September 3, 2008

FarmWife talks politics...edited

If that title didn't send you running for the hills, I'm surprised. I am not an overly political person. In fact, I don't particularly like politics. But at the moment, everyone is getting sucked into the presidential race whether they want to or not. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has something to say. Why not me?

Here, for the record, are my two cents.

Mrs.Palin, Oh, Mrs.Palin. How dare you have 5 children and continue to work? How dare you clean up the Alaskan political scene? How dare you allow your 17 year old daughter to get pregnant? How dare you leave your special needs child in the care of others...even if they are your husband and your older daughters?

OK, enough of that. I do believe that a mother's place is in the home (a generalization to be sure). A mom's first priority should be her children (not a generalization). That being said, shouldn't a father's first priority be his children? Shouldn't they be his primary focus? And how old are Mr.Obama's children? Just curious. I wonder how anyone that high up the political ladder can balance work & family.

I also know that there are women who do not thrive in the Stay-at-home atmosphere. There are women who need to foster talents they have that are not of great use in the home. There are women who would feel stifled if they didn't work outside their homes. I know women like this. I am amazed at their ability to balance work & home. I am amazed at the greater quality of the time they spend with their children since the quantity of time is less.

I wonder if Mrs.Palin had been a Mister would the controversy still be there? Would "he" have been raked over the coals for the choices of "his" nearly grown daughter? Would "he" have been torn apart over "his" decision to go back to work 3 days after the birth of "his" Down Syndrome son? I wonder....

When Mr.Biden's wife died & left him a widower with children, he was encouraged to go back to work. Would Mrs.Palin get the same advice if her husband were to pass away?

I do have to say, I agree with Mr.Obama's statement that people's families should be off limits. In his words, "Especially their children." He's right. That is not OK.

I am generally an old fashioned kind of girl. I love the idea of mother's staying home with their kids. I love the idea of a wife in an apron putting her house in order as her husband works hard to support his family. I love the man in the gray flannel suit coming home to his loving family at the end of the work day.

BUT, do not tell me a woman cannot work outside her home. Do not tell me a woman cannot balance a career & a family in the same way her husband can. Not all women can, but neither can all men. Do not tell me that a woman is worth less than a man in the work force. Do not tell me a father cannot stay at home & take care of his children with the same devotion as his wife. People's choices in how they raise their families are very personal.

I think Dr.Phil hit the nail on the head this morning when he said, "This is not what this election is about." So, could we please lay off this woman?


I do have one more thing to add. Even if Mrs.Palin does support abstinence only education (which I am all for), in this day & age I cannot imagine a 17 year old not knowing the consequences of unprotected sex. Just because she's teaching her children to abstain from premarital sex, I'm pretty sure they've heard of condoms. Unless of course they're living under a rock. They do have condoms in Alaska. I think it's more of a rebellion/teenage thoughtlessness issue than an abstinence only issue.


Sarah said...

Hey FW!

I too hate politics - but I guess the blurry line with Palin is her staunch pro-life stance along with the abstinence-only education stance. (I've heard she's also anti-birth control, though haven't read that anywhere other than blogs and other non-cited places) Politically, I don't agree with her, and that's fine... As a mom (and completely unrelated to the election), I wonder if perhaps she dropped the ball in educating her daughter.


Her kids should be off limits.

As should Obama's.

As should Chelsea Clinton have been when she was young and awkward and lessthan attractive, living in the white house being slammed by others for not being more adorable.

Mrs.X said...

I agree that if Palin was a man, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But, I also think that women have set the stage for this controversy themselves by villifying each other for being either stay at home moms or working mothers. There is more vitrol in that fight than anything men and the media could dream up.

But, I also think that her being the VP choice is an excellent opportunity for women to really talk about the work/mother balance and society's expectations versus reality. She's been put out on the national stage and this issue has been simmering for years. It is inevitable that this will be the main topic.

Brando said...

I agree with you all!

Great posts and responses.

Mrs Pop said...

Well-put. My parents were abstinence-only/pro life, too. And I rebelled. I never had an abortion, but I flaunted the fact that I was "pro choice" at them all the time... Oh, the stupidity of youth!

It took time and the removal of teenaged pride and, um, know-it-all-ness, to finally "get" what they were trying to teach me.

You can teach abstinence, but it really isn't a realistic view in today's instant gratification society. This is sad, but true.

Vic said...

I agree the children are off limits, but why would you Like Obama, do a photo shoot with your children and an interview. You can't have it both ways. If you want us to leave then alone, don't give us anything to talk about. Don't bring then to conventions, fundraisers, campaign events, and so forth.

Palin had to know society would talk about her having a number of kids, and a teen pregnancy, she put herself in the spotlight. 4 days ago, I didn't even know her name.

Hope I don't get dogged for this. Again, I agree the kids should be off limits.

Inkling said...

I'll leave everyone else to leave you realistic and erudite comments. Here's my unrealistic two cents.....

You and my brother (the 1977 one) should run on a ticket. You guys could duke it out as to who gets the White House and who gets to place where the VP lives. Personally, I think it would be neat to visit the White House 50 years from now and hear, "Yes, on this corner of the President's ornately carved desk are the tiny teeth marks of one little tot named Bitsy. She made them during those meeting when the President and VP were hard at work solving national security issues and figuring out how to rid the world of terrorists. Her mama served with pride and distinction for our country, and was known for being able to simultaneously solve the world peace problem and get her children to eat their vegetables. Bitsy and her siblings ended up solving the terrorist problem by having their mother promise that if the US were attacked, four small but energetic children would descend on the nation harboring terrorists, demanding #1 bread and juice boxes. After that, the terrorists threw down their weapons and surrendered. They knew they couldn't argue with #1 bread." I'd pay for that kind of tour.