Monday, September 01, 2008

One political thing and then I'm done.

This is gross.

Three days after only the second woman ever to be nominated by a major party for the vice presidency of the United States is chosen, and other women--other mothers! are getting into these rumors, as if Republican women don't count or something. Stop it. Just stop. If this is the best we can do, we don't deserve the right to vote we got 88 years ago. Criticize her resume, criticize her political beliefs, but don't scrutinize whether she looks five months pregnant in a photo taken from behind and don't be hypocritical judgmental asshats when her teenage daughter gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby. It is none of your damn business, and just because she's "anti-choice" or evangelical or whatever doesn't mean her womanhood or her family is any less sacred than yours, which you (as I would) would defend with your life and teeth and bare hands.

10 comments:

Deanna said...

AMEN!! Preach it, Juliet!!!

Christina said...

Amen Cousin!!! :-)

BenMc said...

New York Times has two articles on this:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/02/us/politics/02mother.html?hp

and

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/02/us/politics/02vetting.html?hp

Article #1 is about the debate you mentioned. She went back to work three days after having her fifth child. I'm amazed at how everyone seems to be able to judge that decision -- the question of what extra help there was, what her husband/family could do to help, etc., all the stuff we just don't know seems to be discarded to serve political ends.

Article #2 actually bothers me even more. It says McCain's vetting process is in question. That's a subtle way to say she's a mistake/not qualified because her husband had a DUI two decades ago, she was a member of an odd political party one decade ago, and her 17-year-old is pregnant. If McCain's vetting process was a mistake, than she's a mistake as well, so this article is a subtle way to paint her unqualified.

Personally, I want to wait and see how she does in the debate. She can get help with her family. And as David Brooks said in the same NYT issue, real families and congregations deal with the teen pregnancy stuff all the time. That's not the issue.

David Brooks' own issue with her is I think the most substantial and the one I most want to answer in my own mind going forward: is she too much like McCain in outlook and personality? I think that's a valid point that has nothing to do with her family or gender.

Laurie said...

Yay! You're back!

I completely agree with you--not to say that I've decided which way to vote yet...

Madame Meow said...

It's nice to read something that doesn't spew total vitriol and hatred at this woman. Thank you.

Juliet said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments! I'm so glad other people understand how I feel. This reminds me why I quit reading political blogs--falling off the wagon was a mistake. Politics haven't made me this twitchy since I left Berkeley.

As far as being a working mom goes, I tend toward the traditional end of the spectrum--especially now that I have my own young child, I can't imagine working outside the home full-time until she's older, probably at least in preschool. But that's a matter of temperament. A lot of my perspective has been influenced by Justin's mom, who has eight kids and has worked full time for most of her adult life--and has been totally disgusted by the treatment of Palin, despite being a lifelong Democrat and pro-choice (Palin's opposition to abortion rights apparently being sufficient justification to level every other anti-feminist attack against her). Eight children (well, a max of seven at home at once) is as much as just about any parent has to handle, and I can't criticize her parenting, since I married the results of it! Obviously she has help. Like her husband. You would think from all this discussion that everyone's suddenly forgotten men can raise children too. And as for going back to work after giving birth...she was a 2L and went to class the day after Justin was born, as her professor still tells students with all manner of sob stories 29 years later. Justin's mother is an amazing person, and I know I couldn't do what she does, but if she can run that household I don't doubt that a woman with five children, one of them with a mental disability, can run a state. Or a country. At least that shouldn't be a disqualifying factor.

So, Justin and Auletta and I visited the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls on Saturday, and after that I should be feeling all kinds of empowerment and pride in the women's movement and whatever. But I've seen too many so-called feminists launching attacks on Palin's decisions as a mother, on how she's raising her family--and this explicitly just because of her heterodox views on "choice," which apparently is the only thing that makes you a genuine feminist, and if you violate that one doctrine then everything about you about a woman and mother is fair game. If this is feminism, I'm not down. It's reductionist (so we really aren't anything more than our reproductive systems?) and has nothing to do with life as I live it. I can't imagine that I will ever exercise my right to abortion (or would even if I were emphatically pro-choice), but I will exercise my right to carry through my pregnancies as I see fit in consultation with my doctor, to be a working mother, and to raise my children according to my values.

What's ironic is that I think I would actually have been ambivalent about Palin if I'd had more time to think that maybe I was being pandered to. But certain left-wingers had to go and make me mad, and now I just want Obama to lose in November to get back at them. (I don't hold this against him personally--Justin disagrees with me, but I think his statement about the attacks on Palin and her family was made with genuine feeling by a man who loves and respects his wife and daughters.) It's not really rational--and I won't pretend I was planning on voting for Obama and this made me change my mind--but wow, I am hopping mad now, and I've managed to feel pretty emotionally detached from the campaign so far--mainly because I thought the two major candidates were competent, decent people, and still do. Oh, but I can't stand partisans. This is why I'm not a joiner and have to hold primary ballots very delicately between two fingertips, like someone else's snotty kleenex, when I use them.

Ben, thanks for the articles, especially the mention of David Brooks. I hope this passes quickly and saner evaluations of Palin prevail.

Juliet said...

Gosh, that was long. But hey, it's my blog.

BenMc said...

Ok, one more thing I just saw. Here's just one more comment from someone from Alaska (a Green party member, no less) about the flare-ups against Palin:

In summary -
I think some people (both in this discussion and out) are writing off Palin
far too quickly and far too easily. What has me so disheartened is the raw
refusal to take the woman seriously - for any number of reasons - many of
which hit home to me in a personal way. You may not like her (I know I
don’t), but you need to respect her. To do any less is to make a serious
strategic error.

http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/02/an-alaskan-view-of-palin/?8ty&emc=ty

Juliet said...

Thanks Ben--here's something similar (but more hostile) we've been discussing on our group email list (Justin + various friends of Justin + 1 dad + 2 wives):

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0908/The_antiPalin_email.html

We talked to a staunchly Democratic, Auletta-lovin' friend at the law school picnic on Thursday who pointed out that (from her perspective, at least) there is so much to go after on Palin without resort to the sort of anti-feminist attacks that have been flying around. It would be nice, and much more constructive, if she were considered on the basis of her expertise and governing skills. Palin's become the proxy for another installment of the Mommy Wars and the debate on abortion and sex education. These aren't the most important issues facing the country (no matter how much either party makes them the litmus test for true believers), nor are they issues on which Palin is likely to have any bearing as VP, unless McCain is incapacitated (possible, but this would probably give her only a small time slot to nominate Supreme Court justices unless she's re-elected), or she has to break a tie on a Supreme Court nomination, and I don't think it's in McCain's character to nominate someone that controversial.

I think the left and the media really blew it by reacting to Palin as so many of them did, thereby energizing the base that already supports her and alienating people who might otherwise have questioned her. They won in 2006 on the basis of Republican incompetence (which is hard to pin to McCain) and appealing to the sort of working-class voters who (it seems to me) are the people who are making Palin more popular than any of the three men on the major party tickets (see Rasmussen). Obama and Biden have been more classy, much to their credit, but someone's gonna have to start playing whack-a-mole with the crazies.

Juliet said...

Regarding my last paragraph, a great article in the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/sep/07/uselections2008.republicans2008