Just a Thought on Palin
I’m noticing that some folks are asking how Sarah Palin could possibly consider running for VP while having a young baby at home, and how she could have possibly returned to work so quickly after giving birth. I have one thought for those folks: your privilege and/or sexism is showing.
Sexism, because I don’t believe that all of these people asking how she could do anything with a baby around would all be asking the same if Palin were a man.
The privilege is really the meat of it, though, because many women simply can’t afford not to return to work soon after giving birth. Many employers offer inadequate leave, and many women and their families simply can’t take the economic hit of unpaid leave. Palin is the Governor – she has an office, she has support, she has money, she has health insurance, she has a husband who can and should help with the baby. Many, many women lack the kind of support Palin can command to assist in caring for her child.
Sure, campaigning and being VP may be demanding. However, if, with all of the resources at Palin’s fingertips, the situation still seems inadequate for providing for a child, if the deck still seems stacked against working mothers, imagine how women without the luxury of these choices must feel.
I just found a post on Feministing along the same lines, asking what McCain/Palin will do for all women. Ann writes:
“The media are clamoring to ask whether she can juggle her children and her career. But they aren’t saying a peep about whether she wants to enact policies that will make it easier for women — especially women who do not enjoy the privilege that Palin and McMorris Rodgers do — to perform this balancing act.”
“The real story here is not how Sarah Palin chooses to balance her own life. It’s about whether she (and McCain) are committed to making these choices easier for all women. And clearly, the answer is no.”
While I’m quite sure I disagree with Palin on any number of things, her choice to work while having children is the least of possible criticisms. She’s lucky she had the choice.