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September 02, 2008

"Liberated Women", MSM Scramble to Reinforce the Glass Ceiling

It would be disastrous if a conservative woman managed to accomplish what they could not. And so we're treated to charmingly sexist articles in the N.Y. Times:

When Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska was introduced as a vice-presidential pick, she was presented as a magnet for female voters, the epitome of everymom appeal.

But since then, as mothers across the country supervise the season’s final water fights and pack book bags, some have voiced the kind of doubts that few male pundits have dared raise on television.

As usual when it comes to any of the -isms embraced by the Left, what would ordinarily be branded a base attack is excused so long as the right credentials are brandished. Here, the writers of this piece (both of them women) are setting up the rest of their article. What follows would be met with the fiercest opprobrium were it to be uttered by a man, but they found bona fide mothers who were willing throw womens' equality away. So it's all chill.

With five children, including an infant with Down syndrome and, as the country learned Monday, a pregnant 17-year-old, Ms. Palin has set off a fierce argument among women about whether there are enough hours in the day for her to take on the vice presidency, and whether she is right to try.

Indeed, with two pre-teen daughters, Mr. Obama has set off a fierce argument about whether there are enough hours in the day for him to take on the presidency, and whether he is even right to try. Oh, wait a minute. He didn't. Huh.

We catch the drift of the article already: perhaps only childless men and women should run for office? Or those whose children are grown? Or given the free pass Mr. Obama got, (and I assure you I'm whispering very softly now) only men?

It’s the Mommy Wars: Special Campaign Edition. But this time the battle lines are drawn inside out, with social conservatives, usually staunch advocates for stay-at-home motherhood, mostly defending her, while some others, including plenty of working mothers, worry that she is taking on too much.

No, it's the War of the Clamoring Fools: Legacy Media Edition. Notice the casual juxtaposition of social conservatives with working mothers. As if the two are mutually exclusive. And as usual, liberals mistake the strawconservative they titter about at parties for the real thing. Social conservatives are staunch protectors of stay-at-home mothers and their prerogatives, but only the most fringe groups advocate forcing mothers to stay home.

In interviews, many women, citing their own difficulties with less demanding jobs, said it would be impossible for Ms. Palin to succeed both at motherhood and in the nation’s second-highest elected position at once.

“You can juggle a BlackBerry and a breast pump in a lot of jobs, but not in the vice presidency,” said Christina Henry de Tessan, a mother of two in Portland, Ore., who supports Mr. Obama.

Many women, including Ms. de Tessan, should thank their lucky stars that better women (and men) stood up for the rights and dreams of mothers. Suddenly, we're hearing a lot of so-called feminists deciding that some things are just too hard for mothers. Can you imagine the exclamation should a man or (worse) a Republican man announce that mothers are simply not up to the job of holding high office? That they should perhaps confine their aspirations to more homey pursuits?

These "many women" interviewed for the story should be slapped with a little 21st Century wisdom. It's like they've never heard of such radical timesavers as disposable diapers, washing machines, and formula. And these things aren't even new! Hell, let's call it 20th Century wisdom. Not to mention, well, the husband. This will shock their dresses off, but mothers can be primary breadwinners now and it really is okay!

Many women expressed incredulity — some of it polite, some angry — that Ms. Palin would pursue the vice presidency given her younger son’s age and condition. Infants with Down syndrome often need special care in the first years of life: extra tests, physical therapy, even surgery.

Hey, another category of people who should be barred from high federal (but not state) office: the parents of special needs children. As if no vice president has ever had family who had medical tests, physical therapy, and (gulp) even. surgery. Hell, it's sounding more and more like we should just keep anyone with any family at all out of high office.

One of the most shameful things about this article is that these anti-motherhood writers claim to be worrying on behalf of Palin and her children. It's not that they're concerned with Palin's performance on the job (what the hell does a VP do, anyway, except break ties and go hunting?). Rather, little Trig might have a rough time of it. How noble they are to be looking out for the interests of the Palins.

I mean this now with all sincerity: these reporters and the women they quoted for the idea that mothers are not suitable for high office should hang their heads in shame. They should hide their faces and pray that their throwback words are soon forgotten. They should beg forgiveness from their sisters and daughters for trying to shackle mothers to their children's cribs. They make me sick.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 04:33 PM

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