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Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

Only Liberal Women Worthy of Celebration?

There’s a lot of predictable rhetoric being spewed around the blogsphere regarding Sarah Palin’s addition to the GOP ticket, and some of the nastiest comments I’ve read are coming from other women. I’m guilty of laughing at some, but the more I read, the more disappointed I am.

Is it only acceptable to celebrate a woman’s accomplishments if she’s a Democrat? We don’t have to vote for McCain and Palin, and we’re each free to agree or disagree with their politics, but is it necessary that we attempt to tear her down so completely simply because she’s a woman on the opposite side of the party traditionally associated with women’s issues?

Women have been working for generations to be heard, to stand as equals to our male counterparts, to bring important debate to the public forum, to create more opportunity and dignity for our daughters. I’m quite impressed that a former PTA mom with five children is on the ticket of a traditionally conservative party where women have often felt unwelcome and undervalued. Regardless of whether or not we agree with Palin’s politics, I say this is still a moment to celebrate.

I’m not going to vote for someone based on gender, and I doubt you will either. There are many critical issues for the next administration to address, and I’m saddened every time I read what equates to Palin being some sort of traitor simply because she doesn’t hold liberal beliefs, or because she’s pro-life. After all, isn’t the Feminist Movement about making sure all women are heard?

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19 comments to Only Liberal Women Worthy of Celebration?

  • I have been avoiding the blogosphere since the announce of McCain-Palin for that very reason. I have a lot of respect for her for being able to stand up for and stand by what she believes in. But, than again I felt the same way about Hilliary.

    WickedStepMoms last blog post..High School or the First Ring of Hell?

  • Shiela

    Tricia, I couldn’t agree more. Just because she holds values that are on the right side of the spectrum, she is being villified. Even though I may not hold Hillary Clinton’s values, I always thought what a shame it was that some people call her such awful things, speak in such nasty terms, etc. She is someone’s mother, someone’s daughter, child, loved one, and she has feelings too. Now, she is a big girl with a tough skin who does not need anyone’s help standing her ground or feeling confident about herself. And I suspect Sarah Palin is the same. But they are still people, can’t we respect them a little?

    So, just because she is Republican, is it not out of the realm of possibility that she would have a daughter who becomes preganant out of wedlock? So what? Happens every day. Thank God they did not chastize or hide her away. It boggles my mind when I read comments like “she can’t control her own daughter, how can she lead the country, etc.” Excuse me, but if you were ever a teen – did YOUR parents control you? Did they know where you were every moment of the day? And is it not our duty as parents to teach our child as best we can about what we consider right and wrong – BUT – then also teach them that THEY are the only ones in control of their lives. If they make choices, they must deal with the consequences? This is what has happened here. Bristol made her choice, and now she is living with the consequence. And her parents support her. Now, we could get into a whole other discussion about that situation, but I don’t want to stray off topic. My point is – nay-sayers – that they live by a different moral code than you… so what? Bristol is not running for office and Sarah Palin is not responsible for the choice her daughter made. What she is responsible for is how she chose to react to her daughter’s situation.

    O.k. – let’s see why is it such a big deal that Sarah Palin hunts and fishes, eats moose burgers? She lives in ALASKA, not downtown Manhattan. No doubt that seems strange to most, but I am quite sure that many people who live in her state are far more comfortable with that life style as it is part of their daily lives. People hunt all over the country. While I do not agree with hunting, if they are consuming what they hunt, and hunting within legal parameters, what is wrong with that? For crying out loud not everything comes from the store.

    She had 5 kids – what says she had to stay home and be full-time mom? Is this not what a lot of mothers/women have been saying for years and years? Don’t keep us tied to the kitchen, let us break through the barriers and be who we can/want/need to be? She has a husband too – I am assuming he also helps a great deal. And perhaps she has help – so what? So do lots of women, does it make them less of mothers to their children? At least she is not running an ad on Craig’s list that make the kids sound like a burden (that broke my heart for those kids – I think the Mrs. Soodak was trying to be clever, but come on).

    Sarah Palin has a special needs child. That is a challenge to be sure. I know a little about that from experience and can tell you, that to be the best parent to a special needs child, you also have to preserve yourself as a person. Meaning don’t throw all your aspirations out the window. It appears to me, that Sarah Palin loves children regardless the pressures of her position/job, and having a Down’s child is no exception.

    As for her pro-life stance – I have read that she is against abortion with the exception of the life of the mother being in danger, that she is for it in cases of rape and incest, etc. So there is some conflicting info. out there. But here is the bottom line, she is pro-life. Kind of refreshing in a female politician really. Not what you usually hear about it seems – it is far too touchy a topic to be pro-life. People really get angry if you say you are. Congratulations to Sarah Palin for not apologizing for having an unpopular opinion.

    No one is perfect – no doubt in the coming weeks we’ll see and hear more mud about her and McCain (and all the candidates). I’d love to see people stick to issues, rather than personal attacks. If you want salacious, that’s what daytime soaps are for – go for it, they’re on every afternoon.

    The great thing about living in this country is that we can have differing opinions and discuss them in open forums without intervention. My question is – why can’t we be civil about it, why do we have to be so dang nasty to each other?

  • Well said. I don’t vote for people based on their gender OR their race (or what their children, siblings, or parents do or have done). And if you can’t make substantive or constructive criticisms of someone’s candidacy based on their political views, I’d prefer not to hear from you. I dugg you.

    xoxo
    tcb

    thatcoolbroads last blog post..Cool Tune: Looking Glass “Brandy (You’re a fine girl)”

  • [...] The second: Are Only Liberal Women Worthy of a Celebration? [...]

  • Reminds me a bit of the movie Pollyanna. At the end, there are two people running for mayor; a white woman and a black man. Pollyanna asks a black woman who she will vote for. She just shrugs and says, “looks to me I win either way.”

    Memarie Lanes last blog post..Karma’s a BitChallenging

  • Ditto to Marie (Memarie).

    MamaGeeks last blog post..Name This Caption (And Win*!)

  • It is disappointing, isn’t it. What’s even more upsetting is I am actually finding myself agreeing with Lindsay Lohan! How much are therapists? I will likely need help coming to terms with that little nugget. Lindsay’s blog about how all of this nonsense distracts us from properly evaluating Palin as a candidate and focusing on the issues is spot on.

    Lisa Ps last blog post..Bees & Honey

  • Jen

    I don’t know, she introduced herself as a proud hockey mom. She’s campaigning on the fact that she’s a woman and a mother, so I think that gives people the feeling that they can comment on those things. Hillary was ripped apart as well, so I don’t see it being a dem vs repub thing. It’s new, the concept of a woman doing this, so it’s going to be discussed and picked apart. I do wish I knew nothing about her personal life though because I’ll admit to it effecting my view on her.

    Aside from that, I can’t rejoice about a woman being chosen just because she’s a woman. I think it’s pretty cool and an important part of history, but bottom line is, to me, she’s a very poor choice. I’d feel the same if she were a man. I think anyone that dares speak ill of her risks being labeled sexist and that’s not right. While I’m sure it’s true in some cases, it’s not for me. Yet I’ve already been called sexist. Yes, she’s a woman and it’s great, but I’m not going to go all gooey inside just because she’s female. I’m actually disappointed that it’s THIS female. I’m all about power for women, and if this were Condi or KBH, I’d be grinning like a fool (even though I still wouldn’t vote repub!). I don’t think it’s fair to say, “she’s a woman though, so let’s be happy!!” – because I’m just not. That doesn’t make me less supportive of the womens movement though. And, it has nothing to do with her being a mom of 5.

    This might not make any sense, I’m uber tired today.

    Jens last blog post..Nanaisms

  • Jen

    I wanted to add (after reading the comments) that the only personal decision of hers that effects my opinion of her is her choice to run now, in light of her daughters pregnancy. I don’t fault her for her daughter being pregnant, or for working while her infant has Downs Syndrome – but I think it would have been wise to put this off for 4 years and come back stronger in her politics. Her family needs her right now (and I realize these are my personal family values speaking) and the last thing her daughter needs is this very bright spotlight. I don’t question her morals though, just because her daughter is pregnant. Or her pro-life stance. That IS a hot button issue for me (very much pro-choice) but I don’t hate her for it because she’s a woman. It’s her policies that I disagree with and form most of my opinion on. Not her personal crap.

    Jens last blog post..Nanaisms

  • Tricia

    Lisa P: I’m not sure if there’s therapy for agreeing with Lohan. There may be a treatment center…:o)

    Last night when I heard CNN reporters once again refer to the Republican party as, “a bunch of old white guys,” I was really happy Palin is on the ticket and will hopefully bring some different perspective and additional debate to the Republicans and to the nation.

    I am hearing the same stuff we hear during mommy war battles about whether or not she’s a good mother because of her career and family choices, etc. It’s a 20th century debate that won’t go away…all the judgment of women as mothers depending on how their career aspirations tie into their family lives. Rarely do we target men with the same issues. Drives me a bit crazy. Who needs more mommy guilt, especially from other mothers?

    I’m looking forward to Palin’s speech tonight, to learning more about her, and to learning more about the GOP platform so that I can more thoroughly compare it to the Democrats’.

  • donna

    I am really proud of Palin for continuing to run and to stand up for all of her beliefs and morals. I was a teenager that also found myself pregnant at the age of 15. I feel that if my mother had to step down for something that she was running for because I was pregnant, it would make me feel that she was ashamed of me and didn’t want the family name talked about. Well guess what, every one is already talking and she should hold her head high and continue on. This happened and her daughter should NOT be made to feel dirty or ashamed. I am sure that she did not want this to happen. Kudos to them both for doing the right thing. It makes me proud to be an American when people stand up for their beliefs. She is a very strong woman in my opinion and will do a great job. Her divulging her personal life does not make her less of a woman, only stronger. Her personal life would be talked about no matter what.
    I think that she is a woman who can give her family what they need and also the people what they need.

  • Jen, I agree with you. It does feel like she contributed to the focus on her as a mom by her lead in when introduced to the world. She can’t use her mom qualities as a means of endearing us to her and then say they are off limits to scrutiny.

    Still, it is a real head scratcher to hear women who demand fathers play an equal role in the care of their children put all of the weight of a child’s challenges/mistakes on a mother who isn’t there full time. It essentially lets father’s off the hook and sends the message we don’t really expect them to be there. It’s as if when it comes down to it mothers really are the ones expected to raise and mold the kids on their own.

    Lisa Ps last blog post..McCain Who?

  • Tricia

    Palin’s children are off limits. The only thing I have to say on the subject is from my own experience. I am the daughter of a teenage mother, and 36 years ago when a young girl became pregnant the school system forced her to drop out. I’ve always resented that for my mom…the very idea that she was forced to leave behind something she loved because she chose to have me.

    I wonder how I would feel or what I would think if my grandmother had given up the opportunity to make history because of my impending birth. I could be thankful my mom and I had that type of support, or more likely, I would shrink at the very idea that the women in my family gave up their dreams.

    For a heartwarming response to this news, please take a moment to read Mrs. G.’s post, Tired Part Two. Here’s the link:

    http://derfwadmanor.blogspot.com/2008/09/tiredpart-two.html

  • Jen

    Lisa, I agree. I don’t think it’s her “fault” that her daughter is pregnant. She shouldn’t be viewed poorly because of that. The comments about abstinence, and morals are wrong IMO. As are the comments about returning to work so early with a special needs child.

    As a parent, I can’t imagine doing what she did. I don’t think she’s awful for it, or a bad mother, but it’s something I would never, ever do. She could have put this on hold for 4 years, strengthened her politics and herself and tried then. Not accepting the nom now isn’t the end of her career.

    I wish people would leave her kids out of it. But, her kids would be out of it had she turned this down. So, some of the blame has to lie with her.

    I’m sure Bristol is an amazing young woman who will come through this better and stronger than she was before. But, she’d shouldn’t have to come through this in the spotlight.

    I don’t see this as Palin’s life long dream. I see that she was a PTA mom that wanted roads fixed. And again, she’s not giving it up, but putting it on hold.

    I respect that not everyone feels the same though.

    Jens last blog post..Nanaisms

  • Sam

    I think some of the nastiest comments are on Twitter. I’m scared to log on.
    I think it’s great when people are passionate about what they believe in, but geez… why do some people have to be so rude? You wouldn’t believe some of the things I’ve read this past week!

  • Tricia

    Sam: You just helped me to feel incredibly glad that I’ve not yet had a chance to figure out twitter. When I read all sorts of rude things, about either side, it makes my head explode. Very, very messy.

  • I just might not vote this time around. just kidding.

    stepping over the junks last blog post..start of a new era

  • donna

    It makes me mad that people think Palin can’t do this while she has a pregnant daughter or a special needs child.She has the support of her whole family, if she thought that she could’t do this I think she is a woman who would not jeperdize her family morals or values to take this on and do something that she strongly belives in.

    I admire her and think she is a strong person who can take this on and do a great job.I am sad to think that woman across America would give something up that they strongly belive in because of their family.

    No one wants their teenage daughter to get pregnant and no one wants a special needs child, but life should not be put on hold for it.

    You go Sara Palin!

  • Tricia

    Donna: Palin’s candidacy has sadly opened a whole new chapter in the Mommy Wars, and that’s my biggest disappointment. Agree or disagree with her politics or her record, but I’ll never understand why women attack other women based on the choices we all make regarding career and family. The choice is personal, and I’m thankful we even have a choice. I thought that was the whole point. Nobody should vote for her simply because she’s a woman, but there’s no reason not to celebrate this moment. I feel completely disillusioned, disappointed and even angry that this is going on.

    Love this quote from Madeleine Albright: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

    I really appreciated the following article from Leslie Morgan Steiner. She’s the author of the book, “The Mommy Wars.”
    http://www.mommytrackd.com/where-heart-is

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