Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sexism or Family-ism

I’m going to come clean right off. I live in a VERY blue state. I live in the bluest part of that blue state too. I’m registered Democrat, (so I can vote in the primaries) but really I’m much more socialist or liberal to be honest. So right off, it’s not a big surprise that I’m not planning on voting Republican. I’m not a fan of this war. When we went to war I wrote a letter to my unborn baby (BigSpeak) to tell her that regardless of what history will show her parents did not support this decision and why. Even if it turned out that invading Iraq was a good thing, we still felt it was the wrong thing. Since then, the war has gone less than stellar (many things I wrote in my letter showed to be true) my opinions on that subject have only strengthened.

So that being said, there’s been a lot of buzz about Sarah Palin. Since I’m not planning on voting for anyone from the party, her nomination doesn’t really concern me. However, I do have some opinions about her and her choices. I’ve made a few comments to some posts on some blogs already. But now I’m hearing that the opinions I’ve expressed are “sexist”. Interesting. I’ve never thought of myself that way before. I’m pretty certain no one has ever accused me of anything related to that before. Just to clarify, I’d like to address what my issue is and why I don’t think it’s sexist. I think my opinion is more family-ism. Yes, that is totally a word.

She had a baby FOUR months ago. That woman is obviously made of steel or something. Four months after I had my baby I was barely making it out of the house. I have a lot of respect for her ability to get it together. I'm barely getting it together and my "baby" is 2. But then I'm not running for office either.

My first concern has to do with the fact that she has a special needs child who is under a year. During my first pregnancy I had a “scare “ and did some research about down’s syndrome babies. I found that your first year with that child is really no different than any other baby. After that first year, you start to learn the scope of the your child’s disability. There’s a lot of unknowns related to this, often other birth defeats are not uncommon. I think that her family and child deserve her full attention during this time.

Secondly her 17YO is 5 months pregnant. This is not new news to her. She made the decision to run for a national office knowing that her daughter would paraded out for the public controversy that would inevitably ensue. I don't begrudge her or what happened to her daughter. It is what it is, and I hope for the best for them all. It's going to be hard for everyone involved. I understand having strong personal career aspirations, but I also understand that parenting involves sacrifices. I believe that this is one of those times when a sacrifice might have been the better choice. Is running for this office in the best interest of her family and in turn herself during this time frame?

Either of these issues is a major thing for any family to be going through. Both of them, at the same time???? Talk about having a lot on your plate! I would question any candidate (male or female) about their decision making process in this situation. Perhaps the media wouldn’t have brought up this issue for a man, but I can honestly say that I would have. I just think that her family has a couple of very, very stressful years ahead of them. I understand her husband can take the lead on the family matters, but I don’t think taking on a national office and the sacrifices it will entail is the most responsible choice. Knowing that her family has these issues to deal with in the next couple years says volumes about her decision making. Add to that, the fact that she is running on a platform of “family values” and I would say it equals hypocrisy at best.

I could say more on the subject, but really that what it comes down to for me. I think her family should be the focus for them right now; husband and wife. Making the decision to allow her focus to be elsewhere, definitely makes me question her decision making ability. I don't think that's sexism, I think it's about putting your family first.


Marsha said...

I agree with you. These seem like huge family issues that need both parents' attention.

Maureen said...

Great post. I completely agree.
I remember when John Edwards was throwing his hat in for the dem ticket and his wife's cancer returned, there were people who questioned his decision to stay in the race. So, this isn't the first time people have questioned a politician's decision to put political ambitions above family. It's not sexist. There are lots of folks out there who could do the job of V.P. Perhaps Palin sees herself as the Messiah for the repubs.