Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Oh Sarah, No

So, as expected, the Stepford Wives have gone wild. No doubt while watching Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech last week they all saw themselves ... and felt so good about it. Here was a woman, in her forties, looking great after five kids, hair in an updo, high heels on, giving the crowd and the nation a finely crafted speech. She spoke about family values, a successful twenty-year marriage, and lots and lots of personal accomplishments, which all began in that staple of American Moms—the PTA.

The Stepford Wives LOVE her, their husbands love her, and they are all convinced that this one woman is going to save them from Barack Obama, who plans to take all their husbands’ hard earned money. I expected this; really I did. I mean, I see the similarities between Sarah Palin and the Stepford Wives. Substitute soccer for hockey and maybe four kids for five and on the surface, which is as far as any self-respecting Stepford Wife will ever scratch, Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech must have been like looking in a mirror for them.

Except for that one little fact about her that they are all missing—she works. She works a lot. She is the Governor of Alaska and now is running for Vice President of the United States. She went back to work three days after giving birth this last spring. Have they missed this? What happened to their blanket judgments about working moms? What happened to “I feel so sorry for her because she has to work,” or “Can you believe she put that baby in daycare when he was six weeks old?” I’ll tell you. The Stepford Wives and the right wing of the Republican Party are willing to overlook this one slight “unconservative” fact about Sarah Palin because she is the chosen one to save them.

Okay, now here’s my beef. I don’t give a Texas hoot if Sarah Palin works, how many kids she has, or who is raising them. I’m a working mom, I choose to work, and I juggle it all pretty damn well. I’m no Governor, but I reign over my little piece of Stepford pretty well. I care about working moms, women shattering the glass ceiling, women having options so they can work and raise a family at the same time. I care about women getting equal pay for equal work. All that stuff. However, I also would never want an opportunity given to me solely because I am a woman. I would want to earn it, be qualified for it, and ready to take it on.

When I look at Sarah Palin, this is what I see: I see a women who, if she had been a man, would not be on the Republican ticket right now. This type of pandering to women bothers as much as if a woman had NOT been chosen strictly because of the fact that she was female. This type of pandering doesn’t help women—working or not working. I believe it actually hurts us. Let’s shatter the glass ceiling, sure. But let’s do it with a woman who is qualified and wasn’t chosen to just get our votes. We’re smarter than this. I pray we know it. I pray we show it. Yes, John McCain, I’ll stand up and fight. I’ll stand up and fight for Barack Obama and real change for real women.

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