Sunday, September 7, 2008

Just How Far Have Women Come?

(I was originally going to post this one in the round up, but it demanded a bit more.)

Much has been said and written about Sarah Palin and her role as a mother, including the duties incumbent upon her as such. There has been a near universal volte face pulled by political parties, feminists, and media types. It would be easy to accuse Democrats & Co of hypocrisy, which is true, and leave it at that, but that would not be complete.

Some of Ms. Palin's chief critics are working mothers themselves. Here we witness hypocrisy of different stripe. Working women are reacting out of their own experience. They know the challenges and omissions of working outside the home. And most of them don't have a male at home to pick up the slack. There is a suspicion, at least, that someone is getting short changed. The idea that anyone would be vice president- just how much does one do- while raising five children sends shivers down the spine. But it is a case of "Do as I say and not as I do."

Many women are not in high-powered careers nor are they working to put food on the table, at least they wouldn't be if they didn't have the SUV and nifty car, both of recent vintage, in the driveway of the McMansion. And what ever happened to Formica? Why does everyone need to have granite countertops? Question them and you will find that they believe they have to work, yet they but help support the household in the style to which they feel entitled. At the same time, they are exhausted. They fear that on some level their children are deprived. I know it sounds harsh, but I've been there.

Frankly, it is up to Gov. Palin and her family to make these calls. I would not presume to judge her choices. I do know that perhaps it is time to rethink some of the feminist tenets we have held dear for so long. Let me be clear. Some women have no choice. Others are called to achieve something. I do not advocate a return to the "bad old days." I remember them. But the reactions to the Palin situation would seem to indicate that perhaps it is time to begin a new discussion.

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