Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Unsinkable Sarah Palin?

I have a few axes to grind with some of the Sarah Palin coverage. Come sit right down and join me for a rootin’, tootin’ good time!

Hypocrites, hypocrites, hypocrites. It takes one to know one, so let’s just say I can spot one a mile away. . . and there’s surely no shortage of hypocrites when it comes to “debating” Ms. Palin’s fitness for office.

Now before I get started, I feel the need to share that if I were an American, I would probably be a Democrat and I would almost surely be one this time around. Like everyone else with an ounce of left-leaning blood in their veins, I find Barack’s many charms hard to resist. Ms. Palin, on the other hand, well, she reminds of all the teachers I disliked in high school (I grew up in a very conservative small town) . . . I won’t get into too many details here, but there were a few who would publically shame you for suggesting that maybe a billion Chinese folks aren’t wrong when it comes to Communism, perhaps because they were also trying to pressure your parents into the pyramid scheme they were currently engaged in. Like I said, long story, but all you need to know is that I’m more lefty than righty and as far as her politics and positions go, I’m not a big SP fan.

Nevertheless, I am getting sick and tired of hearing/reading the following things about SP in “THE MEDIA”:

“If she can’t manage her household (read: teen daughter is knocked up), how can she be Vice President?”

“She has no business running for office with a _____ month old baby. That poor child must never see his mother.” OR “I question how any woman could leave her new baby and participate in the full-time job of running for office.”

“She – gasp – bottlefeeds (or breastfeeds) her baby.” I’ve read both accounts now – some saying she bottlefeeds, some that she breastfeeds. She seems to be getting flack either way, if you can believe it (I can’t make this shit up!). Such as, yes, indeedy, she is Satan incarnate for not breastfeeding and clearly can’t hold office because she doesn’t breastfeed this kid, regardless of whether or not she breastfed her other 18 children. Or, she is hippy wanna-be, babywearing, breastfeeder. My personal faves are all the women saying they are going to vote for her because she breastfeeds. Informed choice and their vote counts as much as yours (insert jazz handshere). Can someone please tell me why it matters how she feeds her baby?

“How dare she have an opinion on abortion, when she has a knocked up teen daughter?”

“Can we trust the judgment of someone who has named her children Willow, Piper, Trig, Track and Bristol?” (OK, I kind of agree with this one!).

The other fun rumours I have read include that her son is gay (so?!) and that the child she just had is really not hers, but the other teen daughter’s in some fantastic cover-up that a very public figure managed to pull off. The arguments for this include that she didn’t look pregnant enough (sadly, I am friends with several women who weighed less at 9 months of preggerness than I do right now – 6 months after expelling a child – which is perhaps why this makes me “LOL”) and that the teen daughter in question looked fat enough to be preggers.

Feminists, wherefore art thou? Or does it only count when the women getting shat upon are lefties? Does anyone else with a vajayjay think that this is putting women back in time a few hundred years? Does anyone else want to strangle someone when the pundits question why there aren’t more women in office and gee, oh, gee what can we possibly do to encourage more women to run for office?

Now, take a trip down memory lane with me to a time not too distant in our collective North American history. A rather dapper Democratic gentleman was the US President. All was well in the world until it was revealed that sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar, but a rather handy sex toy. Yeah, that’s right he was not only cheating on his wife, but he was doing so with a woman MANY years his junior. And the Republicans decided that if this man would lie about fellatio in the Oval Office, then he certainly was compromised as a President and could not hold office any longer. And how did the Democrats respond to this . . hmm, it’s hard to remember clearly . . . oh right, wasn’t there a frickin’ movement afoot arguing that what goes on in an elected official’s personal life has no bearing on his or her ability to hold office?

Now in our even more recent history, this same gentleman’s wife had a kick at the cow to be US President. I don’t seem to recall there being any coverage that if she couldn’t satisfy her man then she has no right to the highest office in America or that the fact that her household was clearly in disorder at one time in her life means her fitness for office was compromised. I recall her being picked on for crying, but I don’t recall this level of coverage . . . this insane and inane suggestion that dysfunctional family life = you have no business here, lady, go back home and knit some booties for your baby and grandbaby to be.

What shocks me the most is that some of the very same Democrats who lead the Clinton movement are spewing out some of this SP crap. I was heartened that Obama at least publicly said that her personal life has no bearing and people’s children’s are off-limits. He said it, but what he’s allowing his camp to do with all this, I have no idea . . . it seems like the machine can’t be stopped now.

My new favourite is that she – OMG – used her Yahoo email account to discuss work with her husband who appears to have some influence over her decisions in office. I love that we hate her for doing what we all do and I love that it is terrible that her husband holds sway over her, but Hilary’s blatant sway over Bill while he was in office was refreshing and unique (a First Lady who does more than charity balls, how neato!). In fact her sway and participation was recently touted as comprising some of her loads and loads of political and governing experience. I also love that the Whitewater fiasco and the mysterious deaths surrounding it didn’t come up so much this time. Ah, sweet, sweet, selective memory.

As Jon Stewart pointed out recently, it is fair game to jump on Palin when she asks that their choice to have their teen daughter get married and have a baby be respected and their privacy be respected, when she is very much NOT respecting a woman’s choice to have an abortion. Sure, that is fair game – let’s talk about that, let’s talk about her pro-life position and her other positions and her political record and her experience (or lack thereof). But please don’t tell me she’s not fit for the job because of her personal life. Is she a bad mom? Who knows, but I think that’s about as relevant as whether or not Obama is a good husband, that is to say, not very relevant at all.

So, please help me understand what’s going on! Correct me if I’m wrong on this front! Until then I’m kinda thinking that if you’re pro “girl power” in any way, shape or form, you just have to be against slamming a woman in this fashion. You just have to be against statements suggesting that a woman isn’t fat enough to be pregnant and you certainly have to be against the very public suggestion that a normal looking teenage girl looks fat. And although Geraldine Ferraro she certainly ain’t, you have to be kind of a bit pleased that this is a woman we’re talking about in the first place, no? And more than a bit displeased that it was never suggested that Bush’s teen daughters’ whoring about clearly meant he should not hold office? And doesn’t it outrage you, I mean totally outrage you, that it would never, ever be an issue at all if a male candidate were running for office while he had a new baby at home that his wife formula fed?!

Momma’s mad. Are you?


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