the ability to make my own choices and it isn't my place.

    I do my best not to judge and try to see all sides. Now, obviously I believe there has to be laws in order to have a civilized community. When one person's rights overstep another's, is hurtful then steps need to be taken.

    I believe we as individuals need to be held resposible for his/her own choices.

    If Sarah Palin decides to work, be govener then she has a resposibility to go back to work after three days, Just as a father (a president would have the responsibility to go return to office after the birth of a child (JFK).

    If Sarah and Todd (her husband) have agreed on a way to raise their kids and her kids are thriving there should be nothing more said.

    I think when people are giving the opportunity to be resposible for him/her self and have the fair access to resources to do so, gov't needs to be "laissez-faire".

    I believe strongly when people are given accurate information when faced with a decision, they will decide justly.

    I have worked with many people who have been incarcerated for hideious crimes and when they are given education, an opportunity to critically think and reason would not make the same choices they did before they were incarcerated.

    I believe people, on whole are "good" and "kind". It is our personal resposibility to make choices every time that are good and kind. If each person did that, it would encourage those who may not have the info. or resources available to question his/her own choices just because the people around him/her are doing so... Actions speak very loudly!

    I think when a person says... "I think I could sit down with her, be friends, and agree to dissagree with her," is really important and a great point because if there is a person who disagrees with you (challenges you to be a better person yet respects your rights to have a different opinion) then that is a person I want in gov't.

    I as a person and as a country, want myself and us to continue to grow; not out of jealousy, greed, and anger but out of respectful questioning, inquisitiveness, and debate.

    I think if a candidate is personable, has the ability to relate to others, and would be considered a "friend, colleage, leader" that is saying a ton about her/his personhood.

    SO much more than putting down someones choices, decisions, and circumastances.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jen on 16th September 2008

  • Well said. And nobody says anything about her husband's role in caring for the children while she is busy working! There is nothing wrong with those kids being cared for by their dad! People seem to forget that he is around to take care of them while she's in meetings or travelling, and I'm sure he is perfectly capable of doing so!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Blondie on 13th September 2008

  • Great post! While I don't agree with everything she stands for (like the abortion issue), I do like what she's managed to accomplish in Alaska, in a relatively short time period. I like that she stands up to the boys club, she is a good role model, in that she proves that women can have a family and a meaningful career.
    I'm so tired of the mud slinging from both parties. It's annoying, and it detracts from the real issues. The liberals HAVE attacked her, by constantly bringing up the pregnant daughter and the special needs child, and the insane rumors that her youngest baby isn't hers. They are dragging her children through the mud and calling it fair. The remarks about her not being able to handle the job because she has 5 kids annoy the hell out of me. Quite frankly, if I wasn't already planning to vote that way, I would switch my vote to the McCain/Palin ticket, just to give her a chance to prove to all the men out there that she CAN do it, and probably do a better job at it than them.

    I'm equally annoyed at the slanderous remarks about Obama. I don't care for him, personally, but it's not because I believe the rumors that he's muslim, he wasn't born in the country (REALLY stupid to be spreading that one around, considering McCain was born in Panama) , or because he's hanging out with terrorists.

    I wish people would research the issues, the voting records, check out some REAL unbiased sources (yes, there are a few), and decide which issues are more important to them, and vote according to their beliefs on real topics, and not because one candidate is black or one is a woman.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by sonyareads on 9th September 2008

  • Can you please tell me exactly what "liberals" have attacked Palin on her ability to mother her brood and navigate her job in politics? I've heard many Republicans and right wingers say that such attacks have been made by "liberals" and even "feminists," but I haven't seen any.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Catherine Caporusso on 8th September 2008

  • It's kind of a tie-in to my regular blog - I tend to talk about socializing over wine quite a bit. I see your point, what I mean by that is she seems very approachable, and down to earth personally. Even though my political views are totally opposite hers, I think I could tolerate having a conversation with her about our kids if I sat next to her at a PTA meeting or something. Whereas, sitting down and having a conversation with, say, Newt Gingrich makes me want to vomit. :) I would totally go sit somewhere else.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jenny on 5th September 2008

  • What struck me in this post was the comment about how it might be fun to "sit down and have a glass of wine with" Mrs. Palin. I know that you meant it strictly within a social context. It just reminded me when GWB was running for office, there were a number of people who said they voted for him because he was the kind of "guy you could hang out and have a beer with." Granted, that may not have been the only reason individuals had to vote for him, but I was struck by how often I heard that statement. The sheer frequency of the statement was troublesome to me.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by tkd_mama on 5th September 2008

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