Sarah Palin and her children
During Presidential election cycles, much is written about the candidates' children on the campaign trail. The general consensus is often feigned indignation that children are even being mentioned, with hand-wringing and calls of "children are off-limits; keep the families out of it!" Unless, of course, the candidate is a Conservative, particularly a Conservative woman.
Shattering the glass ceiling? Not in their cases. As punishment for being icky old conservative dames not molding to the caricature of conservatives, which seems to be some sort of combination of Footloose and barefoot and pregnant Stepford Wives, they will be vilified -- along with their children. The most blatant and reprehensible example of this is, of course, Sarah Palin.
For many, For The Children (tm) and For The Women (tm) is just words. You see, it's totally cool to demonize and demean 'the wrong kind' of woman. It's even no big whoop at all to make fun of her children, as long as you think their mom has cooties. Sarah Palin is just a girl and not even the right kind of girl! She doesn't hyphenate her name and does not limit herself to caring about topics the left has assigned as 'woman' topics. Egads!
The garbage spewed at Sarah Palin's family was particularly egregious. Her son Trig, who has Down syndrome, was the focus of revolting attacks. MSNBC did a "Top Ten" bit listing reasons why America is obsessed with Sarah Palin. Reason number one was 'family drama that makes you feel better about your own.' Get it? You are totally better than they are, those rubes! Oh, the holier-than-thou hilarity!
Her uterus and the uterus of her teenage daughter were the focus of not only inappropriate and insane questions, but were the focus of investigations by Forensic Uterine Expert Andrew Sullivan and his new side-kick, author Joe McGinniss. From the moment she was announced as John McCain's running mate, the media fell all over themselves to prove that she couldn't be a Vice-President while having a fancy womb and being a mommy. Gee, I don't recall anyone asking Joe Biden if he would have time to parent his children what with all the hair plug maintenance, Amtrak train riding and researching speeches to plagiarize. I also don't recall anyone berating the Obamas for making campaign appearances with their daughters, nor should they have.
But, for Palin, it continues to this day. Even the latest fluff piece this election cycle about the children of candidates hitting the campaign trail included the Palins. And had to snarkily add 'even after news broke that teenage Bristol was pregnant' to the snippet about Palin's children on the trail. Hint y'all: Sarah Palin is not running.
Look, women can do it all. We can be mommies and run for office at the same time. We are good like that. It's called multi-tasking and it's second nature to us. Our children can, and should, hit the campaign trail with us; why on earth would we want to leave them behind? I would not (don't worry; I've no plans to run. Whew!) All women should demand that women of every political stripe be able to campaign with their children without fear of being attacked. Shatter that glass ceiling once and for all.
This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. Read the original question and find links to all their responses here: Candidates' Kids on the Campaign Trail: Good Idea or Bad?
Image via tgaume/Flickr