Sunday, August 31, 2008
Brave New World or Same Old Same Old?
I'm underwhelmed by the choice of Sarah Palin for running mate to John McCain. She represents pretty much everything I detest: the NRA, anti-abortion for any reason (including rape & incest), drilling in Alaska...and Rush Limbaugh's been talking her up since Feb. 08, according to slate.com.
I'm not all that impressed that she's a working mother of five either. I no longer believe a working mother can really have it all. Something has to give. As the mother of two sons who had to work for most of their growing up, it wasn't easy, it wasn't fun and I had many days of doubt. I retreated from a management position and subsequent offer because it was too time-consuming. I was working way too many hours spending more and more time at the office and less and less with my children. They were being raised by a series of nannies and that, in itself, became a problem. My biggest saving grace was being in sales. I could go home during the day if I wanted to check on them. Most women can't do that. I remember wishing we could start a daycare in our office building. I pushed for job sharing in its infancy. I finally convinced my boss, a bachelor, to let me work part time instead of full time so I could be home with the boys in the afternoons. My sales didn't suffer. In fact, my productivity increased because I was so happy. That ended when his replacement, a woman, wanted me to break up my sales accounts because I "couldn't possibly carry a full list and do it justice." I quit.
At that point, I was lucky enough to stop working for four crucial years. They were 6 & 7 and they needed Mom around to help them with school projects, sports and homework. It was a wonderful time for the family and especially for me.
I understand Gov. Palin has a stay at home husband, to some extent, and he can parent them in her absence. That is a good thing for her children. I'm not a proponent of child bearing to the extent where we do more than duplicate ourselves. The planet is truly overflowing. Many of the problems we face are because there are just so many people competing for the same things and using all our natural resources.
This probably sounds like backward thinking from a woman who believes in the liberation of women. I may be way off base making these statements. Most women do what they can to provide for their families and make their way through the work place. I believe women are equal in the work place and certainly capable of achieving greatness in all things. But I also know we are the nurturers, the caregivers, the housekeepers, the cooks, the laundresses, the nose-wipers and the comforters. Somebody has to be there. Yes kids learn by example but they also need guidance to get the wisdom required to recognize the example. Should it always be the woman who gives in? Of course not. But somebody needs to parent the kids.
I don't really see the Republican party or their nominees as the answer to our diverging class system, our economic problems, our ability to protect and provide for our children. If they were the answer, we wouldn't be in the mess we are today, seven & one half years after the Democrats left office. We should be focused on feeding our chidren, helping the poor, solving our energy crises and providing reliable health care. We should get out of Iraq, bring our soldiers home and concentrate on our citizens, our needs, our challenges.